graphic: MetaSelf Logo

The mind is
inherently embodied.

— Lakoff & Johnson



These quotations are stimulating
in connection with the MetaSelf model:

Language, in its literal capacity, is a stiff and conventional medium, unadapted to the expression of genuinely new ideas, which usually have to break in upon the mind through some great and bewildering metaphor.

— Susanne Langer
Philosophy in a New Key

The human body is the best picture of the soul.

— Ludwig Wittgentstein
Philosophical Investigations

The body is the book of the soul.

— Michelangelo
[ Quoted in a film about him,
but can anybody please tell me
exactly where he made this remark? ]

Faced with such a differentiated and problematic intellectual situation, thoughtful individuals engage the task of evolving a flexible set of premises and perspectives that would not reduce or suppress the complexity and multiplicity of human realities, yet could also serve to mediate, integrate, and clarify. The dialectical challenge felt by many is to evolve a cultural vision possessed of a certain intrinsic profundity or universality that, while not imposing any a priori limits on the possible range of legitimate interpretations, would yet somehow bring an authentic and fruitful coherence out of the present fragmentation, and also provide a sustaining fertile ground for the generation of unanticipated new perspectives and possibilities in the future. Given the nature of the present situation, however, such an intellectual task appears surpassingly formidable--not unlike having to string the great Odyssean bow of opposites, and then send an arrow through a seemingly impossible multiplicity of targets.

— Richard Tarnas
The Passion of the Western Mind

What we need are media that provide the means to negotiate the extremes that are tearing us apart.

— Mark C. Taylor and Esa Saarinen

Is my opening statement, 'All meaning is an angle,' too abstract? Not if one accepts my allegation that meaning is in general a kind of relationship. In terms of people, for example, let us take two men competing in a tennis match. They are opponents. They face each other. Their positions, both literally and metaphorically, are represented by an angle of 180 degrees, or a diameter. We refer to diameter when we say that two opinions are diametrically opposed.

A tennis match is judged by a referee who sits at one end of the net at right angles to both opponents, surveying their interaction, but as an impartial witness, leaning neither way. The geometric or angular reference is not really so much difficult as it is disarming; it is so natural that we overlook it.

— Arthur M. Young
The Geometry of Meaning

We live by moving beyond our images and can recognize the effort of deliberately moving out into a 'blank' or 'void'. This could be a kind of prayer, or part of an artist's discipline. But we live normally and naturally by metaphors and pictures, some of which are in fairly clear and acceptable ways translatable into less figurative modes, while others seem 'deep' and resist analysis.

Space and light are essential images in the description of morality. What is needful is inner space, in which other things can lodge and move and be considered; we withdraw ourselves and let other things be. Any artist or thinker will appreciate this picture of inner space; not Wittgenstein's 'logical space', but a private and personal space-time. We might think here of spatio-temporal rhythm; a good person might be recognised by his rhythm. An obsessed egoist, almost everyone sometimes, destroys the space and air round about him and is uncomfortable to be with. We have a sense of the 'space' of others. An unselfish person enlarges the space and the world, we are calmed and composed by his presence. Sages in deep meditation are said sometimes to become invisible because of the absence of that cloud of anxious selfish obsession which surrounds most of us.

— Iris Murdoch
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

The One who alone is wise does not want and does want to be called by the name of Zeus.

— Heraclitus

Une difficulté est une lumière. Une difficulté insurmontable est un soleil.

— Paul Valery

Every religion is true in one way or another. It is true when understood metaphorically. But when it gets stuck to its own metaphors, interpreting them as facts, then you are in trouble.

— Joseph Campbell
quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle

God created all things in such a way that they are not outside himself, as ignorant people falsely imagine. Rather, all creatures flow outward, but nonetheless remain within God.

— Meister Eckhart

The day of my spiritual awakening was the day I saw — and knew I saw — all things in God and God in all things.

— Mechtild of Magdeburg

What sort of a God would it be, who only pushed from without?

— Goethe

The Comprehensive is either the Being in itself that surrounds us or the Being that we are. The Being that surrounds us is called world and transcendence. The Being that we are is called Dasein, 'Being there,' consciousness in general, spirit, existence.

— Karl Jaspers