Splits Contraries


From Walter Ong’s Orality and Literacy, I’ve assembled a long list of contraries, terms that indicate opposition and interaction, terms that force division into experience in order to gain some clarity about it.


ORALITY                 LITERACY


speech                         writing

sound                          sight

motion                         rest

action                           reflection

event                            image

alive                             dead (immortal)

name as power             name as label

recall                            look up

synthetic                      analytic

repetition                     novelty

participation                 distance

togetherness                separation

riddle                           logic

unify                            divide

harmony                      clarity

wholism                      schizophrenia

cliche                           "make it new"

conservative                liberal

presence                      absence

space                           time

circle                            line

feminine                      male

Catholic                       Protestant

Jung                            Freud

communism                 democracy

spirit                            matter

kin                               contract

guru                             professor

concrete                       abstract

sacred                          profane

myth                            science

body                            mind

public                          private




from Jerusalem
Hand as the Reasoning Spectre and Jerusalem as Liberty

Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Plate 3, (E 34)
"Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and
Repulsion, Reason and Energy, Love and Hate, are necessary to
Human existence.
From these contraries spring what the religious call Good &
Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason[.] Evil is the active
springing from Energy.
Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell."