Sunday, June 04, 2006

Circularity - Arc Two by Louis Evan Palmer

What is Up
on the Surface
of a Sphere?

or Right?

When you define something, in a sense, you create it. Or rather, you create a particular manifestation of it - the manifestation reflected by your definitions.

Our whole human consciousness enterprise is just such a manifestation.

Again, the premise is that language is one of the keys. And, here when we but scratch the surface, we find ourselves going in circles, up to and out of rabbit holes galore.

Using the "The Free Dictionary", we see that "thought" is "the act or process of thinking".

We see that "thinking" is "to have or formulate in the mind".

That the "Mind" is "the human consciousness that originates in the brain and is manifested in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory and imagination"

"Consciousness" is "an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation"

"Cognitive" is "being or relating to or involving cognition"

"Cognition" is "the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning"

Any given definition never quite satisfies as it perforce must involve other to-be-defined terms, or, the focus of the definition changes: it gets bigger or smaller in scope, more detailed or more abstract; often we are given synonyms for the word we are trying to define.

And yet, we feel that we understand. Is that a definition of delusion?

To end this Arc - let's look at the word for the concept of One but from the perspective of different languages. In English, the word is "One". In French, the word is "Un or Une". In Italian, it's "uno, una". In Swedish, "man, en". In Japanese, it's "Ichi". Etc. Etc. We could line up hundreds of words like this that all mean "One" to their speakers.

They stand there, all different sounds that somehow evoke the same idea. We might argue that the meaning is not the same across the board but for a simple meaning like "One", we might feel that it is as close to the same as it
can get.

To say that a given word is a key to a given meaning is out the window when we look across many languages. The meta-language, if there is one, is what's being sought. Or, are we beyond language at that first point? What is the language of understanding?

It seems that we can safely say it's not any language that we consciously know.

Copyright 2006  Louis Evan Palmer
Circularity - Arc Two, Louis Evan Palmer, The Way It Can Be,


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