We have limited control over language and this results in many perennial forms of confusion and compulsion



Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.”
Martin Heidegger

Commentary: So many people frequently fall into the trap of being convinced that they are in control of language and that they use it however they wish. The fact is – there is more to language than we usually attribute, it is more mysterious than we are used to expect and we are running into many troubles from this lack of knowledge because to the degree that we do not understand and control language, it does, in a sense, control us and hide from us a certain part of the mystery of human mind. The often omitted truth is that we are learning to harness and to comprehend the language through the whole lifetime. It is a process, not a transient event. Chinese people, for instance, know about it very well as most of them never manage to memorize all of the writing symbols they inherit. This accounts only for symbol recognition, but how to ‘make inward feelings and outward words one’ is another matter. On a small scale, it results in an inability to ”speak our mind”, to formulate and debate opinions and to capture the subtleties of life so that parts of society are somewhat overwhelmed by abstract richness of the culture and exhausted by it , but on a big scale it results in more colossal chaos: numerous logical fallacies, media manipulation, philosophical paradoxes, isolation of common folk from inteligentsia, disproportionate interest in ‘higher culture’, endless struggles with communication and ‘shooting messengers instead of dealing with their messages’. We are overconfident in our language skills yet we do not even know how it originated and this makes for a really big gap in our understanding as the language is one of the primary attributes that make us human and not ‘not human’. In spite of all these troubles, I am personally amazed about how much is going on in our brains when we are speaking. It is unbelievable. It is as if we are traversing the whole world with our senses, recreating it in our thoughts and memories and reporting about all this in a couple of seconds. Since we are able to survey the whole world with our senses and we are able to reach both ends of the world with our thoughts, this makes us truly magificent, universal and cosmic beings. Directing our thoughs allows us to navigate the universe, in our own specific way! Thus we can think of language as a natural method of taking our consciousness on a trip anywhere around the world. Let this be a happy ending to, otherwise, a little pessimistic considerations.

RE 3


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