Meaning vs historicity


The meaning, upshot, emotion, energy, and value of your reading experience is entirely detachable from the question, Did this really happen?

Also, contents produced by the subject do not need extra-mental referents. Reading is literally a self-creating act—from nothing, you project a dream and then merge with it. You paint a scenario and then lose yourself in it. Just like a real dream, you create the object (meaning, feeling) and then relate to it as if it has svabhava—you forget that you have made it. The imaginary may be weak and diaphanous, but if your sense inputs are turned down, you can get emotional and even react visibly to story “events.”

When you are touched and moved by a story, it’s because of the story. If God loves you in the story, then she does love you in reality because God originally a character in the story. To say that God’s love does not matter or is unreal unless the things described in the story actually happened inside this universe at some (x, y, z, t) is to mistake meaning (which is metaphor) for physicality. Did this really happen? is independent of Am I really moved by this story? If it happened and you didn’t know about it would you be touched and moved? Like all value and meaning, the value and meaning of a story is internal to the subject.