Sunday, March 25, 2012

Language, Meaning and Values

language, meaning and values:

are we speaking the same language? of course yes, but still...

do we mean the same thing when using a word or phrase? or do our own individual personal value systems conflict or vary sometimes so as to lead to misunderstanding or worse? the language is not uniformly contained in every one of us. we all use it differently sometimes, indeed we could so define the word "individual" from this aspect.

everyone has their own values or interests, stemming from, to put it simply, first what they do want, second what they don't want, and last what they would hate having. people's values are not ever constant, they are subject to change. but primarily, as human beings, we physically need houses, food, clothes, sleep, etc. these are basic wants, but superficially, we may crave other, less important things, which differentiate personality, so that we can conclude that we are individuals. we form our own values. we speak of what we want. and we hope we can find others with the same values.

that is not to say that words can mean radically different things to different people, but even if only in a little way, context and meaning can differ, to create surprise when talking. everyone, though they may not have have written it down or thought about it at length, holds a list of personal vocabulary, not far down in the subconscious and not far from reach, a chart, if you like, of words they have thought about, ideas and concepts with values and meanings attached to each. one person might say something with happy positive associations in his or her own mind, but heard by another, invoke bad or scary thoughts. such is the abrasive nature of contact with different value systems.

but how did language develop in the first place? was it rapid or slow? such is the pace of change in the modern world that you might suspect it was always fast. and what is it in the sound of a word that triggers meaning in the minds of those who hear it and how was it that many people could agree on a meaning? does it show like mind for all those who can speak a language? is this inherent?

and what is a word, in the metaphysical sense? it exists in handwriting, in print, electronically in the internet, and in recordings. in the sum of all minds in reality, it is linked to meanings, images, actions, and perhaps even other structures of which we cannot yet identify.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Eternal Environment

the eternal environment:

posit that some things are eternal, that they exist in all time. then other things necessarily are created. what can we observe around us that might be eternal? things that seem ubiquitous, things that the world seems full of. humans, trees, houses even? for if memory is not clear, the path of history lost from the mind, time can be an agent of confusion and indeed, crazy making.

what is this a universe of? were certain things made by God, or gods or goddesses, or men or women, in acts of creation or did they always exist in some form, even if only latent? what if they were always present in the unconscious or subconscious, urging people to make manifest?

posit that time does not always seem rational, by which is meant, the record of progress shows logical anomalies. A did not lead to B and then to C, perhaps the order was B to A to C. perhaps then we could conclude that B always existed, indeed is eternal, and what seems the logical starting point A, came later. visualize if you would, a world at the start of time, complete with simple houses and trees and land already, humans walking the earth from the get go, a land covered with mist in the dim dawn of the beginning.

what of things truly created? will they last forever or are they doomed to perish, lost forever, the effort to keep them alive too much? could they only recur like the flowers of spring? indeed, is that what life on modern earth is, a short trip to somewhere so far from the beginning that naturally, it cannot last?


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Measure of a Downfall

measure of a downfall:

many the reasons for failure or loss there may be, but the one often thought of, and what might be considered yet so unnecessary and yes, even avoidable, is pride, in the worst sense of the word. pride or arrogance, resulting in overconfidence and a complete sense of assurance, and of right, lead to tragic failure. pride before the fall.

it is easy to see how this develops in everyday life, not just in some ancient greek tragedy. an easy childhood and early adult life, several successes along the way, perhaps. it would build a feeling of success, things that to most would seem too risky or even dangerous, do not flash warning. and then something bad happens.

there are those that plan rigorously, no doubt, and carefully consider the risk in every situation. those that experience such pride perhaps cannot truly evaluate risk? they have never suffered setbacks that for most would make them aware of danger. it is always appropriate to question assumptions you make before deciding on anything. what if it's not true? there are always only so many possibilities. have you considered all of them?

"if only she weren't so proud of herself! she thinks she knows everything!" this describes someone who is so afflicted by pride, with a bad meaning. you can imagine such a person, proud, unsympathetic, unempathetic, self-obsessed and convinced of her own glory, unaware of hubris. and then the error that forces the situation to tragedy. when bad things happen, they are always prefaced by a bad decision, as anyone who has made mistakes is aware of, though of course, you could argue that this is overplaying personal responsibility for everything and that some bad things may be out of our control, though hopefully not. you could think that perhaps pride, in the negative sense, and insanity are linked. they are not fully aware of what is going on, so certain are they of their own infallibility.

some passages of life may be carefree and going about on auto-pilot may be fine for that period but there are also times when things come to a head and decisions must be made carefully, using the full capacity for critical thinking that you have, so as to avoid tragedy.