Inevitably we construct ourselves. Let me explain. I enter this house and immediately I become what I have to become, what I can become: I construct myself. That is, I present myself to you in a form suitable to the relationship I wish to achieve with you. And, of course, you do the same with me.
Normal is the greatest enemy with regard to creating the new. And the way of getting around this is you have to understand normal not as reality, but just a construct. And a way to do that, for example, is just travel to a lot of different countries and you'll find a thousand different ways of thinking the world is real, all of which are just stories inside of people's heads. That's what we are too. Normal is just a construct, and to the extent that you can see normal as a construct in yourself, you have freed yourself from the constraints of thinking this is the way the world is. Because it isn't. This is the way we are.
In the new alchemy, we have a similar kind of way of thinking. Our internal space includes our intuitions, our thoughts, our senses and our feelings, and from these we construct or build a picture of the outside world. From intuition and thought, we construct time. We also construct space from thought and our sensations. From our senses and our feelings, we experience energy, and from our intuitions and our feelings, we experience motion.
Fred Alan Wolf
God is not interested in what you think you should be or feel. He is not interested in the narrative you construct for yourself, or that others construct for you. Rather, He is interested in you, the you who suffers, the you who inflicts suffering on others, the you who hides, the you who has bad days (and good ones). And He meets you where you are.
It seems to me that when you look back at a life - yours or another's - what you see is a path that weaves into and out of deep shadow. So much is lost. What we use to construct the past is what has remained in the open, a hodgepodge of fleeting glimpses. Our histories, like my father's current body, are structures built of toothpicks. So what I recall of that last summer in New Bremen is a construct of both what stands in the light and what I imagine in the dark where I cannot see.
William Kent Krueger
People today will have you believing life is a blank slate upon which you can write anything at all-this is poetic, even romantic. Unfortunately, it's also a lie, because life exists in, is bound by, shaped by, controlled by, and functions within a construct. Attempt to function outside that construct, or bend it to our will, or remove it completely, and you throw all of society into chaos. We're seeing that now. Like it or not, birds don't fly upside down... and neither can we.
Well, part of it is a longstanding belief - it's been in our education establishment at least since the 1930s - that somehow children should be allowed to discover knowledge for themselves, that they should construct their own knowledge. This has surfaced most recently in connection with mathematics instruction, where the idea is that they need to discover how to add for themselves. Rather than being taught how to add, they should construct this knowledge on their own.
Science begins with the world we have to live in, accepting its data and trying to explain its laws. From there, it moves toward the imagination: it becomes a mental construct, a model of a possible way of interpreting experience. The further it goes in this direction, the more it tends to speak the language of mathematics, which is really one of the languages of the imagination, along with literature and music. Art, on the other hand, begins with the world we construct, not with the world we see. It starts with the imagination, and then works toward ordinary experience.
We know only what we do, what we make, what we construct; and all that we make, all that we construct, are realities. I call them images , not in Plato's sense (namely that they are only reflections of reality), but I hold that these images are the reality itself and that there is no reality beyond this reality except when in our creative process we change the images: then we have created new realities.
The aesthetic construct, and nothing else, has taught us to expose ourselves to a non-enslaving experience of rank differences. The work of art is even allowed to 'tell' us, those who have run away from form, something, because it quite obviously does not embody the intention to confine us. 'La poesie ne s'impose plus, elle s'expose' Something that exposes itself and proves itself in this test gains unpresumed authority. In the space of aesthetic simulation, which is at once the emergency space for the success and failure of the artistic construct, the powerless superiority of the works can affect observers who otherwise take pains to ensure that they have no lord, old or new, above them.
[T]he form that an animal's subjective experience takes will be a property of the internal computer model. That model will be designed, in evolution, for its suitability for useful internal representation, irrespective of the physical stimuli that come to it from outside. Bats and we need the same kind of internal model for representing the position of objects in three-dimensional space. The fact that bats construct their internal model with the aid of echoes, while we construct ours with the aid of light, is irrelevant.
Men can construct a science with very few instruments, or with very plain instruments; but no one on earth could construct a science with unreliable instruments. A man might work out the whole of mathematics with a handful of pebbles, but not with a handful of clay which was always falling apart into new fragments, and falling together into new combinations. A man might measure heaven and earth with a reed, but not with a growing reed.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
If I - as a beneficiary of that exact formula - will concede that my own life was indeed enriched by that precise familial structure, will the social conservatives please (for once!) concede that this arrangement has always put a disproportionately cumbersome burden on women? Such a system demands that mothers become selfless to the point of near invisibility in order to construct these exemplary encironments for their families. And might those same social conservatives - instead of just praising mothers as 'sacred' and 'noble' - be willing to someday join a larger conversation about how we might work together as a society to construct a world where healthy children can be raised and healthy families can prosper without women have to scrape bare the walls of their own souls to do so?