about journeys

In the preface to his Philosophical Investigations Wittgenstein writes: "For this [set of investigations] compels us to travel over a wide field of thought criss-cross in every direction.— The philosophical remarks in this book are, as it were, a number of sketches of landscapes which were made in the course of these long and involved journeyings. The same or almost the same points were always being approached afresh from different directions, and new sketches made."

The idea of a journey is a fundamental metaphor for us.
It engages much of our animal existence in the physical world, the temporal and the spatial.
It is also a metaphor for our lives.

It is a metaphor that comes to minds too easily, as metaphors do—unbidden and unexamined.
But there are journeys and there are journeys
and there at times, no journeys.

The author | philosopher can be said to take you on a journey, where the author is like a tour guide, talking | explaining as we, the tourists, look at a number of pre-arranged things.

Much is wonderful and appealing about the journey metaphor:

Note that the journey metaphor also takes seeing as a basic form of knowledge.

The journey metaphor is comforting. But it is equally important to see that of course this book is also NOT a journey:

Still, a book is more of a journey than not a journey, though it is not a journey.

It should be surprising how tenacious such metaphors can be. Perhaps their deep familiarity, the harmonizing of basic activities and processes, soothes us as we do whatever we do.

All this shows us some important things about the nature of language.

As your guide on this journey, I may worry too much about exactly what and when I will show you. As in an actual journey, this is not supremely important. I expect to lose my bearing every now and then since every time I begin our journey I get lost.

Can we even|ever experience these aspects of life in an unmetaphorical manner? Only if we do not describe.

And, like an actual journey,
after we finish talking about going somewhere,
we are going somewhere.

Can it be said that we are

Yes. All these and more. And this shows the metaphorical nature of our assertions. They are not simply true or false, but more and less apt.

Since I still don't know exactly what we are dealing with here, and since it may lie beyond human understandings, perhaps I should use a slightly different metaphor: "Come with me and I will usher you into the maze."

Perhaps most of all the truth is maze because it is a self-recursive task: I seek the very things I need to seek the very things I need to find.