Words

Posted January 31st, 2009 and filed in Books, Education, Human Mind

Real learning happens on the subconscious level, causing real changes. This is the paradox: we must verbalize to communicate knowledge, yet real thinking happens in a non-verbal way.

We invented languages, written and spoken, to convey messages, to preserve knowledge. The mastery of a language is considered a valuable skill, and indeed is. A newly learnt language opens up a new world.

Language conveys yet distorts the message. During the transmission, the real power of the original message is lost. For example, at first, the founder of a religion lives his belief with the entirety of his life, the words spoken are from the bottom of his heart. From him to his disciples, the message loses some of its original living power, personality, passion, and depth. Afterwards, the next generation of followers does not even have the luxury of exposure to the master’s silent direct influence, to correct any misinterpretation. On and on the doctrine is diluted and distorted. By the time a belief is institutionalized, doctrine has become dogma, spark has left the ashes. 

However we have not found a better way of communicating, and must try again with the only tool we have, again and again, in any creative way we can imagine, in all literatures, in all conferences, in all presentations, in all documents.

Yes, we have also sounds and colors and shapes and touch and movements; therefore we invented music, painting, sculpture, dance, etc. But the majority of human messages are still carried by words.

There are very diluted messages, or pure junk. There are also forms of condensed wisdom. Great books are the latter. Though our interpretation is different from one another, or even from each read, some valuable messages get across. We are therefore nourished and grow in the rich soil cultivated by generations of our ancestors, not the barren environment called daily life we are thrown into. Whether to take this inheritance or not is up to us. There is no obligation.

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