I Can't Believe It's Not Blogging

The Message is Medium Rare

It doesn't MEAN anything

Sep 27 2001

"It [a story, a myth] doesn't MEAN anything, in the sense of abstracting a meaning from it. [One] may regard it fundamentally as 'about' the Fall and Mortality and the Machine, but that may not be how I read it. Indeed it seems to me (with due respect) a great mistake to try and attach any kind of abstract meaning to a story like his. Story -- or at least a great Story of the mythical type -- gives us an experience of something not as an abstraction but as a concrete reality. We don't 'understand the meaning' when we read a myth, we actually encounter the thing iteself. Once we try to grasp it with the discursive reason, it fades.

Let me give you an example. Here I am trying to explain the fading, the vanishing of tasted reality when the reasoning part of the mind is applied to it. Probably I'm making heavy weather of it.... Let me remind you instead of Orpheus and Eurydice, how he was supposed to lead her by the hand but, when he turned round to look at her, she disappeared. Now what was merely a principle should become imaginable to you....

... you weren't looking for an abstract 'meaning' in it at all. You weren't knowing, but tasting. But what you were tasting turns out to be a universal principle. Of course, the moment we state the principle, we are admittedly back in the world of abtractions. It's only while receiving the myth as a story that you experience a principle concretely...."

--The Inklings, pg 143/277 or so

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