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I lighted upon this quote from Faulkner's novel As I Lay Dying on WikiQuote:

He did not know that he was dead, then. Sometimes I would lie by him in the dark, hearing the land that was now of my blood and flesh, and I would think: Anse. Why Anse. Why are you Anse. I would think about his name until after a while I could see the word as a shape, a vessel, and I would watch him liquefy and flow into it like cold molasses flowing out of the darkness into the vessel, until the jar stood full and motionless: a significant shape profoundly without Me like an empty door frame; and then I would find that I had forgotten the name of the jar. I would think: The shape of my body where I used to be a virgin is in the shape of a and I couldn't think Anse, couldn't remember Anse. It was not that I could think of myself as no longer unvirgin, because I was three now. And when I would think Cash and Darl that way until their names would die and solidify into a shape and then fade away, I would say, All right. It doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what they call them.

And so when Cora Tull would tell me I was not a true mother, I would think how words go straight up in a thin, line, quick and harmless, and how terribly doing goes along the earth, clinging to it, so that after a while the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other and that sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words. Like Cora, who could never even cook.

She would tell me what I owed to my children and to Anse and to God. I gave Anse the children. I did not ask for them. I did not even ask him for what he could have given me: not-Anse. That was my duty to him, to not ask that, and that duty I fulfilled. I would be I; I would let him be the shape and echo of his word. That was more than he asked, because he could not have asked for that and been Anse, using himself so with a word.

— William Faulker (1930). As I Lay Dying.

I don't understand how the emboldened phrase is true? I'm not a romantic and won't debate love, but let's focus on sin and fear.

I don't need to sin (like adultery or a criminal offense) or be directly unnerved by my phobia (like seeing my skin age to know gerascophobia) to know what sin and fear are? And I haven't forgotten these nouns!

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I would think how words go straight up in a thin, line, quick and harmless, and how terribly doing goes along the earth, clinging to it, so that after a while the two lines are too far apart for the same person to straddle from one to the other

There is huge difference between saying something and doing something. Theory and practice. Words are quick and easy, anybody can say them, they are said and they fly away straight up. Doing is much harder, when you start doing something, it clings to the ground, so, in a way, it is not easy for the same person to talk about something and do it at the same time. In a way, it is much easier to talk about something you have never done yourself, because you don't know all the nuances of it and you don't know what you don't know about it.

" and that sin and love and fear are just sounds that people who never sinned nor loved nor feared have for what they never had and cannot have until they forget the words."

Like the above... You can talk about love at length, but if you never felt love, your words will be empty. You may have read all the books about love in the world, you don't know the truth about it until you feel it. And you will not be able to feel it, until you forget about the words and just do it.

Analogy: I can read a dozen books about drawing. I can watch a dozen tutorials. Until I actually take a pencil and start to draw, I would not truly know how to draw or learn the truth about drawing.

The whole meaning is this: it is easier to judge somebody else's choices when you didn't have to make them. Cora Tull is not considered a valid source of judgment to narrator.

"I don't need to sin (like adultery or a criminal offense) or be directly unnerved by my phobia (like seeing my skin age to know gerascophobia) to know what sin and fear are? And I haven't forgotten these nouns!"

The difference between knowing something without practical experience with it and feeling something. This is the knowledge argument about qualia and Mary the Colour Scientist:

The Knowledge Argument is a rational challenge to physicalism. The argument seeks to prove that qualia are real through a purely rational (i.e., not empirical) thought experiment. The fictitious story of Mary the Colour Scientist, who lives in a black-and-white world, is invoked to demonstrate the point. Supposedly Mary learns all physical facts about colour including how colour is processed by the cornea, optic nerve, and brain. Once Mary has all physical facts about colour, she is permitted to experience a red tomato for the first time. The question is whether Mary learns something new upon experiencing colour for the first time. If yes, then rationalists conclude that the physical description that Mary had of colour was inadequate and thus physicalism is false. Although the argument has traction among rationalists, empiricists generally do not find the argument persuasive.

Now, you might not agree with the character, but that is her opinion. Basically, to truly know something, you need to leave your previous misconceptions of it at the door.

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