Differences Between States

February 11, 2010

posted by caroline picard

written by Maya Deren

another excerpt from

Divine Horsemen

We look at the corpse and we know that it is dead because we remember what it is to be alive. A critical change has occurred. Yet all that is visible is merely the evidence of this event. The root of the difference is invisible. The stillness of the corpse is, in itself, no different from the stillness of a sleeper. We know that it is not sleep because we know that it is forever; but this foreverness, this time, is itself invisible. The stillness, even of the heart is evidence of death but it is not itself death, just as movement–the mobility as of an object moved–is not always evidence of life and is certainly not life itself. So we are foreced to conceive of life as an inner power, a force which may be manifest in the movement of the matter which contains it. The moment of death, then, is a separation forever, of this life force from the flesh, the matter. And this invisible force s, in turn, more than the energy of matter as manifest in movement; it is also an energy of mind, the capacity for memory and meaning, for discrimination and invention. Whether called intelligence, consciousness, spirit of soul, it is the invisible action within man which motivates and molds his visible acts and expressions.

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