From hurt to love LO20429

Winfried Dressler (
Tue, 19 Jan 1999 19:07:32 +0100

Replying to LO20381 --

Paul Rousseau wrote:

>I find this interesting in that I believe that people can only deal with
>reality by defining what it is. From a semiotica point of view, events
>happing outside of our bodies will not even register in our consciousness
>unless we have the codes in our minds to notice the events.
snip example
>Help me understand how I can deal _directly_ with reality.

Dear Paul,

This is a difficult request for help! Let me look for something in your
message, that I can use as a key. For example: "people can only deal with
reality by defining what it is." What we experience are the interactions
between these definitions and the real reality outside. With this, it may
be useful to distinguish two different purposes of such definitions:

Purpose 1 is to imunise from reality. This is done by tautological
definitions, that do not interact with reality. They are stating what
reality is, but are never subject to testing. Why do people do this? I
really don't know, but my guess in the mail you responded to was, that
people fear the influence of reality on their (what I called, using At de
Langes terminology) uncategorical identity - some psychologists I think
call this "Ego" to be distinguished from the "Self", which does not fear
reality and thus strives for "categoricity". This brings me to

purpose 2: Definitions are built in such a way, that they allow for plenty
interaction with reality. They allow to create hypothesis on how reality
may react and such hypothesis can be tested, for example by experiments or
more generally just by acting according to this hypothesis and looking for
what happens. Such definitions or hypotheses are never true, but "only"
more or less consistent with reality and coherent within themselves.

I guess that purpose 2 provides for a better way to deal with reality. It
is still not directly as you asked for, but it at least admits, that there
may be differences between my definitions and reality, although I know,
that I need my definitions. I am afraid that it is hard to get more

There are a lot of more aspects to think about, for example selffulfilling
prophecies, that can happen independently from the purpose. But before
digging deeper in this hole of my thinking I have to pause and to ask,
whether I lost you or whether I could touch your concern.

Liebe Gruesse,



"Winfried Dressler" <>

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