[Reposted from ctif.blogspot.com]
A story is a process, whether we're talking about the story of our lives or the story of our characters' lives. We begin with a simplistic view. We are ignorant of anything outside our perspective. As we accumulate knowledge and experiences, our eyes are opened to the complexity of the world. Complexity leads to confusion because we don't yet possess the wisdom to understand the connections between the tangible elements of our story. As we gain wisdom, the complexity becomes simplified again and we become enlightened.
If you think about it, this arc applies to everything wherein learning is involved. Ignorance is not knowing. Not only do we not know the details of life, but we don't always know there are details to be known. As the saying goes, "You don't know what you don't know." Our perspective on life is determined by our personal experiences, what's called our "field of experience." The less we learn about the rest of the world, the more we rely upon the assumption that the rest of the world is like us. What would cause us to think otherwise?
As we associate with other people and learn about them, our perspective widens to encompass the new information. The faster we learn knowledge, the more confused we can become. Our brains begin to fill with what appears to be separate, if not random pieces of information. This process is difficult, even painful, because it expands our mental capacity. This is why many choose to remain ignorant. As they say, "Ignorance is bliss." But clearly, ignorance only limits our freedom. Without a adequate view of the elements of our story (again, be it life or fiction) we cannot hope to take command of our circumstances.
Like the water lily, these "pads" of information seem separate, but are actually connected. The process of deciphering the randomness of life gives us wisdom. As we begin to understand connections between separate areas of life, we find that our story once again becomes simplified. However, this time our perspective is one of truth and unity rather than self-centered autonomy. We understand that freedom must respect boundaries, and that we live in a world with other individuals.
Rather than blunder through life selfishly, we must think our way through life selfLESSly. In this way, we become enlightened enough to see the big picture, and understand the benefits of fitting ourselves into society on purpose.