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Reasoning why - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Reasoning why
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skilletfriar From: skilletfriar Date: January 15th, 2003 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have always had a gut reaction against "language."

Language is what one human uses to define/describe/relate Her/His experience to another. The master Linguist can explain the point at which the concept falls short (or) looms large. The master Story Teller can get you to picture the wallpaper on the walls without saying a word about it. The master Poet can provide a sequence of words that give the (educated) Reader a description of the undersides of the clouds hinted at in the poem. The experienced Frogger Player knows how this is possible.

As a thought pops into a person's mind, it arrives much as flattened dough might. A series of cookie-cutters based on grammer, semantics, dialect, social accessibility, come and cut out a one-dimensional version of the original thought. This arena of contention is well and good in the realm of immediate politics, but the Master Poet knows better.

The Master Poet can be described as the Master Frogger Player. As the thoughts float from one end to another, SHe can break the contemporary rules of following one linear thought to its end. This usually results in The Poet's recognition coming after all possible linear thoughts have come to an end, and only the combinations of each individual train of one dimensional linguistic thought have yielded cleverness.
Unperverted thought can be viewed as a nebulous blob of dough, or more astutely, a river. The direction and speed of the river is of course dictated by contemporary concept of the flow of time, but it is the debris in the river that interests me. The Poet's mad-crazy Frogger skills come to be tested as SHe jumps from stick to stick perpendicular to the flow of the river. The summation of each "Frogger Game" is of course the poem available for viewing. The concept of the river of thought is what comes under my scrutiny.

If a frog can jump from the right to left or from up to down, how is the depth of my thought conveyed? Unless this is this what you meant when you said, "Translation is another matter, and most translators will offer the caveat that their work is an interpretation more than anything else. The translator understands that any effort may come close, but will ultimately fail to convey the Truth of the original."

The Master Poet doesn't think about the possibilities of the frog jumping left or right or back and forth, but of the fish swimming beneath. There is also always the possibility of the delta or the oceans beyond.

Many people read books about meditation or ritual magick to reach a level of fundemental denial of what is considered to be the one absolutely unique human instinct: language. Instinct defined as an extremely complex behavior that is uniformally practiced by all members of that species. Globally, the snapshot of any language, whether or not it evolves absolutely independently of the others, is equally complex as the rest. This indicates that each language (however one might differentiate between them), has evolved independently of the rest.

The end result of these Crowelian books on meditation is nothing more complicated than seeing the sticks of language floating in front of you, the sticks floating next to you, and the fishes swimming beneath you, simultaneously.
I think that there is level incorporating all of this abstract thought and bring all abstraction to an end. Unfortunately I have no friggin idea what this might be.
I guess James Joyce might have summed this up with his Finnegans Wake, too bad I'm not smart enough to get it.
komos From: komos Date: January 17th, 2003 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)
I was actually only delving into translation in the sense of putting something into the words of another language, though I think the same idea may be applicable to the problem you’ve suggested. The reality is that it is never possible to fully communicate your ideas, your feelings, or your experiences. Still, I tend to think that all higher order thought is dependent on symbols. These symbols may vary greatly, but communication takes the form of expressing symbols that you have in common with your audience. From the same essay:

The earliest orderly thinkers of whom we have any record were aware that they could not think or speak with any precision unless they could first agree upon the terms they were using.

This discussion is possible because we both see characters of the Roman alphabet forming words in a language we share, and additionally because where you believe that language was insufficient alone, you were able to rely on metaphor which you could reasonably expect to hold meaning to me. You were able to talk about words being "twigs in a stream," the poet being capable of a kind of "Frogger" approach to her use of language, or the sage contemplating "the fish swimming below the surface." Similarly, I could do an ink-brush rendering of a plum blossom, and others who have similar experience with that symbols or similar training in its use would understand the idea or experience I was trying to convey. I believe that symbols extend far outside of the realm of language, and nearly every form of expression that’s been explored by humankind is driven by a desire to communicate.

What I find fascinating is that it is when this exchange of symbols is complete enough and complex enough to sufficiently convey an expression of what was believed to be ineffable. This, I think, is where communication is elevated into the realm of art.
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