A Word-Less World

I read an article by Bernard Stiegler in a Philosophy magazine and one idea popped up: "In a society where musical partitions don't exist, we can't separate composition from interpretation". This might, as in my case, make you think of African tribes playing drums. In hindsight, I believe they do have partitions however, only these rest in their minds rather than on paper. Regardless, it's interesting how the best performances we witness are the ones that feel partition-less. So rehearsed as to appear improvised, natural, spontaneous.

Now, interestingly, partitions hold music in time just like language holds our thoughts in time. They are time capsules for future beings to discover and repeat. Alan Watts writes about the word-less world in "The Wisdom of Insecurity". The phone you're carrying doesn't need to be called "phone" to exist. It just does. As does the whole world, independently of language. Language is a barrier between experience and reality. Even if it takes us a split second to put a name on an object we see, it still creates a chiasm towards our direct experience of reality.

There's a more subtle form of time capsule however: Memories, expectations, hopes, dreams etc. Take expectations. Expectations might be wordless but they encapsulate our idea of what we envision the future will be. Exactly like language, they are Not reality. And they do create a schism between reality and our experience. They are a disposable - though perfectly normal - lense. Once disposed of, one experiences a sense of one-ness. And that I can't write about :)

But is there a way to deliver it? Leo Babauta suggests the blueberry approach to meditation. Let me try and convey it. Choose an object around you. A pen, your phone, your mouse, your jeans, a table etc. You know how it feels like to touch these objects. Great. These are your expectations. The time capsule from your past experience. Now. Lift your free hand and approach it to the chosen object with no expectations of what it will feel like i.e. Imagine you're touching a new object for the first time. Do it with care, slowly. "You didn’t know how it would (feel), but this is brilliant! It’s new, because you’ve never (felt) anything quite like it. This is sometimes called the Beginner’s Mind, but I think of it as a mind free of expectations."

Richard Davidson tells the story of how he visited a buddhist temple and put electrodes on a monk's head to measure brain waves. Suddenly, the other monks started laughing. Davidson thought it was because the monk looked funny. But then one of them explained he had put the electrodes in the wrong place. They should have been on the heart. Experience primes all time capsules. MERRY CHRISTMAS Impossible Family :D