Language And Consciousness – Philosophy

Flowers in the fountain
Flowers in the fountain – Eve’s photography

 

“Before my teacher came to me,
I did not know that  “I am.”

I lived in a world that was a no-world.
I cannot hope to describe adequately that unconscious,
yet conscious time of nothingness.
Since I had no power of thought,
I did not compare one mental state with another.”
~ Helen Keller

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The unity of language and consciousness.

If we want to know more about communication between people, epochs and cultures, we must investigate the nature of the means of communication—language. Language is the highest form of thought expression, the basic means of controlling behaviour, of knowing reality and knowing oneself and the existence of culture. Without the gift of speech man could never acquire cultural values. Consciousness presupposes speech as its material reality in the form of gesture, sound, symbol, and so on. Speech may convey thoughts, feelings and volition in the process of mutual communication, because words are material and can therefore be sensuously perceived. Speech is language functioning in a specific situation of communication. It is the activity of communication and its recorded results. Russian speech, for example, embraces an infinite number of statements by specific individuals and all that has been written in that language. Language, on the other hand, is a specific vocabulary and grammar, expressed in rules and sentence patterns, which have been evolved historically and are national in character. But specific sentences, both spoken and written, belong not to language but to speech: they form the symbolic reality that constitutes the existence of language.

~ A. Spirkin – Consciousness of the World

 

Ferdinand de Saussure a Swiss linguist now considered the father of twenty century Linguistics said:


“In language there are only differences. Even more important: a difference generally implies positive terms between which the difference is set up; but in language there are only differences without positive terms. Whether we take the signified or the signifier, language has neither ideas nor sounds that existed before the linguistic system, but only conceptual and phonic differences that have issued from the system. The idea or phonic substance that a sign contains is of less importance than the other signs that surround it. […] A linguistic system is a series of differences of sound combined with a series of differences of ideas; but the pairing of a certain number of acoustical signs with as many cuts made from the mass thought engenders a system of values.

Petals in the fountain - by Eve
Petals in the fountain – by Eve


Semiology is the study of signs and sign processes (semiosis), indications, designation, likeness, analogy, metaphor, symbolism, signification, and communication. Semiotics is closely related to the field of linguistics, which, for its part, studies the structure and meaning of language more specifically Semiotics is often divided into three branches.”

Relation between signs and the things to which they refer; their denotata, or meaning

Relations among signs in formal structures

Relation between signs and the effects they have on the people who use them

….

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In what language  do deaf people think? I think in English, because that’s what I speak. But since deaf people cannot hear, they can’t learn how to speak a language. Nevertheless, they must think in some language. Would they think in English if they use sign language and read English? How would they do that if they’ve never heard the words they are signing or reading pronounced? Or maybe they just see words in their head, instead of hearing themselves?


Can you think without language? Answer: Nope, at least not at the level humans are accustomed to. That’s why deafness can have far more serious consequences than blindness, developmentally speaking. The blind suffer many hardships, not the least of which is the inability to read in the usual manner. But even those sightless from birth acquire language by ear without difficulty in infancy, and having done so lead relatively ordinary lives. A congenitally deaf child isn’t so lucky: unless someone realizes very early that he’s not talking because he can’t hear, his grasp of communication may never progress beyond the rudiments.


About one child in a thousand, however, is born with no ability to hear. Years ago such people were called deaf-mutes. Often they were considered retarded, and in a sense they were: they’d never learned language, a process that primes the pump for much later development. The critical age range seems to be 21 to 36 months. During this period children pick up the basics of language easily, and in so doing establish essential cognitive infrastructure. Later on it’s far more difficult. If the congenitally deaf aren’t diagnosed before they start school, they may face severe learning problems for the rest of their lives, even if in other respects their intelligence is normal.

 

 

Photo of Helen Keller in mid-life


Helen Keller

A few more thoughts!

“Human consciousness, as constructed by human language, becomes the vehicle through which the self-reflective human mind envisions time. Language enables the viewer to reflect upon the actions of the doer (and the actions of one’s internal body), while projecting forward and backward — other possible bodily actions — into imagined space/time. Thus the projected and imagined space/time increasingly becomes the conscious world and reality of the viewer who imagines or remembers actions mapped onto that projected plan. The body thus becomes a physical entity progressing through the imaged world of the viewer. As the body progresses through this imaged world, the viewer also constructs a way to mark progress from one imagined event to another. Having once marked this imagined time into units, the conscious viewer begins to order the anticipated actions of the body into a linear progression of events.” ~Sue Savage-Rumbaugh


Kindly pusblished through  the generousity of Blog: KoneKrusosKronos.wordpress.com

 

 

flowers in the fountain

flowers in the fountain

 

To end on:

 

There is nothing in this world that can arise without the Self. All existence is one – in one’s Self. When the mind moves, like a restless wave, the world arises also. Be still, throw away everything and be free. Free of those burdens that keep you bound to suffering.  Stillness of mind comes from giving up all desires and attachments,  except that attachment to Self. Meditation, the masters say,  is to effortlessly turn the mind inward.  When the mind is quiet, all is Self. There is nothing else.  ~  Eve

Noosphere – Teilhard de Chardin

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A Jesuit priest and paleontologist, Teilhard was one of the first evolutionary mystics to popularize the term “noosphere”.

quotes:

You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being immersed in a human experience.
We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.
The world is round so that friendship may encircle it.

 

Noosephere
Noosphere

Noosphere
Noosphere

 

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Ever since the Big Bang, our universe has gradually grown in complexity.  From an initial point of intensely concentrated and homogeneous matter, we see the formation and evolution of stars, galaxies, and planets as the primordial ball of plasma expanded, cooled, and formed structures of ever-increasing complexity. In the case of Earth, we also see the development of biological life with its even more complex forms of matter. These organic structures are actually containers of sorts-densely packed with information. The more information an object carries in a given volume, the more complex it is. A strand of DNA is not only smaller than a grain of sand, it is also considerably more complex because it contains more information than the silicon in the grain of sand.

The densest collection of complex information we know of thus far is the human being, and human activity gives rise to even greater complexity. Teilhard states that this reflective consciousness is “the specific effect of organized complexity,” and that it follows that some sort of intensification of human consciousness is the next step of human evolution.  In other words, a massive amount of information is building up within the relatively small confines of the planet Earth. This, Teilhard believed, will result in the blossoming of the noosphere into some form of super-consciousness, once the amount of information it contains reaches a critical density.

Teihard de Chardin first used the term noosphere in approximately 1927, but the intellectual concept was first developed during Teilhard’s service in the trenches of World War I.

 

 

Quote from T.D.C.s writings:

 

The atmosphere of ‘the Front’: it was, I am quite sure, from having plunged into that atmosphere—from having been soaked in it for months and months on end—and precisely where it was at its most dense and heavily charged, that I ceased to notice any break (if not any difference) between ‘physical’ and ‘moral’, between natural’ and ‘artificial’. The ‘Human-million’, with its psychic temperature and its internal energy, became for me a magnitude as evolutionary, and therefore as biologically, real as a giant molecule of protein. I was later to be astonished on many occasions to find in my own circle that those who could not agree with me suffered from a complete inability to understand that precisely because the individual human being represents a corpuscular magnitude he must be subject to the same development as every other species of corpuscles in the World: that means that he must coalesce into physical relationships and groupings that belong to a higher order than his. It is, of course, quite impossible for him to apprehend these groupings directly as such . . . but there are many indications that enable him to recognize perfectly well their existence and the influences they exercise. . .  I have no doubt at all (as I said earlier) that it was the experience of the War that brought me this awareness and developed it in me as a sixth sense.

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1980-07-23). Heart Of Matter

 

and following on:

 

The concept of a universal connection of human consciousness is very old and forms the heart of the Christian tradition.  Teilhard’s contribution was to take this concept put place in within the scope of recent knowledge of the universe being a work in progress from the Big Bang, through the development of individual human consciousness, through the future convergence of collective human consciousness and unification with the Cosmic Christ or Omega Point.  As Teilhard described our current evolutionary state:

 

Quote From Teilhard’s writings:

 

“[H]ow can we fail to see that the process of convergence from which we emerged, body and soul, is continuing to envelop us more closely than ever, to grip us, in the form of—under the folds of, we might say—a gigantic planetary contraction?

The irresistible ‘setting’ or cementing together of a thinking mass (Mankind) which is continually more compressed upon itself by the simultaneous multiplication and expansion of its individual elements: there is not one of us, surely, who is not almost agonizingly aware of this, in the very fibre of his being. This is one of the things that no one today would even try to deny: we can all see the fantastic anatomical structure of a vast phylum whose branches, instead of diverging as they normally do, are ceaselessly folding in upon one another ever more closely, like some monstrous inflorescence—like, indeed, an enormous flower folding-in upon itself; the literally global physiology of an organism in which production, nutrition, the machine, research, and the legacy of heredity are, beyond any doubt, building up to planetary dimensions; the increasing impossibility of the individual’s attaining economic and intellectual self-sufficiency”

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1980-07-23). Heart Of Matter (Kindle Locations 499-510). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

 

Excerpted from a blog-post on Teilhard de Chardin by W. Ockham

 

Images of the Noosphere – Modern

 

 

Noosphere
Noosphere
Noosphere
Noosphere

 

 

Noosphere
Noosphere

Earth-Ascending

Labels, Anthony de Mello – Inspirational Quotations

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Labels

The important thing is not to know who “I” is or what “I” is.  You’ll never succeed.  There are no words for it.  The important thing is to drop the labels.  As the Japanese Zen masters say, “Don’t seek the truth; just drop your opinions.”  Drop your theories; don’t seek the truth.  Truth isn’t something you search for.  If you stop being opinionated, you would know.  Something similar happens here.  If you drop your labels, you would know.

What do I mean by labels?  Every label you can conceive of except perhaps that of  human being.  I am a human being.  Fair enough; doesn’t say very much.  But when you say, “I am successful,” that’s crazy.  Success is not part of the “I”.  Success is something that comes and goes; it could be here today and gone tomorrow.  That’s not “I”.  When you said, “I was a success,” you were in error; you were plunged into darkness.  You identified yourself with success.  The same thing when you said, “I am a failure, a lawyer, a businessman.” You know what’s going to happen to you if you identify yourself with these things.  You’re going to cling to them, you’re going to be worried that they may fall apart, and that’s where your suffering comes in.  That is what I meant earlier when I said to you, “If you’re suffering, you’re asleep.” Do you want a sign that you’re asleep? Here it is: You’re suffering.  Suffering is a sign that you’re out of touch with the truth.

Suffering is given to you that you might open your eyes to the truth, that you might understand that there’s falsehood somewhere, just as physical pain is given to you so you will understand that there is disease or illness somewhere.  Suffering points out that there is falsehood somewhere.  Suffering occurs when you clash with reality.  When your illusions clash with reality when your falsehoods clash with the truth, then you have suffering.  Otherwise there is no suffering. ~Anthony de Mello