Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Words We Use Maintain Our Confinement

Words are symbolic carriers of our intention or our nature. They are tools to share ourselves with others, personally, culturally, and spiritually. Quite often they communicate other or more than we specifically intend.

A person might fully understand the dictionary's (explicit) definition of a word, but most often our use of a word is conveying personal (implicit) connotations, that the listener/reader (and even the speaker/writer) might not be aware of. For example, when I speak of a “truth”, contrary to many people that I speak to, I associate no more permanence to that “verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like” than I would to a “favorite song.” That “truth” is irrefutable (for me) for this moment (therefore contextual)—and might be so for a very long time. But I would not begin to claim that it was always my “favorite song,” or will always be!

History shows that even truths of science pass in due time. Imagining that “truth” is a constant instead of a “contextual” restricts the pace of our growth.

Truth is but a resting place until the next revelation.**

A paradigm or environment creates or appropriates words and associates collectively implicit (therefore redefining the explicit) meaning to words to explain and maintain itself. In doing so, the language that we have perpetuates the dominant paradigm--thereby restricting their use for sharing something outside of or beyond itself. If the method of mapping only provides a means to represent the flatlands, the majority of travelers will be safe from discovering the mountains.

Easy examples of this are found in the language of our patriarchal society. Such would be the natural arising of male-biased pronouns/nouns for terms that might refer to either gender (e.g. manslaughter, human, mankind). In addition to maintaining the patriarchal supremacy, our language also enforces gender (e.g. marriage: “the social institution under which a man and woman….”). Language is an identifier/unifier/perpetuator of a culture/group as well as a divider—enforced for that purpose from within and/or without.

In the same sense as a culture explains and maintains itself through the use of specific words and associating implicit meanings, we as individuals also reflect the predilection and limitations that we hold within—evidence of how define as ourselves. As with our other habitual behaviors, sometimes we consciously intend to move beyond a previous self-definition, but may not realize that our language (as well as our behavior) is working to maintain the status quo.

Words do not contain truth, but may reflect the truth [or deceit] that you hold within.**

An excellent example of the impact in creating reality of the choice of specific words—and their collective application—is the recent administration in the US. Their manipulation of words to create the ailment for the “cure” they wished to sell has to be the best implementation of the intentional restructuring of language since the Third Reich.

“Bush uses language to create a black and white, good versus evil, world-view that has strong appeal because it meets people's emotional needs created by the President's language itself. Bush's language structure is similar to the communication structure of an abusive personality.

The goal of any abusive personality is domination, to make their targets do things that they otherwise would not do. Abusers typically use language to create a black and white world where catastrophe is the only perceived alternative to following their demands.”
From "It's the Language, stupid!" - The Frightening Secret to Bush's Success

My personal focus on the impact of language is the metaphysical aspect of the words we use—and how that might limit our perception of reality. Words (singularly and collectively) have not only the power of their “meanings,” but of their vibrational level, the tone of their delivery, and the rhythm of their combinations. Just as the cadence of different types of music can cause specific alterations to our moods, so it is with the cadence of writing or speech.

Knowing this, I try to keep my mind open for the message that may not be immediately apparent to me. I am aware that there are times when an intended message so exceeds the range of explicit language that one may have to abandon words altogether (for imagery or music, for example) or at least use words in symbolic ways—in what may seem nonsensical to the rational mind—ways such as myth or Zen koan. Sometimes, as with poetry or fiction, the use of rhythm and symbolism is not to deliver a specific meaning from the author, but to create an environment where the reader/listener can encounter a message from deep within themselves.

**from the upcoming Strike a Chord of Silence

Copyright 2009 CG Walters

This is my truth. Only you can determine if there is any value in it for you.

Strike a Chord of Silence is CG's new book of metaphysical maxims and essays. Also available in Kindle and other eBook formats. Other International and US print sales, should be available upon request from your bookstore

C.G. Walters primarily writes fiction that focuses on the multidimensionality of our loves and our lives. His current novel, Sacred Vow is a metaphysical novel about a man who responds to the mysterious call of [his soulmate], opening the way to redefinition of both himself and his understanding of the world around him…Highly recommended. —Midwest Book Review.

Receive new editions of Into the Mist through a reader

In celebration of CG’s upcoming non-fiction book, Strike a Chord of Silence, for a limited time autographed/signed copies of Sacred Vow are available for $4.00US plus shipping!

Purchase a signed paperback copy from – or buy from your favorite brick and mortar, or online store ( ). Purchase Sacred Vow as ebook or the Amazon Kindle version

Thanks to Anand Dhillon at Carnival of Self-Mastery - August 12, 2008, and Gina Combs-Ramirez at Carnival of Creative Growth #33: It’s Been Fun, and Mina Togonon at Day Shifting and Paradigm: 9th Edition for featuring this article.

No comments: