Language is amazing, but words are inert

I’ve been experimenting alot with lucid dreaming throughout my years, which has made the concept of sleep something I on occasion look forward too, for other reasons than rest or tiredness. I’m not there yet, but I’m working on creating another part of my life. That’s where your REAL house is. You just gotta find the key. Then everything you thought you never needed will be found and things will make sense. At least, that would be nice. I believe we can understand ourselves so much better if we learn to understand and control our dreams. Mastering the art of lucid dreaming gives you an unprecedented possibility to actually directly AND consciously talk to your subconscious, while also realizing how much your subconscious affects you despite feeling ”fine”.

There is a movie called Waking Life that deals with this very subject. However, that’s not really what I wanted to talk about right now – despite it being one of my favourite conversational subjects as of late! In the movie, however, there’s a scene discussing the concept of language. I like the scene because I find the entire concept of language fascinating! The fact that some guy from Italy, and another from Sweden or whatever can speak English for example and understand eachother is amazing. And of course I’m not talking about specifically only english per say, but language overall. How two different people who grow up with entirely different ways and words and grammar and cultural expressions, can learn eachothers’ or other languages with completely different grammatical structures and sometimes even different alphabets and letters, and thus be able to communicate? The fact that we as homo sapiens sapiens have that capacity and ability to learn like tens of languages if we put work into it, is absolutely amazing.

They talk a bit about this in Waking Life, what language really is and how all of our understanding towards eachother are all about our subjective associations to words and symbols that we use to represent abstract concepts like anger or love. Because how can we ever be sure about how someone else feels or understands when everything you feel or think about (associate to) the word ”love” is based on your own subjective experiences (or lack there of) about the word and concept itself?

She explains it better. But I was walking downtown the other day and it came to mind when I was going to meet my friend from South Korea, who’s begun learning swedish after having only conversed with me in english. We’re literally from two opposite sides of the world, but we have the capability to meet, converse and share complex thoughts and ideas thanks to the concept of language. This fascinates me.

Language fascinates me! 🙂

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  1. Words fascinate me too. As well as the very concept: who first looked at a hill and said ”hill”? And others agreed? As well as etymology, going back to the roots and how it often makes so much sense.
    As does lucid dreaming, which I have done all or most of my life. I did not know that for a long time, and it was called something else, I think – mid to late 1960s, and I would try so hard to remember to look at my hands and then do whatever with my hands. That I was aware all along and able to make decisions and sometimes control my dreams did not occur to me for a long time.
    I started this almost breathlessly, as in ”wow, someone I can relate to” or some version of that, and yet end up right here not sure which way to turn. Sorry, suddenly figuratively tongue-tied (a disconnect between thought and getting that into words and into my fingers.
    I wish you success with your journey. Also, because I am this type of person: rectitude and rectum have the same root. Makes sense when one thinks about it, but right a first the notion was amusing, and then add in rector……(Share an interesting – to me – bit of trivia as I walk out the door. In English, jpwever/

  2. Hi. First of all, I actually read your entry several weeks ago but for some reason I didn’t write this comment, but here it is.

    I really found it fascinating what you wrote about.

    I remember there used to be a time in my life when I was eager to sleep, to dream, to experience or at least consciously appreciate what was shown in my dreams (assuming that we can’t really say ”observe” since it’s a fiction…or is it?), and to let oneself be pleased by the incoherence of illogical plots, in scenarios that could be connected only on an dream-world, and only there since they might be of a completely different physical nature.

    What I liked the most about your idea of dreaming was this one of talking to the subconscious…
    Honestly, I don’t really like the idea of lucid dreaming since I feel it makes me loose all the irrational magic of the experience, but when you put it like that, then I have to reconsider my position.

    About the second idea, the language one. I honestly had a massive existential-epistemologic crisis a few months ago (and sometime think I still have it) just because of this chaotic arbitrarity/randomness of language. Like, how would it be possible that we can came up with this ideas, concepts or word to summerize what is observable…or that at least we assume as observable, and not only that but that these words may have an effect on others minds, on others cognition or emotions… and it is indeed an act of faith when you have to constantly assume that what you’re saying is being understood. I mean, you can’t be asking all the time if an idea was made clear or not, eventhough I sometimes do that but I know it’s know ideal and communicationaly awkward.

    Honestly, I feel that language, this archivable language (an idea that i’m trying to develop), has so much to offer but don’t have explored all its potential yet.

    Thanks for sharing, and I hope you’re doing fine.

    1. Yes, the whole idea about lucid dreaming isn’t that it takes away the magic behind the irrationality and randomness and thus it’s boring, no it’s the opposite! Even with the most crazy, vivid and random dreams, we only access like 5% of what’s possible within the dreaming state. We know our subconscious and dreams are directly related and what better way to actually communicate and even affect our subconscious by consciously interacting with it within our dreams?!

      I found this SUPER interresting talk about not only the huge gate of possibilities that opens up along with mastering lucid dreaming, but also the incredible physiological and psychological changes that can occur for the benefit of your health when taken seriously! You should check it out 🙂 I will be writing more about lucid dreaming in the future!

      And yes, while language itself is very limited when it comes to accurately and justly discribing the immense scope of abstract phenomena, we’re out of luck. But as you say, words do have an affect on the mind, which is why it’s important to lift issues in regards to policing languages. Which is another reason why free speech is important, even if one doesn’t like it. Because whoever controls the language, controls the thoughts. To end with a little 1984-ish feel 🙂

      Thank you, I’m doing very well! Hope you are too!


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