Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The threads of the mind

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Analogies, metaphors, and emblems are the threads by which the mind holds on to the world even when, absentmindedly, it has lost direct contact with it, and they guarantee the unity of human experience. Moreover, in the thinking process itself they serve as models to give us our bearings lest we stagger blindly among experiences that our bodily senses with their relative certainty of knowledge cannot guide us through. The simple fact that our mind is able to find such analogies, that the world of appearances reminds us of things non-apparent, may be seen as a kind of “proof” that mind and body, thinking and sense experience, the invisible and the visible, belong together, are “made” for each other, as it were…There is, finally, the fact of the irreversibility of the relationship expressed in metaphor; it indicates in its own manner the absolute primacy of the world of appearances and thus provides additional evidence of the extraordinary quality of thinking, of its being always out of order.

Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind

Written by nevalalee

December 8, 2018 at 6:36 am

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