The manifold and the implicate

To trace a culture or its products is, in fact, to refold their unfolding, to trace folds, to smooth back to their blank sheets, and then to re-mark them.

I think one of the fundamental mistakes of the human race has been to say that when you have finished with a thought, it’s gone. But it hasn’t gone — it has “folded back” into the rest of consciousness. You don’t know that it’s there any more, but it is still there; it may unfold again, or unfold in another form. So there’s a constant process of unfolding from the background of consciousness into the foreground, and then back again. There could also be feelings that unfold as thoughts. And then the thoughts go back and give rise to more feelings, and movements of the body, and so on. It’s a constant process. Perhaps we could say that it never “began” and will never end, because it goes back into nature, all the way back, as far as you can go. The human race, and all living species, have “unfolded” from the environment.

David Bohm, “Participatory Thought And The Unlimited,” On Dialogue