Wednesday, September 15, 2010

After class I was thinking about the discussion of natural language and the conventional language. Conventional language and those that are furthest away from natural language seem to involve the "mind" a lot more. Language can be a tool and the mind can also be a tool to get things figured out and understood. People who are run by the mind can not stop using language which is the tool of the mind. This also connects with the idea of trying to name the unnameable. The mind and language can only go so far on thier own. When they are used as tools one can better comprehend the concept of the Tao. Using your mind and using language are traits of someone who is more centered on "Being". I believe that being is coinsides with the natural language. I'm finding this very hard to express.


Scott Abbott said...

I like the direction this is moving. Lao Tzu left us his words, without which we wouldn't have his ideas. And he came to the ideas through language. So far so good. Language is a wonderful tool.

But there's also a way language can trap us into thinking cliched, conventional thoughts, speaking phrases that are common and popular, pretending to be saying something while it's really just conventional language speaking its conventions.

Jenetta said...

While I don't disagree that conventional language can create convention and thoughtlessness in a speaker or writer of that language, I feel conventional language can transcend conventionality. However cliched the language may be, in combination with other senses, it can be a powerful experience. I will never forget my grandmother reading bits of poetry to me while I ate tomato soup in her kitchen. My continued love of language and words stems from those experiences, which are emotionally charged with sense memory. I believe that conventional language can also be natural language without creating boundaries. The way Alex used singing sound to the words of Blake is another example of this.