Achilles (excited): What is reality?
Tortoise: A symbolic and imaginary construction. *yawns*
Achilles: What does that mean?
Tortoise: It is something we invent and reinvent in the circulation of our practices, routines and institutions in order to describe and explain the order, patterns and problems of our way of life.
Achilles: But there are things out there, things I don't invent, things that already exist before I come into place and will exist after I am gone. How so? Doesn't quite fit your definition, does it?
Tortoise: Well, dude, I didn't mean that there is no independent world which is not mediated by our consciousness. It's just that I - well, WE are unable to explain, dream or simply describe it otherwise.
Achilles: But how do we know it exists, if we are unable to describe it anyways?
Tortoise: Because it gets us every once in a while.
Achilles: I don't understand.
Tortoise: Come on, dude, never experienced something uncertain? A gap? Something really shocking? Something that shatters your worldview? Those are the moments in our lives when reality bites us.
Achilles: But why don't we keep it real from then on?
Tortoise: Because the recognition of those moments fosters a process of interpreting them, of giving them a symbolic or imaginary meaning. You know, we have to protect our reality against the real.
Achilles: Why now nonsense?
Tortoise: If we don't give recognized moments a symbolic or imaginary meaning, they are nothing more than nonsense. Non. Sense.
Achilles (sitting down next to the Tortoise, pondering): Hm ... .
Tortoise (laying her head onto the sand, closing her eyes): Poor boy, never stops to ask those nasty questions ... .