can it be visualized? can it be shared?
We have exhausted and overused
language. So far from meaning are our spoken languages of the world
that words would long to be simply symbols again. Consensus is scarce and
understanding little. How much communication actually occurs through
written or spoken language? Body language is hardly a consistent or agreed upon language at all but more
an obvious, though subtle use of space and vibration. At the core we may say we
"know" or perhaps, agree, that I am over here, in me and you are somewhere else in you and we
need a basis for understanding the world around us, each other and
ourselves. Thus, we have to find a way to send messages, to send
meaning and information back and forth. Information about information,
inside and outside. Unfortunately we both have a thousand vales and
screens, earplugs and translators that make up our body and all data
received is screened, interpreted and filed before what the
consciousness we consider to be ourselves is allowed to encounter it.
This happens in less than a second. Our screens are finely tuned
machines, built to manage, condense and delete. They generate and reinforce our values and concept of the world. This is how our communal reality is created and maintained. Now is always a clip
show, carefully edited before being perceived.
If we are to move forward, into the future actively and responsibly then we must embrace the idea of moving beyond language as we currently understand it. Words, like fire, are inherently dangerous because of their lack of any inherent truth, universal meaning or value. However, when used wisely they can transport us to other places, abolish fear and confusion, allow for the release of expression and generate countless other empowering, healthy experiences. Likewise, when used inversely the consequences can be as extreme as the complete death of entire civilizations. Like fire, words can rapidly spread ideas but will do so without consideration for the ethical implications or consequences. Language does not care about who is using it, so long as it is being used. When imbued with meaning and desire language can transcend physical boundaries and even help to explain the unexplainable. Some even claim to have the ability to speak special words and create magic, Terrence McKenna claimed that during his encounter with the Machine Elves of Reality he was shown how to summon objects into being with language and that reality is in someway comprised of language.
Great wonders can and
have been unlocked and expressed thanks to intelligent use of language
but we humans often get stuck when we find something new and pretty.
This is a sympathy we see many of the worlds religions playing to every
day. Rupert Sheldrake once spoke of language as a beautiful kaleidoscope in an antique store. He explained that while everyone
picks it up, looks in and thinks "oh how beautiful" most people then
immediately put the kaleidoscope back down, not giving much thought to
it. Why? Because it's boring, while it is stunningly beautiful, it has
no meaning at all. We are quickly reaching a point where we are finding
more and more meaning in the world around us yet our languages have
almost entirely lost meaning. We have everything to talk about, all the
tools to talk about them but we've forgotten how to use them and don't
know where the instruction book is. Like a blind and deaf man, gagged,
dehydrated and starving in a field of fruit by a freshwater lake. This
is why the idea of a visual, multimedia language now seems so appealing
and is catching on so fast.
As computers, phones, television and other personal communication and information technologies continue to combine, condense and become more prevalent in our society they begin to transfer more meaningful information in a matter of seconds than an entire book could. Much more can be expressed or shared with a friend on the other side of the country through sharing a link to a website as calling them and talking about your days. Similarly why tell your friend about a commercial or article you saw when you can just send it directly to them, or even video record an event happening and send it to someone somewhere else. So much information and meaning, yet so little of what we would call language. There is of course, once again that same danger. The wrong intent or too much complacency can flip even this newly forming multimedia language on its head. Look at Facebook, MTV, "sexting" and all those other cultural monsters that have become encode and internalized within the new technologies themselves. It is never the language but rather the users of the language that can pervert what would be communication into total, confused disaray.
direction we choose, we must each of us try to communicate more.
Directly. The passivity of head nods, lay hand shakes and mumbled
greetings only helps to kill the usefulness of language. As does gossip
and celebrity worship. If the true power of words is that they make
reality and each of our own experiences of life can be affected by
language and words, then we must be more conscious of the words
we use. The Buddha called it "right speech" and many others have called
it many other things. Speaking positive, living, healthy speech and
conversation will draw those things to you while negative, hateful or
fearful speech will only breed more of those dark things.
Moving into our future we must begin to wonder what is going on? Inside and out. Can our internal experiences of life be visualized and then communicated? How? Is life mysterious in principle or is it a describable, relateable thing? If we are so immersed in this, what could be spiritual, world how can we find a way to begin discussing this? Clearly our old methods of language via words are insufficient for the job, but what then? How can we get beyond simple verbal representation to something more universaly meaningful? These are the troublesome questions we must begin to ask and discuss together as a species if we are to continue sharing this world. Tensions and bitterness in the world have grown to extreme levels. Understanding is needed but until we understand ourselves and what is going on around us we cannot understand others and their communities.
Now is the time to begin
language a new. We have a chance to each find new modes of
communication and meaning now, today, every moment. All that is
required is a more active and aware state of being. True, deep
listening, feeling and responding in space. When the impulse comes,
take a breath, open your mouth and see what comes out. Let it be
dangerous - don't plan it and don't judge it...just communicate. Take
what is on the inside and show it outside through speech, dress and most
importantly, action. We must each be our own language, tatooed on the
surface of the earth, running and blending with each other. Beautiful
scribbles on a beautiful pad. Infinite unseen connections. Connecting
the dots. Etch, sketch, shake shake, erase.
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