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Individuality, creativity, and trust

Trust is an individual experience and a personal feeling. In a sense, trust only exists as a subjective experience. Objectively, the behaviors that manifest from trust are more akin to chemical reactions, where one's feelings of certainty in regard to one event trigger another event. The source of all trust is individual perception, and if one cannot trust their own senses, they can trust nothing. Fundamentally, the observation of natural events allows the mind to create an ordering.

Such an ordering is often a direct reflection of the mechanical nature of the world. A feather falls when it is dropped. A pool of water evaporates in the sun. These certainties leave an impression on the human mind, and also set an expectation for human constructions. Subconsciously, individuals expect society to operate in a manner similar to nature. Just as a feather falls when it is dropped, they expect good deeds to be rewarded and bad deeds to be punished. One only has to observe a feather falling after it is dropped to understand the mechanical phenomenon and to trust that the feather will eventually end up on the ground. Can the same be said about society?

Individuality is opposed to generalization, just as agency is opposed to control. And yet individuals have an expectation of society that is as generalized as the movements of nature. And it is this abstract expectation of society that is at odds with individuality, because people often expect others to act in a mechanical manner towards their personal idea of right and wrong. In a way, people expect others to act just like the falling feather when a wrong must be righted in society. But people are not mechanical constructs, and they have their own individuality. So how can a society be trusted to act in any particular manner?

The act of creation allows one to bypass the limitations of individual perception, especially in regard to trust. Just as one can be sure that a feather will fall when it is dropped, once can be sure that a gear moves another gear in a mechanical construction. One does not have to witness the gear moving another gear to understand that it will. The application of personal understanding via creation enables the imagination to trust itself, and while the roots of imagination are grounded in reality, the canopies probe into worlds that are yet to be.

A society that makes itself also probes the possibilities of what it can be, for it wields an understanding of the past to create a vehicle for the future. And by doing so, it creates a source of trust. If its interpretation of the past is correct, then it can trust the vehicle to be held together. And this is not merely an academic exercise. In a world where individuals are vulnerable to the manipulations of nation states, one cannot expect society to do the right thing, unless society itself is a creation itself. Just as every organization has a vetting process to filter out antagonistic agents, every society has a creative process by which the human mind is the final product. And just as organizations can trust their vetting process, societies too can trust their psycho-developmental process of rearing new minds.

No society is entirely monolithic, and no society is able to create itself in a vacuum. And just as the source of all trust is individual perception, the source of all creative processes is the individual. And just as individuals are a part of a whole, smaller societies are a part of larger societies. And like an onion with many layers, smaller societies will come and go just as experiences of perception come and go. And only the societies that have woven a cloth onto reality that is in harmony with the cloth woven onto the mind will stand the test of time.

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