Scopes of Consciousness in online and offline experience

(wow scary title)

Anyways, it goes a little something like this:
There's a basic concept in jewish torah-centric thought called pshat (translation: 'the literal meaning') from the hebrew word pashut (meaning 'simple'). I always had trouble with pshat because i would take everything i knew into account and take that as my 'reference frame' and then try and understand the literal or simple meaning of the text. This lead to much more complex pshat than people might have been used to. Of course others would say it wasn't pshat--It wasn't the simple, literal, meaning of the text. But for me there was no other way to read the text. My pshat was exactly what the text was saying--in light of what all the other text was saying. This morning i realized that pshat is always dependent on a reference frame and as one's knowledge grows, so does the complexity of the pshat. (very post modern, no?)

But, back to online experiences. People talk about how fulfilling and deep their online relationships are, defending them against the onslaught of people claiming they are less 'real' than offline relationships. (at least i've seen mention of this on a number of blogs.) But for me, i think in all honesty, online relationships are deeper simply because they have more to do with oneself than the person you are relating to. an online aspect of a relationship can augment a real-world relationship, but if the relationship exists solely online then you have taken the solipsistic thing to another magnitude. When you are in physical relationships with real people, you might ask yourself if they really exist. But when you are in a purely digital relationship with someone else, there's so much more room for you to project many more qualities and ideas on them than you might otherwise be able. the person you are relating to can be so much more distant than the person you have convinced yourself you are relating to. (I would go into specifics if i felt it would change peoples minds, but i dont think most people are really capable of changing their minds)

on rereading everything i've just typed, i don't think anything is shockingly new.. it's all just about levels of subjectivity, but i think there are different levels of appreciation of this idea that can be experienced, and today i experienced a new one.


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