Monday, October 15, 2012

Ideas And Their Names

Language is like money and electricity: nearly everybody uses it, but hardly anyone really knows what it is, or how it works. When I read what people write, or listen to them talk, it's often obvious to me that very few understand the difference between words and ideas. If people did understand the difference, they would take the time to define many of the words they use. They would regard it as necessary.

Here's a useful analogy: If ideas were people, words would be their names. Imagine you're having a conversation with Pat about another person called Mike. Trouble is, each of you is talking about a different Mike. At first, neither of you notices, because the two Mikes have a lot in common; they both work in factories and are married to women named Debby. Then, Pat starts saying things about Mike that you know aren't true, and vice versa. Eventually, you both realise that you're discussing two different Mikes. Now your conversation turns into an argument over which Mike is the real Mike.

That last bit wouldn't happen, of course, unless both of you were completely irrational. You wouldn't struggle to understand that more than one person could be called Mike. Instead, you'd agree to use surnames, or something, to distinguish between them. Or else you'd agree to discuss the same Mike. It wouldn't happen if you were talking about a person, but it happens all the time with words like: freedom, democracy, faith, morality, god, love, enlightenment, I, ego, real, anarchy, etc. Clearly, a lack of common definition makes true communication impossible. I mean to say one thing, and you hear something else. In my experience, it's the reason for most arguments.

If English were a perfect language, this wouldn't be a problem. A perfect language would have a unique and specific word for each idea. Mathematics is a perfect language in that respect. The range of ideas it can represent is restricted, but there is zero ambiguity in the meaning of its terms and symbols. Sadly, English isn't like that. Many English words do too much work.

In Orwell's "1984," party members use a modified language called "newspeak." The aim of newspeak is an overall reduction in the number of words in use. Those words targeted for elimination are any that are unnecessary for communicating the party's ideology. I'm not alone in noticing a shrinking of vocabulary in general use. Orwell got that right. However, there is a parallel pruning of meanings that Orwell didn't predict in his book. Take the word "spirituality" for example. The idea that I associate with that word is: awareness of the Universal centre, and the direct knowledge that arises from that awareness. In common usage though, spirituality has come to mean: religion. Those are two completely different ideas. The second idea already had a name: religion. Now it has two, but the first idea has no name. An idea with no name cannot be discussed. Not only that; as Orwell explained, we normally think in words as well, so ideas with no names are difficult to entertain, even in our own minds.

Because of my interest in philosophy, I feel this mutilation of language rather keenly. It has become a source of constant frustration to me. It is the reason my unfinished and abandoned blog posts outnumber my published ones. I've often been struck entirely dumb by it. I'd prefer to remain silent rather than be misunderstood. I feel like, allowing myself to be misunderstood amounts to involuntary lying. That's because I'm trying to tell the truth, though. If I wanted to lie, if I were a politician, or other propagandising pundit, I'd be delighted. Cui bono? The ambiguity of English is probably being deliberately employed as a vector of ponerisation.

I don't see a way to alter this course. The accepted definition of words is a matter of consensus, and all mass-communication channels are in the hands of professional liars. I do have faith, though. (I define faith as: trust in the intelligence of Universe.) In the long run, the machinations of TPTB will fail, since they run counter to Universe's clear intention to realise Itself. Evolution (meaning: the tendency of Universe to develop forms of increasing complexity and range of awareness), is triggered by crisis. Transcend or die. Evolution happens when it must. It may be, that our present linguistic mode needs to become critically malfunctional, before a more evolved mode can emerge. Something that incorporates telepathy perhaps?

There is no reason to rule out such an occurrence. For one thing, telepathic ability already exists in a minority of humans. They may be analogous to the first few people to get telephones. For another thing, telepathic ability would be enormously adaptive at this time in history. Imagine how many problems could be solved if there was no need to guess about anyone's true intentions. If a sufficient number of humans were to acquire telepathic abilities, the people currently in power would lose their positions. I can't resist also mentioning a connection with the end of the Mayan long-count calendar on Dec. 21 of this year. End-of-the-world doomsayers always forget to mention the beginning date of the count: Aug. 11, 3114 BC. Whatever happened then, is what now completes itself. We know that date did not mark the creation of the world. However, one thing that did begin, right around that time, was writing.

Possibly, it's already started. Maybe the psychopathic liars who rule the world know it has. What if their EMF and chemical neurotoxin assault on us is an attempt to prevent it? It would make sense.

Perhaps there are ways we could prepare ourselves for a change like that. I would advise paying more attention to the meaning of the words we use. Words are only symbols of meaning. Word/symbols can pass, even through our own minds, with little, or poorly formed, meaning attached to them. There's a simple way to find out if you're doing this. Try to define your words. If you can't define the word, you don't know what it means. Telepathy depends on clear meaning. It's a good practice in any case. It improves mental clarity and makes it harder for manipulators to confuse you.


  1. I share your frustration over the ongoing degradation of language. There are so many examples. When I say or think "love", I mean spiritual (not religious!) love, i.e. the selfless love that radiates from the heart, the basis of compassion and benevolence. The love that is, for example, associated with Christ. But look in a dictionary, and typically this meaning is absent! Instead it is now defined as "attachment", or "affection", both of which are selfish desires. So we have been robbed (in English) - in the same way as you describe for "spirituality" - of an effective label for the basic force that underpins the universe! And so most people have a concept of love that has nothing to do with real love.

    This problem is so endemic, that, like you, I am increasingly struck dumb. What is the point of talking to people or writing for people when we our interpretation of the labels is completely at odds?

    I have reacted to this by putting a lexicon on my own site, defining key terms as I consistently use them. I don't imagine that anyone reading my posts first consults this lexicon, but at least it makes me feel that I have regained the use of words that common mis-usage has otherwise denied to me.

    I totally agree that telepathy is the language of the future. For me it is increasingly the language of the present. It is the only way, for example, to effectively communicate with animals, and I have found it very effective. A clearly focused image in the mind is automatically picked up by a dog or a cat or a horse, etc. My girlfriend directs her horse on this basis when riding, using no bit or reins - they even share jokes!

    Telepathy is the language of the soul: by soul I mean the "being" part of us that is eternal - beyond time - that which animates the "human" body of flesh and bone. We all have the capacity for telepathy, it is just that most of us have blanked it out, through conditioning.

    Telepathy will do away with the need for the internet, and I imagine this will be very useful in the times that are coming as our current old-paradigm infrastructure falls apart...

    And yes, communication by telepathy is much clearer and more capable than communication by words.

    Great post Amanda, thanks!

  2. Hi Ian.
    It's strange that something as important to us as love, should have so few words assigned to it. When I tried to define love for myself, what I came up with was, "the will to unite," since that seems to cover all its uses. But the objects of love, and the ways we attempt to effect union, are so various, they deserve different names. I know Greek has the word, agape, which is specifically spiritual love. I don't think English has an equivalent, but it should.
    The lexicon's a good idea. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
    I think it's wonderful that you and your girlfriend are talking to animals. That would be another great way to practice telepathy skills. I've got some ability in receiving, but virtually no practice in sending. I never thought of going to our Spot for help. Thanks for that!
    Your sister in Love,
    P.S. Chris says, "Hi."

  3. hi Amanda Another great thought provoking post! I feel like I am misunderstood by others quite often simply because of the reasons youi statedThat being said tho I am going to keep on speaking "my" truth to anyone who wants to listen and I can only hope if they do misunderstand something that they will let me know what it is so I again "try" to communicate in a language they will understand.Sure hope you dont let this stop you from sharing your thoughts with us. you and Chris both have a big influence on my thoughts and Id sure hate to see either of you go!Take care and enjoy every moment!

  4. Hi Ron.
    I suppose it comes down the level of integration a person is at. I'm thinking of Ken Wilber's holon theory as it applies to psychological development. Many of the concepts available at the more inclusive levels are incomprehensible to someone at an earlier stage. So, that would be reflected in the meanings assigned to words. A person at a family or tribal level of integration doesn't have an inclusive enough world-view to accomodate Ian's idea of love. It's the cross-level communication that gives me the willies. A way of specifying level meanings would really help.
    It's just occured to me, that several writers, myself included, have already, intuitively, developed a partial solution. Namely: capitalising some words to indicate a higher sense of meaning. (as in: self=ego, Self=spiritual centre).
    Thanks for your kind encouragement, Ron. I'm not going anywhere. Too stubborn; it's the ODD. I'm just venting.

  5. Great post Amanda.
    There is certainly something to the idea of telepathy and, like you, I do wonder if there may be a process at work to weed it out of our genetic make-up. We really need something to that effect. Either that or surgical removal of everyone vocal chords...and hands to prevent writing!!!
    Joking aside, something has to give. Otherwise we will be condemned to continually, verbally articulate ourselves in more elaborate and ultimately pointless ways... like I'm doing now!
    All the best.
    Carl (The 'Guide)

  6. Hi Carl.
    Thanks. Under more normal circumstances, I'd reckon that that the appearance of a new mode of language was too far fetched. But when, as you say, "something's got to give," then novel solutions are to be looked for. I've sensed also, that TPTB's obssession with DNA is about more than what's obvious. Their intense focus on the UK population makes me think it's something to do with the RH negatives.
    Happy Halloween.