Reality is shaped by the fictions we surround ourselves with. We bathe in movies and books and digital medias that depict a concept we’re trying so desperately to understand and recreate. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. Eventually, they always become reality.
It’s funny, really. To think our fictions are merely portrayals of “truth.” In a sense, they are. They’re dreams rooted in deep thought; a reflection of human condition. Look at H.G. Wells or George Orwell. Look at the hauntingly similar evolution they’ve illustrated in their futurist societies. And yet, the residue they leave behind is still just fiction.
To think is to manifest. To create is to reflect. To act is to grow.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited; imagination encircles the world.” - Albert Einstein
Fiction stems from the imagination. Writing it forces you to utilize a part of your brain in ways that might’ve not been previously challenged. In turn, reading it shapes our understanding of the world. All while stirring up our sense of empathy. What a daunting full circle.
So through the lens of fiction, as any good reader or writer will tell you, consuming a novel, a movie, or any piece of art helps us to develop and encourage a sense of humanity. That seems like something we’ve been taught for years, with no solid evidence to support the concept. It felt like common sense. Something we knew to be true. Culture at its core.
It interacts with our subconscious to help develop soft skills and self-awareness among humanity. I explored this concept in my post “Mr. Robot Reflections” last week. My epiphany of the “real world.”
Scientists have recently dug up some proof that literature can help strengthen and bond empathy in readers of fiction. Dr. Keith Oatley, a Professor Emeritus of the University of Toronto Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development, suggests that stories are pieces of consciousness being passed on from mind to mind.
To better understand the human condition, one must contribute their side of the story while absorbing many others. What an absolutely fascinating concept!
Check out this [great] article from Express UK and try adding a little more fiction to your #TBR pile. While nonfiction certainly has its benefits, don’t forget to keep a little imagination in your continual self-improvement. Your subconscious is more powerful than you think. There, intelligence is born and roots into whatever amazing work you put into the world.
Several of my friends usually express that they prefer to not read fiction because it makes them feel like they’re wasting time. I will state the same thing here that I normally tell them.
It’s ok to feel like you’re wasting time. That’s human nature. Our biological clock is constantly ticking to remind us of our expiration date. But don’t fear! Consuming fiction is not wasted time. It helps you see the world from another perspective. Which is something we all absolutely need reminding of. Concepts your subconscious see often come back to help you evaluate and adapt your own perception of “real.” Even when you don’t realize it.
And most importantly: time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.