Friday, August 7, 2009

The Uses of Words, part 1

How common is it that words, qua words, are used to forward the necessary D flow?  I am not sure, but the use of words -- simply as linguistic objects -- to accomplish what our ordinary mentation would call destructive purposes is an interesting phenomenon.  What I have in mind is behind Lenin's quote that (this is a rough quote) listening to music was bad because it made him want to smile when what he needed to do was bash someone's head in.  Okay, what I mean by words qua words is that in this example I assume Lenin was following the ideas of some communistic philosopher, and it was the ideas themselves that led Lenin to think it okay to hurt someone else because he was following a revolutionary goal. I call this using words qua words because Lenin, our sample thinker, is not trying to verify the words against reality, he is simply allowing the words of a theory to guide his actions.  Like the words were planks in a stream and the thinker is walking from plank to plank, that is, following the ideas, rather than listening to the reality of his own inner and outer surroundings. Now no doubt our sample thinker here would argue that these are not just any words he was following, but the correct formula based on a study of history, and thus his actions were justified. Yeah, yeah.  (I cannot resist pointing out that the Russian communists killed far more people than the czarist police ever did, however that is not the point of our using this incident.) To me the interesting point is that he was allowing the words to determine his actions. His heart told Lenin to do one thing, but Lenin measured his feelings against an idea, and he followed the idea. Note I am treating Lenin's comment as having some honesty to it, and I am treating Lenin as merely an example. The point is not that he was following bad ideas, no the point is he was following ideas, that is, words, at all.

 I am not going to point out here that a follower of the maps of Jan Cox, could respond that any words will miss the mark.  Rather let me vary Jan's map by saying that a philosopher of talent would be constantly testing that web of words, constantly tugging on it (mentally is the picture here), because the present is the only arena there is, the only source of reality, and words are just a minor part of this reality. Words are always subject to testing, revision, because they are only fresh and useful, ever, for a very short time. Useful, that is to accomplish that which we can using the energies of C flow.