Which one is moss? Which one is rainforest?
The world is a many-splendid and wonderfully complicated thing, innumerably faceted, providing the interested investigator no end of viewpoints along which to classify its phenomenon.
An underrated of these is what some philosophers might call degree of existence, but I call eventiness. Maybe it has been underrated up until now because it didn’t have a very good name. Yet.
They seem like many, but they are actually quite few, the people who have asked whether imaginary things like unicorns exist in some sense, if they must exist because we can name and think of them. Such arguments seem to me overly complicated, although of course I am excited that they exist.
More straightforward then, I should be*; more straightforwardly, then, will I suggest that we can sort all phenomenon into one of four classes by their eventiness; 1) physical, 2) depicted, 3) conceived of, and 4) other.
By other names, you might call these ‘inarguable,’ ‘probably,’ ‘probably not’, and ‘better not to think about it.’
‘Inarguably, that is the floor underneath my feet.’
‘Probably, you’ll do what you said you would.”
‘I think it could be, but probably not.’
<pretend you inserted something too weird to think of here>
And so we can see that different shades of being allow for greater or larger sets of possibilities: this is just another way of saying a wonderful thing, ‘Only so many things can happen,’ as well as a potentially even more wonderful thing, ‘Many many more things than happen can happen, but only in my mind.’
I believe many similar trains of thought– full of people who really should have been computer programmers, only computers hadn’t been invented yet — derailed because their divisions of existence were …. yes, obsessively seems like the right word… obsessively focused on our PERCEPTION of phenomenon.
Which is, to misspeak, fraught. By which I mean ‘not going to work.’**
Eventiness is not going down that track. Eventiness does not care what you perceive.
Eventiness only cares about what you do.
You participate in or create physical events, you experience or create depictions, and you think. And don’t worry about other.
Eventiness puts you back in control of the world. It is equally as human-centric as any other theory of existence, in case you are worried things might not be real, which they might not be.
But it is far more human-controlled than any other theory of existence. When you convert an inspiration into a ludicrous blog post, you have moved a thing from one plane of eventiness to another, by depicting it.
You have literally made a thing more true, for the meaning of true that means ‘exists more.’ (Probably the closest English word is ‘actual’. Sanskrit is better at things like this.)
And, should you eat the shoes you were planning on wearing to work tomorrow, have you made your dream of wearing them less true? No! Of course not! There is no way to make things less true, you nightingale!
Only more. And we do that. And it usually ain’t easy, Seymour.
Eventiness is Eric Berne meets Quine, making it perhaps the most boring meeting ever. Eventiness explains how you can hijack an incoming level 3 with an appropriate 2, or if you really want to end the argument, a 1; how you can disable a level 2 with sufficient 3; and how the most sensible exchanges occur (to some degree) when 1 is met with a 1 response, 2 with 2, and 3 with 3, and other stays elsewhere (= unspecified).
If you really want a leg up (and away from the room with Eric Berne and Quine in it), I’m with you, so try this: WHEN THEY IMPACT OTHER PEOPLE, restrict your truth-creating decisions to the evidence from the eventiness level ONE STEP BELOW the level you are truth-creating on. And this is bliss.
In other words, make
no depictions beyond happenings, no thoughts beyond depictions, and no other, that you can’t think of.
Time for examples!
I hate her I hate her so much I just freaking hate her!
(What were her actual words? Something mild, no doubt.)
“Did you hear that everyone is afraid of white cars?”
“No–what? Why in the world would that be?”
“Everyone thinks white cars are more dangerous. You didn’t know?”
“No, I never…hmmm.”
(It’s a special class of statements that can be made completely true by uttering them. I wish it were specialer.)
“I just can’t shake the feeling that you don’t love me.”
“Ahh, the world is a large one, is it not?”
“All that geographic space.”
“5 quadrillion square feet of it?”
“And on which one of them am I currently located?”
*unless I’m pretending to be a hypocrit
**No, I’m not telling you why not, but I’m sure, and it’s a secret why, until I finish this paper I’m working on.
***Now whenever you can safely be irresponsible, I mean, in the privacy of your own physical space/personal endeavor/mind, well then I’d just go apeshi … other?
Shoutout to scare quotes and the WVO