Why do they get into problems? Why do they feel the need to keep a record of their own past behavior? Why do they have a ‘history’ of bad behavior?
It is very useful to put mentalists in the context of ‘normal’ people, because this gives us our context for discussing their inner thoughts about their past (of which the most frequent is about their behavior): why do they want to repeat themselves over and over again? Why do they want to have a permanent record? Why do they want people to keep track of their previous behavior? They seem to be doing just what we do, which is to get in trouble (and then try to change our behavior to the point that we won’t be in trouble anymore!)
However, the most important reason for discussing the inner thoughts of mentalists is to examine the context which they exist in, before examining their behavior. Let’s examine two cases of mentalists: the first where they tell a story while talking and the second where they tell a story while talking to us. In each of these cases, if you notice that you start seeing things in the story that don’t make sense in the present, you know that mentalists are telling you something. We also need to realize that it is very often possible to tell many different versions of the same story, without the same interpretation.
When the first story is narrated
Mentalists often are narrating stories about other people, as part of a general argument about what I think is morally right or what others ought to do.
In the story of the man who kept a hatchet in the house, I think you’d say he was telling a story. If he didn’t know that the hatchet was part of who he was, he should have said the hatchet was part of his problem. He wanted to do something bad, and he got help from others. He told others that he had done the bad thing, even though they were told differently. But even if you’re the kind of person who says, “In the old days, when everyone lived in towns, stories like this were common.”
Mentalists are narrating stories, and you’re not sure whether it is good or bad to use tales as arguments, based on what you know about the way those stories were told.
The second story that I have heard the narrator repeat a lot is the story of the drunk and the boy, which I found quite amusing. The narrator said a lot of things
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