Monday, August 7, 2017


“The truth, the human experience of magic -- our ancestral, animistic awareness of the world as alive and expressive -- was never really lost. Our senses simply shifted their animistic participation from the depths of the surrounding landscape toward the letters written on pages and, today, on screens. Only thus could the letters begin to come alive and to speak. As a Zuni elder focuses her eyes upon a cactus and abruptly hears the cactus begin to speak, so we focus our eyes upon these printed marks and immediately hear voices. We hear spoken words, witness strange scenes or visions, even experience other lives. As nonhuman animals, plants, and even 'inanimate' rivers once spoke to our oral ancestors, so the ostensibly 'inert' letters on the page now speak to us! This is a form of animism that we take for granted, but it is animism nonetheless -- as mysterious as a talking stone.”

- - -  David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous


  1. Lovely. The very best books are the ones with which you forget you're reading.

    1. Indeed. I have come to the conclusion recently that a great song is also, in its way, a miracle. Both song and story transport in ways that are difficult to understand but wonderful to experience.

    2. I want to understand it too, dammit! :-)

      (I know we've talked about this dichotomy before. For some, an explanation would kind of ruin the experience. I've always wanted to roll the dice and live with the consequences...)