The temporal, semiotic matrix we all live in

The temporal, semiotic matrix we all live in is a work of imagination.

We project the future, imagine the past, and are restricted in the present. Another way to say that is we imagine all three, quite poorly.

The present is restricted, especially, primarily, because we rarely can speak freely. We can’t speak freely because we fear that what we say might be misunderstood, misremembered, remembered for too long, or told to the wrong people.

What we say today in a spirit of creative exploration may harm us in the future when it is taken out of context or given a different weight than we had intended; also, times may change and our words won’t sound right any longer.

This is a terrible situation for humans to be in. We do it to ourselves in many different ways. Speech should expand our degrees of freedom but it generally only limits them in most situations.

Interpersonal speech should be creative, exploratory, very often non-conclusive, wondering. Then why do we fear being misunderstood, misremembered, remembered correctly but out of context? Even by those closest to us? The reason is we do not know how to fine-tune our speech, how to adjust the erroneous minutiae of speech that lead to huge misunderstandings. A single word, a single expression can get you killed in the wrong place at the wrong time. In “polite society” it can ruin your reputation, cause you to lose your job. How can any of us be creative speakers, vibrant human beings, if we are afraid of making even a single misstep?

The place to look for fixing this problem is in the moment-by-moment exchange of ideas/memories/feelings that happen during communication with the person or people who are most important to us. And the way to do that is practice FIML. If you cannot bring the present under conscious control—that is, if you are forced to imagine what someone means rather than ask—you cannot be free. Your imagination will be filled with mistakes and self-deception. The same will be true for your partner. There is no way out of that trap except FIML or something very much like it. When the present is filled with illusions, so must be the past and future, everything.

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