Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Tower of Babel v A Community of Language

Ideas wear out quickly. Words rot more quickly still. And when thought itself is tainted, it proportionally corrupts all the words to which recourse is had in the hope of putting it right again. –Henri de Lubac

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule. –JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

Today, there is no longer a “community of language” (Voegelin) in our nation. It is almost as if we are living in the shadow of the Tower of Babel where each individual is speaking a language unknown to anyone else. When by Justice he means “vengeance,” and her use of the word Liberty has nothing to do with our God-gifted “unalienable Rights,” how do we carry on meaningful conversations?
Listening to the national conversation during this last election, all I could keep thinking was “So much wasted oxygen.” People were constantly making the mistake of thinking that because they all were speaking English, they understood what was being said and heard. One of the more frustrating experiences for me here was how people were using the word Capitalism. Monte screaming at Television: “For crying out loud, at least consult a dictionary before you start swapping ignorance!”
As I asserted in my last post, what is needed is a Rectification of Names. However, what can we as individuals do on a national scale when the Keeper of the Dictionaries (Government Schools) so often insists upon redefining words in a manner that supports the Establishment, as well as its own institutional and ideological agendas, rather than keeping words from deterioration and corruption?  Because this is the case, in the present, I believe there is not much we can do, nationally. We can, however, begin extending the community of language, incrementally -- from individual to individual, from family to family, and community to community.
And how do individuals do this? It begins, of course, with my speaking the truest sentence that I know, where the individual words of my sentence reflect, as accurately as possible, the truth of my mind and experience. Integrity in communication must be my mantra. My truest sentence will contain no word games, no smuggling of ideas within words that I know will be misunderstood but will allow me wiggle room in future communications. People should not need the skills of Sherlock Holmes to discover exactly what you are saying. We must go farther than this, however, and regain contact with what the words we are using meant before being corrupted. (Eric Voegelin, “Why Philosophize? To Recapture Reality!”)
Many of you on all sides of the political spectrum have been expressing your concern for the future of this nation. My question for you is this: will you begin disciplining yourself in your communication, speaking as truly and accurately as possible? This begins with making the effort to dig into heart and head for the truth of you, and then using words with uncorrupted meaning packed inside.
You say that your concern for the future of your family, community and nation is real. Okay, how willing are you to watch less Television, cut back on the time you spend playing games on your Smartphone and get to work on the process of the Rectification of Names? In other words, how willing are you to begin reading and courageously and respectfully sharing your knowledge with others?
How important is your spiritual and psychological health to you? After all, if the words we are using are corrupt, what sort of corruption is gradually taking place in our minds and hearts?

            I want to be careful here and not oversimplify the task before us. The Rectification of Names is not some panacea or magical formula that will dispel all confusion and conflict from either the nation or your family! It is, however, the first major step in the process, for without first agreeing on the meaning of words and the experiences to which they refer, we’re stuck in the shadows of the Tower of Babel. 
            I know. We feel small and insignificant. We are all Hobbits against the Dark Lords. What can we do toward the Rectification of Names, toward stopping the tides of corruption that have led to such national confusion and conflict? We cando what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set.” A community of language starts with our families, our friends, and with us – with you. Don’t think in terms of “the tides of the world,” but, rather, in terms of personal integrity.  

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2012

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