What is the difference between reality, fantasy, dreams, nightmares and pure hallucinatory visions not otherwise categorized? At times, we engage in the madness of asking such questions, all the while forgetting that the very reason why we are capable of making such a query is precisely because we already know the distinctions that divide the differences.
In philosophy, there is often the pure pablum and sophistry of asking questions that, at first sight, might be taken seriously. For example, to the question: How do we know that the reality we are presently experiencing is not merely a dream of a butterfly? Or: Upon exiting a room, how can we be certain that the objects left behind still exist despite our inability to observe them (similar to the query, Do mountains exist on the far side of the moon? Or, if a tree falls in a forest and no one is nearby, does it make a sound?).
What we forget when we ask such questions is the precondition to the query in the first place: namely, the fact that we can talk about fantasy presupposes an acknowledgment of a reality that is distinct from fantasy, and it is precisely our “forgetting” such a presupposition that allows for the question to even make any sense in the first place. It is similar to playing a video game, or watching a movie that skirts outside of the boundaries of believability; the mechanism to suspend disbelief is the pathway towards allowing for unserious questions to gain some credulity.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal job, it is often this capacity and ability on the part of ordinary human beings to suspend disbelief in the reality of one’s situation that perpetuates a refusal to take the necessary next steps — of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, to be submitted to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset.
Thus can we suspend the disbelief of reality that tomorrow will be any different from today; or that the doctors will find a miracle cure; or that the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Service will actually attempt to accommodate the medical condition for the Federal or Postal employee. On the other hand, fantasies allow for the continuation of hope to fester, as the reality of working for a Federal agency or the Postal Service itself often represents a surrealism that cannot be believed.
In the end, however, the reality of one’s circumstances will “catch up” with you, and the fantasy that the Federal Agency or the Postal Service would do something to accommodate the Federal or Postal employee will ultimately turn into the nightmare that it always was, and only the replacement of a reality that is recognized will awaken you from the slumber of indifference or menacing glare.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire