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Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself

Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer's work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader's recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book's truth.

To study the way we read is to study the way the mind works

To study the way we read is to study the way the mind works: the way it evaluates a statement for truth, the way it behaves in relation to another mind (i.e., the writer’s) across space and time. What we’re going to be doing here, essentially, is watching ourselves read (trying to reconstruct how we felt as we were, just now, reading). Why would we want to do this? Well, the part of the mind that reads a story is also the part that reads the world; it can deceive us, but it can also be trained to accuracy; it can fall into disuse and make us more susceptible to lazy, violent, materialistic forces, but it can also be urged back to life, transforming us into more active, curious, alert readers of reality.

out of control

I don’t know about other people, but my relationship with life is as though I’m in an abusive relationship. I feel like I am always walking on eggshells, I am almost fearful…

the isolating experience of my migraines

Migraines are a strange illness. People who have not had it before think it is “just a headache”. If you can move around and accomplish more than half of your usual activities,…

we assume words to be accurate representations of reality

As habitual users of language, we assume words to be accurate representations of reality. Complete understanding, however, no longer succumbs to the convenience of oppositional thought but is open to the immediacy and potential of what is happening from moment to moment. Training ourselves to pay intimate and embodied attention to the very pulse of life within and around us exposes the limitations of language.

in which a concept is structured that limits and imprisons us

The sage (muni) is concerned not only with what impacts his physical senses but with words and concepts that impact his mind. He is on guard against seductive ideas, compelling “images” of the world that seem to explain everything, and beliefs that provide heart-warming consolation. The problem with such ideas, images, and beliefs does not lie in whether they are “true” or “false.” There is something about the very way in which a concept is structured that limits and imprisons us. “A picture held us captive,” said Wittgenstein in his Philosophical Investigations. “And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.”60 There is something arid and barren about holding on to any position, even a Buddhist or Wittgensteinian one.

to uncover a self

Last week I read about Kodo Sawaki, a zen master who apparently called himself the most deluded human being in the world, that is why he must meditate. This is why I…

hypocrisy. anger. sadness.

Just a few posts ago I was writing how in recent times I have lost the desire to write as I no longer needed it that much as a crutch and as…