I would come to understand there is no poem separable from its source. I began to see that poems are not just an individual florescence. They are also a vast root system growing down into ideas and understandings. Almost unbidden, they tap into the history and evolution of art and language.
Society in its full sense ... is never an entity separable from the individuals who compose it. No individual can arrive even at the threshold of his potentialities without a culture in which he participates. Conversely, no civilization has in it any element which in the last analysis is not the contribution of an individual.
But nothing is yet clear on the subject of the intellect and the contemplative faculty. However, it seems to be another kind of soul, and this alone admits of being separated, as that which is eternal from that which is perishable, while it is clear from these remarks that the other parts of the soul are not separable, as some assert them to be, though it is obvious that they are conceptually distinct.
I have often thought that there has rarely passed a life of which a judicious and faithful narrative would not be useful; for not only every man has, in the mighty mass of the world, great numbers in the same condition with himself, to whom his mistakes and miscarriages, escapes and expedients, would be of immediate and apparent use; but there is such a uniformity in the state of man, considered apart from adventitious and separable decorations and disguises, that there is scarce any possibility of good or ill but is common to human kind.
The relation of the soul to the body is like that of a house to its bricks. The soul is a principle of organisation, which governs the flesh and endows it with meaning. It is no more separable from the flesh than is the house from its bricks, even if the soul may survive the gradual replacement of every bodily part.
How odd that Americans, and not just their presidents, have come to think of their Constitution as something separable from the government it's supposed to constitute. In theory, it should be as binding on rulers as the laws of physics are on engineers who design bridges; in practice, its axioms have become mere options. Of course engineers don't have to take oaths to respect the law of gravity; reality gives them no choice. Politics, as we see, makes all human laws optional for politicians.
Monotheistic religions in the West have tended to conflate having a general orientation in life, having a specific theory of the world, having a sense of the positive meaningfulness of one's existence, and having a fixed set of rules for behavior, but these elements are in principle separable. ... The "metaphysical need," ... both Marx and Nietzsche held, is a historical phenomenon that arises under determinate circumstances, and could be expected to disappear under other circumstances that we could relatively easily envisage.
In the absence of any written analogue to speech, the sensible, natural environment remains the primary visual counterpart of spoken utterance, the palpable site, or matrix wherein meaning occurs and proliferates. In the absence of writing, we find ourselves situated in the field of discourse as we are embedded in the natural landscape; indeed, the two matrices are not separable. We can no more stabilize the language and render its meanings determinate than we can freeze all motion and metamorphosis within the land.
The double consequence of artifice-to project sentience out onto the made world and in turn to make sentience itself into a complex living artifact-is thus fractured, neatly fractured, into two separable consequences, one of which (projection) belongs to one group of people, and the other of which (reciprocation) belongs to another group of people, and this shattering of the original integrity of projection-reciprocation into a double location has its most sustained registration in the texture of analysis that alternates between an almost sensuous rendering of the inner desire and movements of capital (the large Artifact) on the one hand and an almost arithmetic recording of amplified human embodinedness on the other. Though the interior value of capital is projected there through the collective labor of the workers, it now (by becoming internally self-referential, and when once more externally referential, referring to a much smaller group of people whom it now disembodies and exempts from the process of production) standas apart from and against its own inventors.
Elaine Scarry The Body in Pain