Ming the Mechanic:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Words2003-01-03 03:43
picture by Flemming Funch

I used to think I spoke and wrote English really well, considering that it isn't my first language. And maybe I'm not too bad, but recently I catch myself looking at what I write, and it seems like I'm just babbling about things I don't really know anything about, using the wrong words, put together wrong. Just mimicking what real people are doing. Like an improv comic giving a convincing lecture on nuclear physics in Chinese, despite knowing neither. Buckminster Fuller once had a personal crisis where he wasn't sure what anything really meant, and he vowed to not speak again before he would be able to say things precisely. He didn't say anything to anybody for about two years, and when he finally did, what he was saying was indeed amazingly coherent and precise. But he was also inventing a bunch of words nobody else was using. Hm, I'm not planning on duplicating that. But maybe I'll spend a bit more time in silence each day, so I can be more sure that I'll actually be saying things that need to be said.

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3 Jan 2003 @ 05:23 by istvan : Dear Ming,
Thank you for being ewer so explicitly honest with this feeling.
Don’t worry You are not alone. It is happening to me also, that feeling of unimportance of words that try to convey meanings, THE ONES THAT REALLY CAN NEWER BE CONVEYED BY WORDS ALONE.
I have stopped posting my own ideas long ago, since in the cacophony of ideas posted no one is really listening.
When I surf the web I often end up with a huge headache from the noise of egos that only desire to assert (most of the time) that HEY See ME , Feel Me, Hear ME, I AM HERE I KNOW WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU. In this noise the wise ones maybe those who are selling the CACOPHONY in appropriate packaging.
I came to the conclusion that perhaps it is not what we say, but the method of delivering our messages is the problem of not being heard. Perhaps it is time to talk less and to put some of the WISDOM into practice.
At times I walk from wall to wall in my room waiting for words that may express feelings that are bubbling up from within, trying to put into words vibrations that need much more than mere words for expression in practical (?) form for appropriate(?) sharing.
I think the “REAL PEOPLE? you mention are actually in the same boat, only they just don’t know that.
If we could collect all the wisdom humans put into words in the past and present we would end up with the Tower of BABEl, or is it BABBLE.
Of all the thousands of books I have read, only these words seem to come up constantly in the mirror:
The Way is beyond language,
For in it

no yesterday
no tomorrow
no today." Sengstan  

3 Jan 2003 @ 13:40 by sharie : Words and Music, Images
I had my personal crisis with words when I was 13. "Words are inadequate to express the human condition," I said. Probably why I became a songwriter... and a screenwriter (for film and music videos). The *emotional-etherial* content shows up when you add music and images, which makes it seem so much more real and more grounded, more lasting. I also sing in eight languages and that's not enough ... words and music aren't enough... I need words and music and images to get the emotion and meaning across.  

3 Jan 2003 @ 19:59 by ming : Beyond words
Yeah, somehow it is the stuff beyond words, or behind the worlds, or under the words that is the real stuff. And we know that, but we easily get distracted by mountains of words.  

3 Jan 2003 @ 21:35 by spiritseek : Words
I feel that words don't convey emotions enough. So how can someone really know what someone is really saying? Especially if you can't see their expressions or feel their spiritual vibes when your not standing close to them. I have at times here found someone took my meaning differently than was intended, until I detached from what I knew I meant and what they could only read into it did I see it could be misconstrued.  

4 Jan 2003 @ 00:59 by strydg : You do write American English very well.
Much better, it seems, than most Americans who write (and speak) only English. We don't have the respect for language, especially in phonetic alphabets, that we might have. The effect on our psyche of learning to read and write is far-reaching. We think that once we have learned to read the newspaper or the instruction manual for our fax machine that we are literate. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but a little bit of literacy can be devastating. Mild to moderate literacy makes possible fundamentalist approaches to religion and government. Fundamentalists have not grasped the fundamentals of spiritual practice, they have achieved merely a fundamental, elementary, level of phonetic alphabet literacy.

One student of language whose name escapes me at the moment pointed out that we wrap ourselves in our language, not like a cocoon from which we can expect to flutter away soon like a butterfly, but like a straight jacket that makes us crazy. Plato, one of the first and likely the foremost proponent of literacy, writes about Socrates telling a story about some ancient egyptian king who was reluctant to accept this "gift" of literacy from Toth (I think). Because, he said, it would cause forgetfulness in the mind and the appearance of knowledge but not the substance of knowledge. Plato thought literacy was necessary to give a kind of detachment from the content of the material that was recited by poets and actors of his day. Prior to the "dominance" of the written word in phonetic alphabet literacy form, cultural traditions were passed from generation to generation by the spoken word. The spoken word without written literacy had many unwanted side-effects, but written literacy has many of it's own.

Communication and language are at the root of every endeavor we undertake as a group. But we don't spend enough time learning about the process of language-making, etc. It is our first and primary technology from which all other technologies have come forth as metaphors.

The reality is itself. We can represent it metaphorically, i.e. know it relative to something else we already know. But exact recreation is an illusion - possibly a hidden side-effect of phonetic alphabet literacy.

this is a great area for exploring. a new world civilization can come about if we communicate with and understand each other. (tho sometimes I think it will happen anyway, in spite of our babble-impoverned boobles.)  

31 Mar 2004 @ 03:28 by ted- @ : mechanic words
I dont like your wibesite i think it is shit  

31 Mar 2004 @ 16:42 by ming : Words
Well, thank you for illustrating my point so well!  

Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

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