There was this book in my elementary school library called "Tawny's Trick," by Ina B Forbus. I kept that book signed out the entire school year, read it over and over, and was very upset when the book wasn't there in the library the next school year.
I would read that book, then write about how I thought it would feel if I were the little girl in the story, paralyzed by polio, endlessly looking up at the ceiling from an iron lung, with a horse outside the bedroom window. No matter how hard I tried, none of the words I came up with truly empathized with that little girl. But, it deepened my love for horses even more. Not only is there an unparalleled sense of freedom with a horse, there is a pull, a draw, a heartstring that goes beyond the physical sensations. I couldn't articulate that when I was young, but I felt it.
Later on, Stephen King's "The Stand" grabbed my imagination. The what if is huge in that book. I still read that book about once a year. It's not difficult at all to experience the experience, so to speak, and the reconstruction of society is as plausible as it can get. The possibilities are endless. That book launched me into thousands of explorations of interpersonal and social interactions. So did the magic of "The Green Mile."
I feel what I read. I get my mind out of the way and feel. Even the cold, dry, hard descriptions in college textbooks touched my heart in one way or another. I had to feel to understand.
Life on the outside of my internal world takes its toll. In order to interpret circumstances and interactions, I write. Putting it in words slows it all down, all those emotions and overwhelming thoughts, and once it's down on paper, I can put it aside just like any other book I've read. Putting it all into words tames the beast and it's all good. I've kept all my journals, but I've never reread them. To read all those words, all those feelings would free the beast again.
Yes, writing, the act and process of writing, results in integration. It's learned, it's cataloged, and it becomes part of the sieve everything thereafter is sifted through to integrate. It's owned, it's real and it's individual.
It is individual.
A classroom of students in a history class will all come away with very different interpretations of the importance, the causes and effects, and the impact of any given lesson. If a preacher says the word "God," every person listening will envision something totally different. It is all individual, and all abstract.
Reading and writing is the bridge, the creator of similarities and empathy. Like everything, it is subjective. It is unique. Realizing this, egoism, discrimination, bigotry and devaluation disappear. Without the sharing, we would be alone.
We are all individual and we are all one. Everything fits.