Sunday 29 July 2012

Writing and our World View

In this series, I’m taking the bull by the horns here… stretching out my neck …. putting my life on the line… and if I survive all this and other dangerous metaphors, then I might take a bit of a risk. 

Let’s discuss how our World View affects our writing and reading.

For those who aren’t quite sure about what I’m talking about, World View (often shortened to WV – yeah! OK! Not the car!) is defined in as follows:

n. In both senses also called Weltanschaung.
1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world.
2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.

It’s how we try and make sense of the universe that we live in. It’s what makes you tick, what makes you think the way you do, the underlying foundation of and motivation behind all your decisions and opinions.  It effects all our daily lives and collectively, it is the most powerful influence in businesses, churches, community groups, institutions and politics.

Let’s face it, no matter what you read, no matter what you write, no matter what you hear & see in the media, no matter what you think about, no matter what decisions are made, no matter where you turn it will always be there….
…that ghostly spectre in the background called Weltanschaung.  A bit like Poltergeist, but far more common and at times, almost as scary. But unless we want to sound erudite, let's just call it our WV.

In many people, it’s represented by their religion or their faith – whether theistic, atheistic or somewhere in-between. Sometimes we’re not aware that it’s there, and we assume that everyone else should think the same way that we do. It’s powerful and all-pervading.
It’s shaped by our upbringing (or our reaction to it) our schooling and any higher education, but especially by our life experiences.

It undergirds our philosophy of life, which in turn is the material we build our lifestyle decisions on. 

I knocked together an illustration of this:

So now we all, hopefully, understand it and acknowledge its existence.
In my next post, I’ll discuss some of the implications this WV has for our reading and writing .

Stay tuned…..

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