The Way the Course is Written
By Robert Perry Illustrated by Oscar Senn
Most writing is more like a string of beads.one thought follows from the preceding thought and leads to the next thought. The Course, however, is written more like a web than a string of beads.
In normal writing, the current sentence—the center bead—is mainly connected with the sentences right before it and right after it. In the Course, however, the current sentence—the center of the web—connects with many other sentences. And all of those sentences are contributing meaning and clarity to the current sentence (as you can see in the diagram). Meaning and clarification flow into the idea through the other sentences (see "meaning" and "clarity" travel along the strands toward the center of the web). This means that you need to read that sentence in light of the whole web; meaning, in light of the sentences surrounding it. That web will tell you all that you need to know. And if you read the sentence in light of that web, chances are you will learn something new.
The two approaches even look different. When you encounter a puzzling passage, what do you do? Do you immediately lift your head, to ponder what it might mean? If so, you are reading by projection. You're consulting your overall fund of Course understanding. When you look up, it's impossible to learn anything new. Instead, keep your head down, looking at the sentence, and the ones right around it. They'll tell you what you need to know.
Whereas most writing is written more like a string of beads, the Course is written more like a web, in which many surrounding sentences contribute meaning and clarity to the sentence in question.