Cont. “Language as a Barrier”

Yesterday’s post was about language and miscommunication. I explained how language is imperfect and a substitute for more tangible experiences. For example, when I say ‘street‘, a picture appears in your head. You imagine what you remember as a ‘street‘, which limits our communication. Your version of a street is different than my image of a street.

Then we moved onto less tangible words and moved onto emotions, like ‘good‘ and ‘happy‘. Again, these words are placeholders for a memory of an experience. Therefore, inevitably, your ‘good‘, is different than mine. We tried to define what ‘good‘ means but we couldn’t arrive at a conclusion without using other empty words.

We then moved onto internal dialog and discussed thought patterns. To have a conversation, we must have at least two people. We are always talking to ourselves and labeling the world. The conversation we’re having is between two ‘people’; the experiencer and the examiner. At your core, you are the experiencer, you experience life. But another part of you is the examiner, where you label the world as ‘blue‘ or ‘beautiful‘.

Today I wanted to further this discussion and say that it’s important to turn down the voice of the examiner. We use words as placeholders for memories of experiences. We remember what ‘hot‘ feels like or rough‘ food tastes like. Rather than experiencing, we live through our memories.

When we focus on wordlessness, we begin to feel more. There’s no reason to internally label a food as ‘spicy‘ because we know it. The words are useless because we’re directly at the experience. It’s like jumping into a pool of water and thinking ‘wet‘; it’s a useless thought that reduces an indescribable feeling into something that it isn’t. You can’t fully explain what it feels like to be immersed in water, nor can you explain ‘heartbreak’. It’s just a feeling you have to experience.

The reason I felt obligated to write about the same topic is because I wanted to simplify what I wrote last night. It became many words longer than I originally intended it to be. I wish that I could write this in a simpler way but language is limited. The table is… there are no words to fully describe the experience of stubbing your toe. You can try but you can’t fully communicate it. Language only passes a certain amount of information, not all of it. So instead of trying to label the world, just feel the world. When you need to explain something to another person, you can, but know that it’s limited. Perhaps you already understand this, it is simple but complex. Nonetheless, strive for wordlessness.

281/365

 

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