The story of our lives

We see ourselves as cast in an epic quest. We feel as if we’re the hero of the steadily unfolding plot of our lives; one that’s complete with allies, villains, sudden reversals of fortune, and difficult quests for happiness and prizes. Our brains cast halos around our friends and plant horns on the heads of our enemies.

Adapted from journalist Will Storr, author of Selfie: How We Became So Self-Obsessed and What It Is Doing to Us (New York: The Overlook Press, 2018).

Reality —

Reality is the narrative we keep coming back to.


Actually, reality is not a narrative. It’s better if I say, “The story of reality is the narrative we keep coming back to. Not as catchy, though.

What Is Reality?

Reprise of The X-Files

“Do you believe what you want? Or do you believe what is true?”

Reprise of The X- Files, “Rm9sbG93ZXJz,” Episode 11.7

first aired Feb 28, 2018 (begins at minute ?)

Streaming from

Mom said that television is a time waster. I apologize, Mom, for wasting time with TV programs.

What Is Reality?

Reprise of The X-Files

“Can we talk about the nature of reality?” Agent Fox Mulder asks. “Do you believe that thoughts have mass? That ideas such as faith and forgiveness have weight much the same way [that] this desk (knocks on desk) has weight, or any material, really? … [These are] legitimate question[s].”

Reprise of The X- Files, “Babylon,” Episode 10.5

first aired Feb 15, 2016 (begins at minute 11)

Streaming from

Mulder’s young fellow agent, a rational materialist, answers that when she stands on a scale and thinks about ice cream, she doesn’t gain weight.

Mulder then asks about whether words have weight – “the weight to move people to go kill other people.” She answers, “Words themselves are not lethal …” [Only] “people kill people.” But “words can incite people to kill people.”

Note: Let’s not confuse the physical sciences with the social sciences and with metaphysics. Words, thoughts, faith, and forgiveness are weighty in the sense that they have importance. Notice how we borrow a word, weighty, from the physical world to describe something that comes from our minds and hearts. Similarly, “to move people.”