Every now and then I like to wax rhetorical and kick around a philosophical idea or two.
I’d like to present an idea that, if you really consider it, may change the way you see the world.
Then again, to some it will be a big, “well, duh!”
But then, that’s the fun of recreational philosophy and psychology.
Here it is. The picture below is probably familiar to you.
When you see it you have a word for it. You likely have a taste for it. You may even have a physical reaction to the picture, recalling the taste, remarking to yourself if you like or dislike it. You likely have a history with it, good or bad, one that stretches back for years.
It is familiar. It is clear. You have no doubt what it is.
But here’s the deal.
Not only is not a strawberry (it’s a picture of one, after all), but the name it holds is just an agreed upon word. In reality, it is no more a “strawberry” than it is a lug nut, a cat’s tail, or a dollar bill. In point of act, none of the items just named are what their words are, either. They are things in the Universe which we have convenient names for.
If you find yourself rebelling at this idea, good. You’re thinking. If you were to go to Egypt, or Russia, or Bolivia and ask someone there what the thing in the picture was, they would tell you, but the word would not be strawberry. Nor would the word MEAN strawberry. It is just a tag.
Is this concept important? No, not really. At least not to everyone. For some people, however, it will be a bit of an eye-opener.
What might you do with this idea, this nameless idea, in a story?