You've put your finger on exactly why writing gives me so much pleasure!

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I enjoyed your reflection. Also published this yesterday the Conversation on the topic of shared attention/experience/mind and institutional trust, may be of interest: https://theconversation.com/collective-mind-bridges-societal-divides-psychology-research-explores-how-watching-the-same-thing-can-bring-people-together-218688

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My first free association was about the difference between sex and masturbation. Wouldn’t get far as a species if we didn’t prefer one over the other. Perhaps showing is like that too.

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Your last part about isolation speaks to something very important about why we share. But I would take this further - often, sharing is about reaffirming for *yourself* something you found compelling, by virtue of having others able to share in it. This can be a counter to loneliness, but it needn't be. It could be a way of affirming values and personal taste, or an emotional experience. Your enthusiasm about something becomes more real and valid when others share in it (and if others reject it, this not only feels lonely but can undermine its personal meaning). So in that sense sharing or showing is a means for self-expression, even self-knowledge.

This is different than Adam Smith's empathy, and also social signaling. It's not that you're seeing the experience through their eyes or projecting an image for others; you are asserting and reminding yourself of what you care about, what is real to you.

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I can’t find the exact quote, but Joan Didion wrote in The Year of Magical Thinking about how one of the worst things about losing her husband is she couldn’t share things with him any more - articles, cartoons, ideas.

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This is firing off many ideas in my head. *SAVE*

One is the annoyance that occurs when someone is explaining something ONLY for the purpose of gaining status, rather than the shared connection of understanding. A sorry of intellectual prostitution.

Any thoughts about how this relates to therapy, where a key idea is understanding without (necessarily) agreement?

Lots to consider, thank you.

PS: Now considering that my fav teachers/lecturers (very few) main tool was an infectious enthusiasm for the material.

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Before we were married, my wife and I took a trip to the Grand Canyon during Christmas and it was beautiful. When our two sons were teens we took them to the Grand Canyon at Christmas in order to share the experience. However, the Grand Canyon was completely fogged in for a whole week and we couldn't see anything. My wife and I were so disappointed and I was downright depressed. But I looked around and saw people from Japan, Europe, and elsewhere who were also disappointed. Yes, sharing experiences with one another is so important. Fine piece!!

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I'm taking a class in Ancient Greece and Rome and my tutor took us to the British Museum last Saturday to show us pots and statues. For my part, I've never enjoyed looking at pots and statues in museums. I always skip that bit. Boring. But this experience was just so filled with delight!

I noticed that our tutor took enormous pleasure from:

1). Knowing that she knew something that we did not.

2) Enlightening us.

3) Knowing that we now knew the thing that she knew,

She showed us!

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