Self and reality. Symbol and language. Myth and image. Memory and consciousness.
Dream and unreality: locus communis.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Way to Rainy Mountain

The following passage stands out as I read further into N. Scott Momaday's book:

A word has power in and of itself. It comes from nothing into sound and meaning; it gives origin to all things. By means of words can a man deal with the word on equal terms. And the word is sacred. A man's name is his own; he can keep it or give it away as he feels. Until recent times, the Kiowas would not speak the name of a dead man. To do so would have been disrespectful and dishonest. The dead take their names with them out of the world (33).

Axioms of thought which result:
An object exists.
A word binds definition to an object.
A poem bends words into metaphor.
A prayer sends poems to the Divine.
All languages wind prayers out of phonetics.

A name holds the living to this world; until the Divine aspect releases it.

Pages of a book display wings when the text is burnt; the paper flutters, beating rapidly in the flames. Burning a book translates its form to the divine.

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