David Abram

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David Abram

Other animals, in a constant and mostly unmediated relation with their sensory surroundings, think with the whole of their bodies.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Each thing organizes the space around it, rebuffing or sidling up against other things; each thing calls, gestures, beckons to other beings or battles them for our attention; things expose themselves to the sun or retreat among the shadows, shouting with their loud colors or whispering with their seeds; rocks snag lichen spores from the air and shelter spiders under their flanks; clouds converse with the fathomless blue and metamorphose into one another; they spill rain upon the land, which gathers in rivulets and carvMore David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
A particular place in the land is never, for an oral culture, just a passive or inert setting for the human events that occur there. It is an active participant in those occurrences. Indeed, by virtue of its underlying and enveloping presence, the place may even be felt to be the source, the primary power that expresses itself through the various events that unfold there.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Only by affirming the animateness of perceived things do we allow our words to emerge directly from the depths of our ongoing reciprocity with the world.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Entranced by the denotative power of words to define, to order, to represent the things around us, weve overlooked the songful dimension of language so obvious to our oral [storytelling] ancestors. Weve lost our ear for the music of language -- for the rhythmic, melodic layer of speech by which earthly things overhear us.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Only as the written text began to speak would the voices of the forest, and of the river, begin to fade. And only then would language loosen its ancient association with the invisible breath, the spirit sever itself from the wind, the psyche dissociate itself from the environing air.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The telling of stories, like singing and praying, would seem to be an almost ceremonial act, an ancient and necessary mode of speech that tends the earthly rootedness of human language. For narrated events always happen somewhere. And for an oral culture, that location is never merely incidental to those occurrences. The events belong, as it were, to the place, and to tell the story of those events is to let the place itself speak through the telling.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
For the Amahuaca, the Koyukon, the Apache, and the diverse Aboriginal peoples of Australia - as for numerous other indigenous peoples - the coherence of human language is inseparable from the coherence of the surrounding ecology, from the expressive vitality of the more-than-human terrain. It is the animate earth that speaks; human speech is but a part of that vaster discourse.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
In the absence of any written analogue to speech, the sensible, natural environment remains the primary visual counterpart of spoken utterance, the palpable site, or matrix wherein meaning occurs and proliferates. In the absence of writing, we find ourselves situated in the field of discourse as we are embedded in the natural landscape; indeed, the two matrices are not separable. We can no more stabilize the language and render its meanings determinate than we can freeze all motion and metamorphosis within the land.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
No event for the Koyukon - or for most other indigenous peoples - is ever entirely meaningless or accidental, but neither is any event entirely predetermined or fated. Rather like the trickster, Raven, who first gave it its current form, the sensuous world is a spontaneous, playful and dangerous mystery in which we participate, an articulate and improvisational field of powers ever responsive to human actions and spoken words.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Does the human intellect, or "reason," really spring us free from our inherence in the depths of this wild proliferation of forms? Or on the contrary, is the human intellect rooted in, and secretly borne by, our forgotten contact with the multiple nonhuman shapes that surround us on every hand?More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
We like to assume that language is a purely human property, our exclusive possession, and that everything else is basically mute.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
What is magic? In the deepest sense, magic is an experience. It's the experience of finding oneself alive within a world that is itself alive. It is the experience of contact and communication between oneself and something that is profoundly different from oneself: a swallow, a frog, a spider weaving its web...More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
We sleep, allowing gravity to hold us, allowing Earth - our larger body - to recalibrate our neurons, composting the keen encounters of our waking hours , stirring them back, as dreams, into the sleeping substance of our muscles.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Humans are tuned for relationship. The eyes, the skin, the tongue, ears, and nostrils-all are gates where our body receives the nourishment of otherness.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
What we say has such a profound influence upon what we see, and hear, and taste of the world!More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
The world we experience with our unaided senses is fluid and animate, shifting and transforming in response to our own shifts of position and of mood.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Each place its own mind, its own psyche! Oak, Madrone, Douglas fir, red-tailed hawk, serpentine in the sandstone, a certain scale to the topography, drenching rains in the winters, fog off-shore in the summers, salmon surging up the streams - all these together make up a particular state of mind, a place-specific intelligence shared by all the humans that dwell therein, but also by the coyotes yapping in those valleys, by the bobcats and the ferns and the spiders, by all beings who live and make their way in that zone.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
...along with the other animals, the stones, the trees, and the clouds, we ourselves are characters within a huge story that is visibly unfolding all around us, participants within the vast imagination, or Dreaming, of the world.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
To describe the animate life of particular things is simply the most precise and parsimonious way to articulate the things as we spontaneously experience them, prior to all our conceptualizations and definitions.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
If, on the other hand, we wish to describe a particular phenomenon without repressing our direct experience, then we cannot avoid speaking of the phenomenon as an active, animate entity with which we find ourselves engaged. To the sensing body, no thing presents itself as utterly passive or inert. Only by affirming the animateness of perceived things do we allow our words to emerge directly from the depths of our ongoing reciprocity with the world.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
It was a though we’d been living for a year in a dense grove of old trees, a cluster of firs, each with its own rhythm and character, from whom our bodies had drawn not just shelter but perhaps even a kind of guidance as we grew into a family.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Such reciprocity is the very structure of perception. We experience the sensuous world only by rendering ourselves vulnerable to that world. Sensory perception is this ongoing interweavement: the terrain enters into us only to the extent that we allow ourselves to be taken up within that terrain.More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
Breathing involves a continual oscillation between exhaling and inhaling, offering ourselves to the world at one moment and drawing the world into ourselves at the next...More David Abram [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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