Complete     -      Incomplete
State            -       Process

A stable culture allows us to 'relax' and forgo reinterpretation. An unstable culture puts us on 'alert' and necessitates reinterpretation. There are no entirely 'stable' cultures, but as cultures become more complex the potential for instability grows. In small-scale cultures, reinterpretation (novelty) often comes in the form of dreams and visions.

[...] according to Nietzsche, to reinterpret events is to rearrange effects and therefore generate new things. Our “text” is being composed as we read it, and our readings are new parts of it that will give rise to further ones in the future.

Even the reinterpretation of existing formulas adds to the world, especially since Nietzsche often thinks of interpretation as “the introduction of meaning - not ‘explanation’ (in most cases a new interpretation over an old interpretation that has become incomprehensible, that is now itself only a sign).”

To introduce new interpretations, therefore, it is necessary to reinterpret old ones. Our text, even though it will someday come to an end, is still and forever incomplete. 

[…] in Nietzsche’s own view, reinterpretation is the most powerful theoretical and practical instrument. It is the literal analogue of “the hammer” with which he proposes to do philosophy in the Preface to The Twilight of the Idols: part tuning fork to sound out hollow idols, part instrument of their destruction, and part sculptor’s mallet to fashion new states out of the forms as well as the materials of the old.

Alexander Nehamas]
Nietzsche: Life as Literature, p. 91

We are very much the creation of the stories we tell ourselves.

... just turn around any of the major psychological stories you tell about your own life.
Read them backwards. You picked your wife because she was very different from (or very much like) your mother. This is an old saw in psychology. But suppose your soul gained practice with your mother for the life later lived with your wife.

Or suppose a person conceives of her childhood illness (that kept her bedridden and out of touch during crucial socializing years) to have been early practice at the work she does now, like writing in solitude or inventing electronic devices or becoming a therapist. She had to be isolated for those years in order to follow her seed.

This way of seeing removes the burden from those early years as having been a mistake and yourself a victim of handicaps or cruelties; instead, it's all the acorn in the mirror, the soul endlessly repeating in different guises the fundamental pattern of your karma.

[James Hillman]
with Michael Ventura
We've Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy - And the World's Getting Worse, p.27, 68, 69

These coincidences amaze her. Never does she feel so thoroughly suffused with beauty as when the nostalgia for her past love blends with the surprises of her new love.

The intrusion of the previous boyfriend into the story she is currently living is to her mind not some secret infidelity; it adds further to her fondness for the man walking beside her now.

[Milan Kundera]
Ignorance, p.80

People are always shouting they want to create a better future. It's not true. The future is an apathetic void, of no interest to anyone. The past is full of life, eager to irritate us, provoke and insult us, tempt us to destroy or repaint it.

The only reason people want to be masters of the future is to change the past.

[Milan Kundera]
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

All messages and parts of messages are like phrases or segments of equations which a mathematician puts in brackets. Outside the brackets there may always be a qualifier or multiplier which will alter the whole tenor of the phrase. Moreover, these qualifiers can always be added, even years later.

In the realm of communication, the events of the past constitute a chain of old horseshoes so that the meaning of that chain can be changed and is continually being changed.

What exists today are only messages about the past which we call memories, and these messages can always be framed and modulated from moment to moment.

[Gregory Bateson]
Steps to an Ecology of Mind ('The Group Dynamics of Schizophrenia'), p.232-3

Personal memories are more like mental reconstructions where the original details are contorted, at least to some degree, by who we are today.

Recalling a memory, in fact, appears to be a collaborative effort of different parts of our brains. It also seems to be strengthened and modified each time it’s retrieved.

Scientists have a term for this – reconsolidation. And they’ve found that a memory is not only a reflection of the original event, but also a product of each time you call it up.

So memories, it turns out, aren’t fixed; they’re dynamic, reshaped by our current emotions and beliefs.

And that’s not a bad thing. As Fernyhough posits, the purpose of memory is about adapting and looking into the future as much as into the past.

What at first was appearance becomes in the end, almost invariably, the essence and is effective as such. How foolish it would be to suppose that one only needs to point out this origin and this misty shroud of delusion in order to destroy the world that counts for real, so-called "reality.” 

We can destroy only as creators. - But let us not forget this either: it is enough to create new names and estimations and probabilities in order to create in the long run new "things."

[Friedrich Nietzsche]
The Gay Science, 58

Within a stable frame of reference, as Eco (1990) insists, the process of interpretation is limited. 

So, too, with people. Within a stable framework, as we saw, contextual dependencies established through persistent interactions with that environment limit our need to constantly interpret the world. 

But this efficiently slack attitude can be successful only while the contextual frame of reference is not undergoing radical transformation. When the context alters so radically that the earlier interdependencies no longer apply, organisms must be on constant "alert" or risk extinction.

[Alicia Juarrero]
Dynamics in Action, p. 255

As Latour concluded:

The fate of what we say and make is in later users' hands. . . . By themselves, a statement, a piece of machinery, a process are lost. By looking only at them and at their internal properties, you cannot decide if they are true or false, efficient or wasteful, costly or cheap, strong or frail. These characteristics are only gained through incorporation into other statements, processes and pieces of machinery.

Or in my terms, they only acquire significance by being taken up into the continually reconstructed narrative within which scientific action makes itself intelligible.

How one's work gets reinterpreted in the course of further research is largely out of one's own hands, of course, despite all efforts to write scientific papers in ways which preempt criticism and constrain possible interpretations. Scientific work proceeds from the researchers' practical grasp of their situation within an ongoing narrative, but that narrative is being developed simultaneously by others as well, frequently in ways which do not fully mesh with one another.

[Joseph Rouse]
‘The Narrative Reconstruction of Science’