The living world is a realm of dynamic processes. A flower is not a thing, but an event, like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis. But with the word, we take a living event and freeze it forever into a useful but stable category. As Goethe wrote, “How difficult it is, though, to refrain from replacing the thing with its sign, to keep the object alive before us instead of killing it with a word.”
- David Fideler, in “Restoring the Soul of the World”
When you see a tulip opening in the warmth and light of the sun, you know in your heart this is not a thing, but an event.
Iain McGilchrist says, in “The Master and His Emissary”, that we use our left hemisphere to label and categorise. In so doing, we take the actions, the verbs of the real world and re-present them to ourselves as nouns, or as objects. If we stop there, we mis-understand the world. But if we re-present them to our other hemisphere then we can see the links, the connections, the what he calls “the between-ness” of the re-contextualised representations.
How much more wonderful the world seems to me when I see dynamic processes and connections all around me, rather than a collection of separate and separated “objects”.