Philip August Boeckh, writing around 1866, formulated the principle that the value of theory lies ‘in its capacity to bring unconscious activity to the level of consciousness’ (Mueller-Vollmer 1985, 133). Continue reading On meaning consciously
A bit of 20th-century scripture:
Man does not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
These words have been widely quoted since the 1970s, and encapsulate much of the ecological awareness developing since then. They are usually attributed to ‘Chief Seattle,’ and thus taken to speak for authentic Native American culture. The real story (like the web of life) is a little more complex.
Continue reading The web of life
We read the word wondering
what we mean by it.
We read the world wondering
what it means by us.
Continue reading Reading the world
The English word theory derives from a Greek root meaning either contemplation or being a spectator or onlooker, as in the theater. In purely theoretical science, one takes on the role of spectator rather than actor, so that he is not “trying to prove” his own idea. Continue reading Theory
The revealer of a sacred text typically feels himself to be the medium rather than the author of it. Likewise an artist may feel that her best work has been done through rather than by her own efforts. Continue reading Creativity or authority?
The number of coherent interpretations of a text may be infinite, but not all interpretations are coherent.
Texts frequently say more than their authors intended to say, but less than what many incontinent readers would like them to say. Continue reading Limits of Interpretation
It has been said of Boehme that his books are like a picnic to which the author brings the words and the reader the meaning. The remark may have been intended as a sneer at Boehme, but it is an exact description of all works of literary art without exception.— Northrop Frye (1947, 427-8)
A turning symbol turns your attention to the whole time you are now living.
‘The answer is always there, but people need the question to bring it out’ (Cleary 1995, 164). We are always at the turning point; but more important, we are at a turning point now. Continue reading Revolutions
From Zen master Keizan’s Transmission of Light, 11: Continue reading Turning pages
Turning signs present what they reveal. When you relegate revelation to the past, or salvation to the future, you are killing time.