Theories of Fiction and Proof
The relationships between the world described in fiction often match up to the relationships described in the real world to the point that we can’t just dismiss fiction as inconsequential. However, what is necessary is proof that the relationships described in fiction match up with the world outside before we begin to reference any fiction for lessons. For example, we may conclude that our next challenge is similar to Batman, and begin to look for a set of parents that we’ve lost, but frankly, if they weren’t my parents, then there is no Batman story. Similar to is not congruent to. Neither does finding an inductive pattern imply what’s coming next will follow in that pattern unless there is proof the two patterns that we’ve seen–the keystone and the beginning pattern, are identical. If you have four friends, you may think they are the Ninja Turtles, but if there is no proof that they are, if they don’t know each other, then your deductive analysis that Ninja Turtles implies anything about what your friends actually are on the inside would also not apply.
The critical importance of proof in storytelling takes us to the most important place where stories are told which is the courtroom. There is often said to be two sides to every story — the side that follows from proof, and the side contrary to proof. If there is no proof, the two sides of a story are indistinguishable in terms of accuracy and we can form no conclusion from the story. A fiction novel by itself is a story that may contain proof, but if you can’t find that proof that it works in the real world, the story is at best entertainment because it can’t be analyzed.
Why do we yet perceive stories like Batman and Ninja Turtles in our lives even when there is no proof? Perception is reality would lead us to find that proof that is good enough for the human mind. The proof for Batman is a set of life experiences that match up perfectly to the Batman story. Proof for ninja turtles is a set of friends that give you feelings that match up for the story. So this is all to explain what perception really is and why it is reality: perception is when your mind takes proof and begins to present the perceptions to you as reality. People are moved only by proof. If a person begins to have a lot of stories in his head it’s because he’s been through a lot. So when we read a story like Batman or Ninja Turtles, we have the skepticism: does this story contain proof? But when we begin to perceive that story in our lives, that’s another event. Our mind has already received proof, inductive and deductive, and we can only find that the proof is our experiences.
People who claim to live by experience will end up down this road. They will wonder if the chance that everyone else observes really has meaning to them. And that is what is meant by “perception is reality.” Perception is proof of reality provided one can analyze it. Why do you hear of people saying one shouldn’t act on a perception then? It is improper to act even on reality until we see proof that the reality will continue. We see that when we find meaning in chance, such as the realization that one is in casino, but casinos don’t arise out of the blue in nature in ways that can’t be detected eventually by the power of human thought alone.
So in summary, proof is important in reading fiction but perceiving fiction is the result of one’s own experiences providing proof and that is a way of finding meaning in chance and realizing how to escape the casino and go somewhere where things are predictable if you work hard. Perception is reality thus because it is the result of experiences, but in the end, it is the result of proof as a perception is proof to an individual, but reality isn’t enough to act: one needs proof reality is to continue before acting, or one would be acting on a perception or acting on a temporary reality. Does that mean once one perceives fiction it is all a metaphor? Quite the contrary, it is impossible to perceive a metaphor. That is because what a metaphor becomes is only realized in retrospect. Metaphors are constructed.