Aphorisms Require Interpretation

The irony is that the aphorism – this shortest of forms to read – actually takes the longest time to understand. – Andrew Hui

Andrew Hui defines the aphorism as “a short saying that requires interpretation.”

What I find interesting is that the longer I work with aphorisms the more I think he is right.

I think the reason this is true is that an aphorism is free-floating. It is not tied to a context and we seldom know the author’s intent. Some are even anonymous.

It is the multi-perspectival nature of aphorisms that make them so useful. It is something to think with, rather than merely something to think on.

It allows you to think with a verbal prism in your mind. It throws off colors that you would normally not be able to see. It permits you to think outside your paradigms. If used correctly, that is. And there is the rub.

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Jay N. Forrest

We are old too soon, and wise too late! I am a philosopher, a pursuer of wisdom. I have spent my life seeking to know the truth and discover wisdom for living. I don't claim to be a wise man, just an old man. But I do think I have something to say that might help those interested in living a good life without the supernatural.