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[Xmca-l] Re: Connecting and stability

Hi Mike (and others),

In response to #1:
As I have developed in my understanding, learning about Vygotsky, as a student, and thinking about being, as a human, meaning for me is constructed from the words, but in a particular way. Not as a structure, like a building is built one brick at a time, but in a different way. Just like space pervades the house, the house appears to create the space, because of the walls the house possesses. So... words appear to create meaning, but really don't, it's an appearance. The house sits in space no matter what the house is like. To explain this analogy a little better: meaning is there latent, like space, and activated by the words as they are spoken and received, but always from a point of view to someone, how can I not speak from a point of view, even if I speak to myself?

So meaning emerges out of the words and out of what the words imply, that is, what they point to ("space" between the words and I don't mean space as in the spacebar! or between the lines, so you need not try to do that either!) Together, along with an environment, speakers and listeners, and other contexts, words ignite a particular neurological/body construct that creates human meaning as-if on the fly, being unpacked by cues given by history, culture, language, etc. with an appearance that the meaning is in my head or felt in my body (or both).

Otherwise, how might it be possible to transmit feeling through words, as done through a poem? Even if that poem is about unicorns?

In repose to #2 (original poem pasted in below):
I note that Rilke creates the unicorn by describing the parts of the horse. The space is and in its is-ness the unicorn appears as if from nothing, or as if from overlapping parts of the horse plus a horn. It is both overlap and gap. Immanent and transcendent.

I love the picture of people feeding its (the unicorn) existence with being. Then, the reflection as-if bringing the image of the unicorn together in the mirror, an image, a reflection of purity, as a purely imagined being in the mind of the maiden. Purity, as in, not soiled by the world (ungrounded).

But! what isn't in the poem? The history of the unicorn is interesting too!

Apparently the unicorn was thought to originate from the Indus Valley. And not as mythology by the Greeks, but as natural history! The Greeks believed in unicorns!!! Ha!

The beast was considered an intemperate beast that could only be tamed by a virgin maiden. Leonardo wrote:
"The unicorn, through its intemperance and not knowing how to control itself, for the love it bears to fair maidens forgets its ferocity and wildness; and laying aside all fear it will go up to a seated damsel and go to sleep in her lap, and thus the hunters take it."

And here's a quite interesting factoid: the six tapestries in France called "Dame á la licorne" at Museé Cluny are said to represent the five senses.

Is it possible that the unicorn is the very symbol of the imagination itself? being untamable except only through gentleness, being made of parts but occupying a space of being and existing in the mind, not of the world?


Kind regards,



The Unicorn by Ranier Maira Rilke

This is the creature there never has been.
They never knew it, and yet, none the less,
they loved the way it moved, its suppleness,
its neck, its very gaze, mild and serene.

Not there, because they loved it, it behaved
as though it were. They always left some space.
And in that clear unpeopled space they saved
it lightly reared its head with scarce a trace

of not being there. They fed it, not with corn,
but only with the possibility
of being. And that was able to confer

such strength, its brow put for a horn. One horn.
Whitely it stole up to a maid, -- to *be*
within the silver mirror and in her.