Stepping in

You could say that experiencing is living the difference between the inner world and the outer. Language, as a social institution, is adapted to reference to the world which we have in common because it is external to each of us. To speak of what is common to all experiencing, even the primal, we use metaphors which refer to that external world.

Heraclitus, for example, says that you cannot step twice into the same river. Think of any river you can find on a map of the world, and it’s clear that if you can step into it once, then you can step into it twice. But that’s because the river is a continuous flow, and so are you. ‘Stepping in’ is a general term that covers any number of instances; on the other foot, an actual ‘stepping into’ the river is a singular event and a unique experience. You can’t have that same experience twice, because the waters are always changing, and so are you. The next time you commit the act, you and the river have both moved on, and the difference between you is not the same as it was.

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