Another fine philosophical piece. Too bad one can't rep blog posts.
[QUOTE=SuuT;bt96]Damn. That's better than my blog post, Aemma. :D
Ahh go on!............no I mean it, do go on! :p (I'm just being a brat dontcha know. ;))
Damn. That's better than my blog post, Aemma.
Apologies SuuT, I hadn't seen your comment until this evening. :)
Hmm to answer my own question, I would have to say at first blush, it depends on your point of view. But my gut tells me a veritable no.
The protagonist of your story appears to be having a conversation with his Shadow Aspect and is being challenged pretty much point blank as to whether or not he's been living his life or rather, as he's been more pointedly asked in a manner of speaking, has been 'doing life'. We find out that the protagonist hasn't been living despite the audience's assumed understanding that the protagonist had been 'doing life' up until Elizabeth's death, an assumed significant other in the protagonist's life. But this is the clincher in the end I believe, the audience's natural assumption that Elizabeth is actually significant; she is not, so indicates the Shadow Aspect by the very fact that he admits to not even knowing who Elizabeth is.
That Elizabeth is present or not (or ever was) becomes immaterial in terms of looking at the protagonist's awareness of Self: [I]a true lucid moment of enlightenment[/I] occurred for the protagonist (how lucky he is!), quite separate from the external realities of his life--indeed a great "a-ha!" moment that many (if not most) of us will not ever experience.
Inasmuch as one could even go so far as to characterise this Shadow Aspect as 'The Old Man'--Odin--himself, the environment is just right, isn't it? The sharing of a couple of drinks and the subsequent freeing of the mind and spirit allows the protagonist to have this very edifying conversation which leads to his special moment of insight.
Therefore the catalyst is not the death of Elizabeth but the catalyst is that which has freed the protagonist's mind, the Spirit released through the imbibing of spirits as it were. ;)
Sounds like it was a damn good bottle of mead! ;)
And why the notion of the Shadow Aspect you might ask? The first sentence of your story is telling, I believe. The Shadow Aspect is the first character to speak and asks 'what is 'Real'?' One could possibly imagine a bit of the conversation leading up to the opening sentence: The protagonist has been having a conversation already with the Shadow Aspect and he finally tells him to shut up and tells it that it is not real, leading the Shadow Aspect to then answer...well, you know the rest of the story. :D It seems quite clear that the protagonist is having a conversation with a part of his Self, in this case, the slightly antagonistic, in-your-face Shadow Aspect.
Well there's a bit of a Jungian take on things anyway. Whether or not I'm in any kind of ballpark as to anything of true substance remains to be seen of course.
And your answer is?
Question is though is Elizabeth a necessary catalyst in order for self-awarenessness to develop in this chap or not? ;)