… Each of us tells stories, and each of us is a story. Not just each of us humans, but each of us creatures … We all tell stories to ourselves and to each other — within the tribe, within the species, and way beyond its bounds. Roses do this when they flower, finches when they sing, and humans when they speak, walk, sing, dance, swim, play a flute, build a fire, or pull a trigger.
[Stories] are probably our best maps and models of the world — and we may yet come to learn that the reason for this is that stories are some of the basic constituents of the world.
… (1) To be and to think are the same; (2) To be and to have meaning are the same. The implication of the Greek verb νοεῖν [noeîn] is that thought and meaning form a unit which ought not to be dissolved.
The English words noesis, knowledge, and narration all stem from the same root. Thought and meaning are connected not just to each other but to storytelling too … To be and to tell a story are the same. Or: To be is to be a story. Or: I am, therefore I think — and not the other and more arrogant way around.
(Robert Bringhurst, ‘The Tree of Meaning and the Work of Ecological Linguistics’, in The Tree of Meaning: Language, Mind and Ecology, Counterpoint: Berkeley, 2006/2008, pp. 167–168, 172, and 173)
(Take that, Descartes!)