Unreal Nature

December 7, 2019

A Whole Rope

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:03 am

… but so long as life goes on, there must always be loose ends.

This is from The Life of Lines by Tim Ingold (2015):

… minds and lives are not closed-in entities that can be enumerated and added up; they are open-ended processes whose most outstanding characteristic is that they carry on. And in carrying on, they wrap around one another like the strands of a rope. A whole that is made up from individual parts is a totality in which everything is articulated or ‘joined up.’

[line break added] But the rope is always weaving, always in process and — like social life itself — never finished. Its parts are not elementary components but ever-extending lines, and its harmonies reside in the way each strand, as it issues forth, coils around the others and is coiled in its turn, in a countervalence of equal and opposite twists which hold it together and prevent it from unravelling.

… We should, however, resist the temptation to equate holism with finality or completion. The meeting of minds weaves a whole rope, but so long as life goes on, there must always be loose ends.

… in the study of social phenomena — as [Marcel] Mauss concludes … — ‘we see groups of men, and active forces, submerged in their environments and sentiments.

-Julie

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