worlds_imagesOur historicity offers an inevitable perspective on our sense of world-making. My own perspective has come to view the plural world as an unavoidable position. In short, I see my own reality, caught in a singular world, but one unavoidably comprised by a teeming multiplicity of worlds. This admission of plurality brings me to terms with, in a relevant sense, the minuscule number of worlds I believe I am capable of knowing. In light of this, my ability to comprehend and relate to a finite number of worlds, is a perspective grounded by wonder —a wonder resulting from being surrounded by a multitude of other worlds, most of which, I humbly reserve, I will never know. Simply put, I cannot truly understand all conceptions of the world, for the conception of our singular, yet plural, world is inherently far too multiple. Not even if I were to live for 10,000 years would I be able to experience and understand all the worlds within this world, and in lieu of this amount of time, these worlds would also inevitably evolve in different ways, and any comprehension gained in this 10,000 year time would continuously be falling out of date as I moved from one world to the next.

Yet the situation remains that I can only really access a number of perspectives, and pragmatically, only those available to me via close enculturation: that being through friendships, learned knowledge, language, and a gradual adoption of particular customs. This reality does give me an inside perspective into a limited number of worlds that I feel are available to me. But comparatively, this view also instills in me, a responsibility —that if I am eager or even curious to understand other perspectives of world-making, and thus worlds, I must allow significant time and immersion in order to access the available perspectives from inhabiting certain positions in a particular world. For the understanding of different worlds rarely stems from the broad application of universals, and moreover, even within a single world there may be a multiplicity of perspectives, all of which need to be integrated into one’s conception, otherwise one cannot even begin to suggest that they have a reasonable appreciation or an ability to know anything about a given world.

This rationalization of multiplicity within our world, or rather my existence in a world consisting of many worlds — has resolved in me to take stock and respect the distance I have regarding the perspectives of others (and their worlds). Essentially I am suggesting that I do not actually have the remotest business professing any understanding of a particular world, lest I have being properly familiarized with all the nuances of a given world —its rules, conventions, dynamics, mechanics, idiosyncrasies as well as its overall position within a the shared historical spectrum of this world.

Note: The above text was a meditation like moment, written one morning after I had just read (“and then slept-on”) the first chapter of Nelson Goodman’s seminal 1978 book: Ways of Worldmaking. I do not profess this entry to be in any way a finished statement on the topic of worlds and worldmaking — it is only a brief insight into the personal making of my worldview.

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