Monthly Archives: December 2018

building metaphors

we are forever
building metaphors
bridging gaps
between meaning
and form

our intentions
our perfect,
static, timeless

from the mind
extended, like
now this –
my simile

and unplanned
the metaphor is
the foundation of
our abstractions


The world never stops. It is in a continual process of change.

Hume believed necessary connections existed only in logic. For something to “be”, in a static and eternal manner, is something which occurs in language and the mind, and not in the real world. This tendency to “freeze” (or take snapshots of) things and ideas is an error in concluding that a statement of fact is an unproblematic representation of reality. Not only is a fact a step removed from reality but also a statement of fact remains the same (static) while the reality it describes quietly moves on.

Mind, self, soul

Consider these three definitions from the LDOCE:

mind – your thoughts or your ability to think, feel, and imagine things mental.

self – the type of person you are, your character, your typical behaviour etc.

soul – the part of a person that is not physical, and that contains their character, thoughts, and feelings. Many people believe that a person’s soul continues to exist after they have died.

Often the mind, self and soul are synonymous, but as the definitions show they are not used in the same way. There are no true or perfect synonyms. 

While the definition of the mind does not mention character, the definition of self does not mention thoughts. The former is about ability; the latter about quality.

In the definition of the soul both ability and quality are brought together. It also contains or emphasises two further qualities – that of non-physical and (sometimes the belief in) its continuation beyond physical death

I doubt anyone thinks that thoughts and feeling continues to exist in the mind after his or her death, or that one can be described as being a type of person with a certain character or behaviour after his or her death. It is with the soul only that we continue to think of someone’s continued existence beyond their physical one.

But what is this ‘part of the person that is not physical’ that no one has seen and everyone infers to exist? By what evidence does one have to make this inference? I can infer thought from physical reaction, and character from physical attributes. But one cannot infer the existence of a soul from death, apart from the cessation of thought, feeling and characteristics. What can only be inferred is that death is the cessation of these. Souls, then, are the thoughts and remembrances of the characteristics of those who are living, or have since passed

the definition of a soul

cultures posit this.
give it an existence
despite any evidence,
apart from its name.

this thing
is essentially
(                )

& those left behind
gaze at the soul
as though it is there
on the other shore

when in reality
even the shoreline
is a necessary part
of the illusion.