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Is Any of this for real, or not?

Duke Nukem

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I wrote a short piece, I was thinking of submitting it to my college's literary magazine. I wanted to get some feedback on it before I submit it, though. So tell me, is it interesting ,is it !@#$, is it worth submitting?

I stand up suddenly, realizing my legs are still beneath me. I had been having these weird dreams lately, wondering the difference between the reality I see with my eyes, and the reality my brain creates for me. The majority of the world is so convinced that the world their eyes show them is ultimate reality. The truth is that what we consider reality is just a bunch of neurons firing back and forth at each other to paint us a picture of our surroundings. If this is the case, then isnt our brain also creating what we deem reality? If this is the case, then why cant dreams also be considered real? Dreams, while perhaps not psychologically relevant, do allow us a modicum of freedom that we cannot find in what we deem ultimate reality. In my dreams I am a bird, flying high, and thinking only of the wind in my face. In my dreams, I see my beloved, beautiful as she is, as we hold hands till oblivion. In my dreams, I am the President of the United States, holding the world in my hands. In my dreams, I see my mother as breathtaking as she was before her illness, and her sage words comfort me. So, I ask this question, why cant dreams be reality?

I appreciate any feedback.

Regards,

W



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I wasn't the person who one starred you, but I'll give you a couple pointers because that's what you're here for.

1. Avoid cliches. Tell us something new; don't list stuff we've already heard. Make new comparisons and articulate your ideas differently.

2. You have a good vocabulary but your syntax is a bit weird. It sounds like you're used to writing academically in the third person perspective and are crossing that with your first person. Try to keep them separate and use appropriate language.

3. Make things meaningful to us. Your mother doesn't mean anything to us; why was she ill, what did that mean for you, etc. have not been answered. You will draw people in by connecting things to them, which can be accomplished through being nebulous but is better accomplished deliberately through a personalizing story.

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"wondering the difference between the reality I see with my eyes, and the reality my brain creates for me"

Wana, the reality you see with your eyes is the reality your brain creates for you. Seeing is just what your brain creates. I think your point can more accurately be made by emphasizing that what your eyes perceive and what your brain creates are one in the same (or just assume it right off the bat); but what you perceive from your eyes and brain isn't necessarily what is actually there, because your perception isn't necessarily accurate.

But you seem to be going a step beyond that. You are asking if dreams are real because you experience them as if they are real. This is getting into the philosophical realm of idealism vs. realism. You essentially ask why isn't the world philosophically idealistic, but you are a little paradoxical (which isn't bad) by relying on realism (referencing neurons in the brain as a basis of your reasoning) to determine that dreams may be reality. I think it causes some tension unless you use the idealist approach to neurons to doubt even the neurons as being independent of your mind. But this is supposed to be a short piece so you don't have to delve into that. Tension isn't horrible if it can get people thinking at least.

Also, you say, "Dreams, while perhaps not psychologically relevant, do allow us a modicum of freedom"

What is the point of saying 'while perhaps not psychologically relevant'?

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I wasn't the person who one starred you, but I'll give you a couple pointers because that's what you're here for.

1. Avoid cliches. Tell us something new; don't list stuff we've already heard. Make new comparisons and articulate your ideas differently.

2. You have a good vocabulary but your syntax is a bit weird. It sounds like you're used to writing academically in the third person perspective and are crossing that with your first person. Try to keep them separate and use appropriate language.

3. Make things meaningful to us. Your mother doesn't mean anything to us; why was she ill, what did that mean for you, etc. have not been answered. You will draw people in by connecting things to them, which can be accomplished through being nebulous but is better accomplished deliberately through a personalizing story.

That is a spot on analysis. The thing I would add is if you touch philosophical subjects, use them as they are real, if I were in your place, to write such a narrative I would imagine that dreams are a reality and the things we normally do are a dream. A different perspective to things goes a long way and it has a bit of uniqueness to it. You will have to make a huge concept map to make it possible. Goodluck.

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I stand up suddenly, realizing my legs are still beneath me.I had been having these weird dreams lately,

Give the reader context. Why is realizing your legs are beneath you significant? Why are your dreams weird and how is that relevant?

wondering the difference between the reality I see with my eyes, and the reality my brain creates for me.

As mentioned, this should probably be reformed to better conceptualize the difference between what is there and the evidence of said existance generated in our brain.

The majority of the world is so convinced that the world their eyes show them is ultimate reality. The truth is that what we consider reality is just a bunch of neurons firing back and forth at each other to paint us a picture of our surroundings.

"The majority of the world" and "the truth is" are too absolutist statements, and don't really work for this kind of thought provoking peace. The basic question you are asking here is "What is real?" so ask it.

If this is the case, then isnt our brain also creating what we deem reality? If this is the case, then why cant dreams also be considered real?

Probably best rephrased to talk about whether you can distinguish neural transmissions created by external stimuli from neural transmissions created by your own brain.

Dreams, while perhaps not psychologically relevant, do allow us a modicum of freedom that we cannot find in what we deem ultimate reality. In my dreams I am a bird, flying high, and thinking only of the wind in my face. In my dreams, I see my beloved, beautiful as she is, as we hold hands till oblivion. In my dreams, I am the President of the United States, holding the world in my hands. In my dreams, I see my mother as breathtaking as she was before her illness, and her sage words comfort me. So, I ask this question, why cant dreams be reality?

This cuts short, and stopping at this point sounds like wish-fulfilment i.e "I feel unsatisfied with life and I wish my dreams were real".

You should probably go on. You could expand on it by talking about what makes you believe dreams aren't real, questioning the validity of those beliefs, and the interplay of logic and perception in creating our reality.

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I agree with most of what that has already been said, but I'd keep your mother's part as is: you don't need to explain everything and a bit of "mystery" is OK as long as it's not the majority of your piece. The "mother" is also a powerful symbol and it's probably going to resonate in the reader's mind/experience: by leaving stuff unexplained you let the reader fill in with their own life, which should help in getting them involved and interested.

If you want to go a bit more in depth, maybe try explore the effect of language on thought process. For example try research the link between Buddhism and solipsism, and also check on Popper's polemics against word definitions "from left to right", and "Aristotelian" (deductive) mindsets.

In a nutshell: aren't "truth" and "reality" only words? What happens to the complex concepts behind them, when you look at them with the lens of solipsism? I hope that this helps.

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