Monday

Dream Talk



Created by and trapped in  contemporary language, how powerful yet subtle prejudices are in our lives.  Nothing like a raccoon that's for sure.

We're quick to name.   According to Genesis, nomenclature was one of the first actions of the human beast.  Name it and own it.  Current consensus would have us believe all sensory information is meaningless until processed through the brain into language.  We haven't seen, felt, tasted, touched or heard a thing until we've named it.

Unfortunately, this process by which an experience of the senses is made meaningful is also thought to be nothing more than a memory of past processing.  The blue sky you thought you saw today wasn't a blue sky at all but instead a memory of the naming of the sky on a far distant day.  Even worse, that blue sky was a second-hand experience since you yourself didn't actually create the names for the sky or the blue. Sounds a bit like a hall of mirrors, doesn't it?

The brain, oh mighty organ.  In charge of so much, praised for so much, and when end results aren't to our liking, blamed for so much.  Worshiping the joining of numbers and letters as we do, the cognitive action of the brain would be in charge of the whole show if the totalitarian inclined materialists had their way.

The formal conversation about language has been going on since Bishop Berkeley in the 1700's.  Early 20th century thinker Wittgenstein blew everyone off the page, turned the book inside-out and then quite possibly ate it.  My personal favorites are the French, especially the great-hearted and multi-headed deconstructivist Jacques Derrida.  That the conversation about language has not just begun doesn't mean it's over.  Far from it, as Chomsky's enormous popularity would suggest.

Another way to understand the many tongued beast we call language might be through dreams.  How dream language separates itself from waking language in the need to create meaning.  Once awake the ghost of Freud takes over but in the dreamworld language, like action, carries a purer energy.  An energy freed from exclusively cognitive restrictions.  An energy released from the philosophic market place.  An energy more like poetry.  More like art.

A giant passed through the valley in my dream last night.  Tall as the biggest pine, he bent down and kissed me and told me it was good to see me again.  It was good to see him too.