About Me

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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The purposes of language: Thoughts, Feelings, AND....

It is a warm day. Wife is off creating Quilts with a dear friend. Stunning textile tiles, BTW. So it occurs to me that my Aristotelian-Hegelian diadic dialogue is just another one of my categorical imperatives which should be gently shown the door, or I will brake another wheel in the great mud-rutting of my already swung-too-low ram-chariot and be further nowhere faster.

I am caught, of course, on the idea that Language is the handmaiden of Thought and Feeling - according each in their measure, as the candle flickers its light and sputters heat. This is surely a mistake. Another "theory" which hag-rides the Data, distorting the actual facts. It should be obvious to anyone actually trying to herd the word-cats, that The Great Communicator, Language, gives a rat's ass for either thinking or feeling. Nobody thinks about what others say or write -- most of what Plato wrote was lost out of indifference, and what remains, is it guiding our lives?

It is as obvious as gravity that our leaders are as ignorant of any wisdom tradition as it would be possible to be, and our "artists" are more concerned about expressing themselves through their agents for a bigger shot at wealth than about any contributions to beauty or esthetic "experience". No. Language is not the servant of Thinking and Feelings. Most people go blank, they play tapes, they speak what they learned as 4 year olds in a sandbox magically contracting grammar like a disease. We spend out lives in an echo-chamber, like birds "winging it", and profiling our Who-ing we Are-ing, largely for the purpose of perpetuating genes, breeding the breeding of our breeding. As lofty as any other life form. As responsible as a worm, and with as many clues about the sources of validation, the meaning of life, the arc of choice growing like a wild rose on the tangle-trellis of choosing.

Language. No. It is not necessary to quote Buddha/Socrates/Jesus/Mohammad/Smith, none of whom wrote ANYTHING. It is not necessary to invoke the experts, the Harvard faculty, the Blue-bloody Ribbon Committee, the Congressional Record. Each Word is another brick in the Wall. Words are no more vehicles of "thinking" or "expression" than they are obstacles to thought and feeling. Words are more Are than the linguists admit. The Language has much more to do with Singing, with being able to "go on" after a death, with moving into Imaginary Worlds, with the disposition of "a" on the XYZ dimensional grid, with foreplay. The Words just Are. There was the Beginning of them, and the painting of them on skull-caves, and the elaboration of them in giant Guilt-tiles we sew together in color and in designs and in patterns we can explain we do not know why.

Language has a lot to do with us. The television of it is an insult to your residual intelligence and my hopeful dreams. The radio of it falls on my head and suddenly the gravity of words motivates a thousand Newton you's to devote all of them/yourselves to algorithmic mad math-ness, to "prove" the core, to score the more and worry the less. The computering of words is the General Rule that proves the exceptionals, the purple people-eating hypothemus, the death of understanding and long-live understanding!

Eat my syllables. Got milk? Eat in rememberance of milk. The language you learned at the nipple, hoping for more.