A picture held us captive …

Today’s thought-provoking quotation comes to me from a talk at Church over the weekend. Wittgenstein:

A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

The speaker was applying this to our conceptions of freedom. Talking about how we (we being Western society) tend to see freedom in terms of everyone having their own personal space. Not infringing on each other. Being free to do whatever each of us wants to do so long as it doesn’t affect others’ freedom to do what they want to do. But is this really freedom (and in particular, the sort of freedom that Jesus talks about)? A picture holds us captive.

(He went on to talk about music and harmony as an alternative model of freedom – each musical line can be unique and yet there is still interaction and interplay between the lines)

I’m not sure what the original context of the quotation is. Anyone able to enlighten me?

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