Monday, June 23, 2008


Words, like eyeglasses, obscure everything they do not make clear.
Joseph Joubert (1754-1824)

This is a tough one. Getting specific about the big picture. Trying to describe that home leads to all roads. Attempting to express views from outside the invisible prison of cultural myth and civil obedience in terms still understandable to the unwitting inmate in us all. Ah, well, here goes nuthin’.

Besides our big ol’ fat dude of a modern brain weighing down and defying the direction of its trusty steed of a primitive brain being claimed as western man’s evidentiary reason to consider himself extraordinarily blessed and existentially superior amongst all of the universe’s beings, it is posited that our awesome skills in communication are the natural result of such monumental intelligence. Let’s look at that a bit.

The experimental examples of a sentence being verbally passed around a circle of bilingual people, each whispering to ears that understand the words, proves translating to be unsurprisingly inefficient communication. When they all speak the same language the effect of individual variations in personal life experience becomes the factor to blame for the more surprisingly inefficient communication among a circle of whispers. Such examples seem unnecessary when compared to a life long experience of noticing that I was participating in or listening to conversations where the paths of thinking expressed are in no way parallel, much less on the same subject, crossing only at the multiply definable, pivotal words going in different directions. The key to sustaining such non communication is the distracting impatience or deaf dogmatism of each listener to be the speaker so that the disconnect is never heard by any involved.

Such is the stuff of hilariously realistic dialogue in plays, books and movies — and life, if you happen to become sufficiently silent to hear it all about you to some degree or other.

Such is the stuff of political speeches intentionally spun to mislead the sheep with words of hope for greener pastures and to deafen them to the bleating in slaughterhouses over the hill using the duplicitous art of plausible deniability employed by any wolf in sheep herder’s clothing, by any politician in a suit. Someone once said that poets should study law if they really want to learn to manipulate words, or something to more clever effect.

Such is the stuff of the myth of human exceptionality created over time by whistlers in the dark promising protection from the unknown with the authority of their close personal friend, the author of of it all, who said to tell everyone, “The earth belongs to you so long as you dance to my whistler’s tune.” Being granted ownership, mankind lost respect for his symbiosis with the nature that had sustained him — the disconnect here was the severing of mankind’s inner dialogue with his intuitive, instinctual, genetic memory in order to keep up with increasing tempo , complexity and demands of the whistler, now accompanied by a full orchestra of corporate logos.

The difference between the politicians/priests and the poet/philosophers is that the latter uses metaphors to show and celebrate the subliminal, inherent nature of reality beneath her bountiful variations while the former uses a confusing variation of faith based promises to hide and silence the reality of their obvious, artificial exploitation of nature’s bounty.

This is all to say that misinterpretations of my last post, Bored of the Things, has prompted me to begin stating at the outset the meaning I intend prior to using specific words used in metaphors, concepts and contexts stretching Maya’s veil so abstractly thin that the reader feels free to launch off on a tangent of their own, never to find my original thoughts at all. So saying, from a dictionary I get:

Communicate: succeed in conveying one’s ideas to others intact.

Without a clear, intentional transmission and a willing, undistorted reception, communication cannot exist. In this regard, 20mpg internal combustion engines are a paragon of efficiency compared to the true communication that exists through literature, journalism, drama and pulpit speechifying. Jasper Fforde writes of a fantasy world where neanderthals are resurrected from their DNA and take part in society but rarely speak, preferring to rely on far more helplessly honest and understandable language of infinite bodily and facial expressions.

Nature — This is one of those trouble makers having two extremely contradictory meanings:
1 - the force regarded as causing and regulating the phenomena of the physical world collectively.
2 — the basic or inherent features of something, esp. when seen as characteristic of it.

When I use the word nature without an adjective I am thinking of the first definition, of the Tao, the way of all things, the theme of all variations, the essential commonality among all the second kinds of nature — the myriad different, individual, defining characteristics of all sorts, types, kinds, groups of things — any way you want to slice it. And everyone does — differently. Machines are believed to be possessed by gremlins for the same reason people would rather racially profile than consider the deeper reality beyond their superficial pigeon holes. I haven’t learned a clearer expression for my intended meaning in using the word, nature, but even if there remains a better way, some will still stray.

I suppose I could do video blogs of sticky subjects but, nah! The comments’ misunderstandings actually communicate more about the commentator than most agreements.

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