The realest thing to anyone is themselves. The further from the self the less real things feel. For example, we know about the stars and distant galaxies but the fly buzzing our ear is more important and “real” as to steal our attention. While we have the power to imagine great things and empathize, direct experience is more important because it involves the “I”. Our wants, needs, and desires exceed the realness of all else.
This phenomenon sums up one my biggest frustrations with the COVID-19 global pandemic and, what I’m fairly sure will become another health crisis, Long COVID: we fail to take collective action against something we know is real but we don’t always directly see.
From I Am a Strange Loop
- Abstractions are real and yet less real compared to the “I”
- We’ve seen that rugged individualism (even more emphasis on the self!) is incompatible with managing the pandemic
- Mindfulness is about recognizing the illusory self