[Advice] Fights of Fancy

The world inside rules the world outside.

One of the terrible functions of the last half-century has been the rise in the perception of people, both at the individual level and at the group level, as purely economic actors.

When viewed this way, people’s reactions and behaviors (and even group reactions and behaviors) are chalked up to science or economics.

People are perceived as rational actors, realizing that they are in a play called life, full of sound and fury, but ultimately signifying nothing.

Oh, but were this so.

The fact is, conflicts, disputes, disagreements, and more are worked out in the inner life between our two ears, in much more complex ways than economics or scientific analysis can determine. This happens long before they spill out of the container of ourselves and begin their impact on others.

The fights we have are of fancy: Trapped inside our own experiences, we struggle to get out, to escape, and to connect with others.

The very act of escaping from ourselves creates an internal conflict inside ourselves. And as our technology has become more granular, able to connect people at the surface level, across cultures, and even national borders, we have become blinded and less connected to the inner drives of other people.

The tools we have designed can be used to connect, but only if vulnerability, self-awareness, and introspection are built into the tools themselves.

And those traits aren’t built into the tools because they escape the notice of the builder. Primarily because of the inner life of the builder.

A clock with a clock maker.

The world inside rules the world outside.

The reasons why we have abandoned the exploration of the inner self are many, but the reason that we have abandoned even attempting to understand the depths of the inner world that drive conflict is one: We are afraid of what we will find and we are selfish in our interests.

The work of radical self-awareness, intentionality, empathy over sympathy, true vulnerability and intimacy with others cannot come through connecting through our tools.

We must escape the world inside (both ourselves and our digital distractions) and get to the world outside.

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