Thursday, 20 September 2012

Words & Worlds

Words are bred from significance. Significance is bred from existence. Therefore words are bred from existence. Significance and understanding are the same. Existence and understanding are the same. Times and cultures change, our way of existing does not stay the same. Therefore neither does our understanding. Therefore neither does our language.

Yet it is a tendency of man to hold fast to the words which have arisen from understanding, held as it is in a time and place. Once a mode of approach has uncovered significance,* a lingual community crystallises into definite articulated worlds. From here a culture emerges. But significance speaks silently. Attachment to the definitions which have formed from this sways man away from the silent source of his words and into a world of simple words and ideas set up like a harbour to harness the tide of change.

* This means discovering something as something based on your perspective. You perceive the phone as for calling a taxi when you need to get somewhere. You perceive a lush foreign landscape as a resource if you’re chasing wealth at any cost. You perceive it as beautiful if you don’t ask anything from it.

1 comment:

  1. Certainly there is much truth in "Therefore words are bred from existence." But there is at least as much truth in: Our existence or at least our existence in the world is bred from language. That makes is doubly hard to loose the "harness of the tide of change." "Language does not describe the world we see. We see the world language describes."