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Dialectics

A recurring challenge in my life has been reconciling seemingly opposite perspectives. It pops up in all kinds of contexts.

Reading books, for example. I can can either view the book as a whole, allowing myself to skip around freely, explore it, read whatever parts interest me. Or I can focus on the specific moment, page I’m on; these characters, this situation, this tension.

An insight that applies to both perspectives is that thinking “Almost a fifth of the way through now” is counter-productive. At best irrelevant. It makes the book a chore.

In the one perspective, my “progress meter” with the book is irrelevant because my experience with the book isn’t linear. In the other, my “progress meter” is irrelevant because I’m so into the story, beat by beat, that I should only care about what happens next.