Culture Carriers in a Landscape of Language

Accompanying podcast: Everything Changes with the Light (with Bo Moore)


Not having names for feelings = not having feelings that match the names.

Fiction conceals the truth by adding an overlay of fantasy. Non-fiction obscures its own fictional nature by presenting mere facts as truth.

He wrestled with the words on the screen. It was literally as if some organism inside him were fighting against an awareness that was struggling to emerge. It was the awareness that language had him as its prisoner, and that it would resist, with everything it had, all his attempts to express that fact through language. Maybe even this was the final, the most advanced strategy of language: to imprison him via his very efforts to use it to get free of it?

What unfathomable cunning! As long as he believed that language offered the means to understand the nature of the matrix he was caught inside, he would continue tinkering away at the edges of the cage, convinced he was slowing wearing down the bars, when really he was only polishing them and making them shine.

And he was getting older with each passing hour. That was the nature of the prison: the mind continued as if it was immortal, whiling away the hours in fantasy realms of abstraction, oblivious—crucially oblivious—to the steady decay of the organism for which time was rapidly running out. And if the mind still held sway, in its eternal illusion of control, when the body died, then what he was—that organic awareness embedded inside the conscious system of existence—would find itself shackled to that hideous linguistic parasite even in death. The monkey would ride his awareness into the next life, and so on, maybe forever, each time its tentacles wrapped a little tighter around his slowly shrinking psyche. The end result would be—what? That an awareness meant to fill infinity would be reduced to a fictional character, printed in grungy black ink on the tightly bound pages of a pulp fiction novel, lost among countless boxes in the dusty attics of eternity.

He would be Philip K. Dicked out of existence, with just enough residual awareness to know it, to remember what he had lost.

But he knew this was circular imagery and made no sense. If it were at all true, he was already inside that box in that attic. This was the residual awareness speaking. This was the fiction. The empire never ended. But by the same token, the battle was always ongoing. The possibility of release was always there. It was only a matter of shifting the attention a micro-millimeter to be free. The prison was his own mind, but the prison was also IN his mind. The idea that the mind imprisoned him (that the mind existed at all) was the thing that kept him prisoner.

The belief that language could define his experience was what defined his experience.

Language and belief were codependent. To believe, we needed to be able to tell ourselves to believe. To be able to apply language at all, we needed to believe in what we were saying. Otherwise, why say it, why think it, at all?

The word blue did not match the color blue. Rationally, he knew this; but still he believed in the meaning of blue. There were a dozen, a hundred, a thousand shades of blue. What he called blue, so the scientists said anyway, was really the absence of blue, that portion of the light spectrum which any given surface reflected back at him, did not absorb. So even perception was the opposite of what we supposed it to be. Consciousness was really unconscious, and that which was most conscious of itself—the body—was unconscious to (and of) him.

Recently he had emerged, more or less, from what he called a full-body depression. There weren’t really words to describe it. He would have to explore all sorts of possible descriptions relating to his childhood, somatic memories, internal physical processes, unconscious currents in his psyche, and so on, to even begin to give an idea of what his experience consisted of. Instead, he slapped a word on, “depression,” as if that covered it. It was a necessary convenience; otherwise, every time someone asked him how he was doing, the only thing he would say would be, “I can’t say.” People didn’t want that sort of honest response. They wanted a formula response. Language had taken over their perceptions, to the extent that it was now running their awareness completely.

It wasn’t that a person asked “How are you?” and required an answer. It was as if language, via any given phrase, used people as hosts to move around, from body to body, and replicate itself that way.

To have feelings and perceptions that could be matched up to language required an internalization of language whereby he had now learned to think about his feelings and perceptions even as he was having them. At this point, there was really no way to separate what he felt or perceived from what he thought—what he languified—about what he felt and perceived. If that didn’t happen, if language wasn’t fully internalized, his experience was likely to be that, when someone asked him to apply language to his feelings and perceptions, he couldn’t. Language didn’t apply unless, or until, he reshaped his feelings and perceptions to fit with it.

This was not something he could explain to anyone, however. It was not so much that they didn’t want to hear it; they couldn’t hear it. Their own internal language program drowned it out. The only response they really heard to the question “How are you?” was “Fine, thanks.” That was the required signal that the language virus had replicated, been passed on, and could carry on its merry way unencumbered. It was the confirmation of the social contract: to be good hosts to the virus.

Not that this was new. Apparently the language that ran his hard drive was especially preoccupied with exposing its own fallibility to him. He appeared to be driven to continue to try and use language to work out, for himself at least, how language couldn’t communicate the truth.

But there was something new emerging, or so it seemed.

It was starting to occur to him that he was essentially being written into existence.

He understood it thus. Language had created an information stream in his body. It was called—by itself—mind. Part of what made the language stream so distracting, so imprisoning, was that there was no corresponding reality in Nature. Language, words, thought, did not correspond with anything in Nature. Of course there were the sounds made by the various animals; but internal language was silent. The closest thing “out there” that it corresponded with was books; and books were made from paper, which was stripped from dead trees. (Maybe this was why the words for tree and truth had the same root?)

He had heard about people who thought in images rather than words—which was presumably what animals did. He imagined that the image stream that flowed through their awareness corresponded, at least some of the time, with objects and phenomena within their environment, both natural and artificial. If so, then there was an organic overlap between the internal “mind space” generated by images and the outer environment of the physical world. Compare that to the boxed off, book-like mind-space created by words in which he existed. Maybe this was what the Fall was all about? Maybe knowledge of good and evil signified the inception of language and the loss of a pure, imagistic awareness in which perception, that which perceived, and whatever was being perceived, was all one seamless, organic whole—like a fruit?

He now understood—because he experienced it viscerally every day—that words were a means to control his perception and confine it.

Once he had internalized the meanings associated with his inherited language, he was susceptible to being controlled.

This was true of images too; it had presumably begun with images, even before he had adopted language. This was the power of advertising—to reach the preverbal bodily awareness that responds to images and to trigger instinctive drives; then to hack into the more surface, languified, conscious awareness of mind, and reprogram it.

Perceptions, sensations, feelings, and emotions—like the animals named by Adam in Eden—were packaged, labeled, branded, and price-tagged in order that he could be turned into an organic vessel (a carrier) for the transporting of goods, both a buyer and a seller of experience.

If his attention was absorbed by an image stream (product line) to the extent he identified with it as himself (his mind), then manipulating those product-images and/or projecting/importing them into his awareness was bound to influence the way he experienced himself, and then how he interacted with his environment. Like the historical dandy, he became a human billboard for the promoting, transporting, and selling of social values. The same applied to words; and words were even easier to control than images.

But who or what was controlling them?

If there was control, then there was that which was being controlled. But did it necessarily mean there was some agency doing the controlling? Or was that only part of the means by which the control remain concealed, unidentified, and unchallenged?

22 thoughts on “Culture Carriers in a Landscape of Language

  1. Those of us trapped in the language world are described by the others as the Reality Based Community.

    Those that know how to manipulate the symbols that drive the subconcious may be the only ones that understand how the world really works.

    Those of us in the neurodiverse community ought to be able to help figure this stuff out, as we often seem to have a closer bridge into that mode of experience, if we don’t work in it directly like Temple Grandin does.

    The image based conciousness sits underneath the surface, more strongly in some than others. Those that do figure out a way to access it and make use of it are often seen as creative geniuses, or crazy schizophrenics, it’s a fine line.
    It often seems to require a long period of social isolation during early childhood, the result of a severe illness or something, when the mind has nothing better to do but play games with itself.

    Rich Schull’s book ‘Pre Rainman Autism’ is an interesting perspective, if you forgive the somewhat confusing language and repetitive content.
    He seems to have developed a form of split-screen conciousness, where the image based subconcious provides useful information and solutions to his conscious experience. Somewhat like Sherlock Vision I suppose.
    The best example I’ve found of a person who seemed to have the most perfect ability to make use of their full brain like that, and also describe their own experience of themselves is Nikola Tesla, Carl Jung also comes pretty close in a more mystical sense.

    The person that most publically commercialised the mass onslaught on the subconcious was Edward Bernays.

    I’m maybe an Edward Bernays type, or perhaps even more so. Being trans the images and advertising that seem to most influence me are those targeted at women, so I’m playing a constant game of trying to resist most of my impulses whenever I go out anywhere, like this guy.

    Perhaps that makes me more resistant to a lot of advertising, I’m not sure. I’m surely not into the same things as most men anyway.
    It does make it very hard to decide what I should do, as most of what I really want to do is stuff that I’m not supposed to want to do, if you see what I mean.
    It’s a weird situation all around, but you kind of have to explore all this stuff to really figure yourself out, or else you must live with a very compartmentalised identity.

  2. What is our system but a collection of brain dead primates who are collectively and mysteriously ready and willing to be controlled , after having in the past shown ” higher” , that is more creative and imaginative yearnings ?

  3. I don’t think dot dot dot Bo aspie and neurotypical Charlie have been Self defeated enough yet. Signed, a jealous God.
    Each sure of their “something”. “Got Disillusionment” dot dot dot or something? What this world needs is Mooore drama.
    After the tower is liminally struck, the inner movement that results is life. “Got Milk?”, your nipples speak volumes.
    I am a 30 something ass burger still trying to model (not to scale) “what goes where” in an energetic mindful sense…
    What mindset amounts to not-sodomy butt flow? – what is its antonym? Never Again will I masturbate with two eyes open.
    Opposite of unrequited? What can faithfully meet me halfway? What can strength my outer temple but inner world fusion.

    Willy Wonka: But Charlie, don’t forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted.
    Charlie Bucket: What happened?
    Willy Wonka: He lived happily ever after.
    [hugs Charlie]

  4. Interesting read.

    Sidenote: If you speak to Temple, please ask her how designing animals deaths for a living could be considered ethical and humane to her.

    • Ahh right, they wouldnt even be living otherwise so they should be thankful or something like that.
      To me it sounds abit cold and alot like rationalizing sick behaviour just to eeze ones conscience. Especially from someone claiming to be able to communicate and understand animals and there behaviours. But I guess money is nice.

      And I am a empathetic being, why would I inflict taking the life of others just to gratify some selfish “need”?, I am not a sociopath like Temple. She is for sure on my top3 list of autistic people i disslike the most.

      Be carefull if you talk to her, she has mind warping skills that make Goebbels clap his hands from his grave and I would not wanna feel her energies.

  5. Yes i think i would be considered as a vegetarian.

    And yes I do, atleast when it is not really needed anymore for survival. But is more like a “tradition” or a way of “pleasure”.

    Temple is worse then the butcher of Srebrenica, and as an autistic I feel ashamed when I hear her speak, I find it hard to understand how someone of “my kind” so fundamentaly have missed some of the reasons why there is so much oppresion on this planet, not just towards other animals, but also other human races or other people who differ in various ways.
    I would even argue that her work has helped further accept not only the murdering of animals, but the oppresion of autistics among many others.
    What she does is making oppresion sound humane, she appeals to the NT minds and help them feel good about there sickening acts, so ofc she is a best seller and a glorified knight of righteousness and ironicly a fighter for “animal rights”.
    Such BS.

    Ask her if she ever had the slightest thought of helping to stop oppresion instead of further enable it ^^

    Rant of the day; check.

  6. Yes that was a rant and therefore not really very persuasive. If you consider a large percentage of people who read this blog as well as the guy who writes it to be sociopaths due to their dietary habits, you’ve kind of lost credibility at the get-go. As for TG, the above isn’t an argument but an attack. If you want to give your reasons in specific terms how her work has contributed to the oppression of autistics, for example, rather than using the circular logic of “meat-eating is sociopathic therefore all meat-eaters are sociopaths,” I’d be interested. Apparently this is a hot button for you.

  7. “sociopathic personality – a personality disorder characterized by amorality and lack of affect; capable of violent acts without guilt feelings”

    I consider most humans to be sociopaths, no need for anyone to be offended, Unless you should.

    I think meat eating is a hot button for you, as a guy with strong empathic ability yourself, you struggle to justiefie for youreself the harm you inflict in your goals to satisfie youre dietary habits, and people like Temple are there to infuse the lack of guilty feelings for it. Though I think you have guilty feelings for it, I do not think you are a sociopath. So that is why this is a hot button for you aswell. I could be totaly wrong thought, but that is what I feel.
    I cannot see how an empathic being would feel no guilt inflicting harm, could you even provide one single solid argument explaining why it would be okey to kill and eat another just for youre own pleasure and benefit even though it is not even needed?

    • Do you eat eggs or consume dairy product?

      It is a hot button; what you’re expressing here seems less like empathy than ideology, however.

      Using a lifestyle choice to take a position of moral superiority and framing everyone who doesn’t agree as sociopaths ~ isn’t that a little bit like what sociopaths do?

      • I was abit edgy yesterday and might have come off as abit aggressive, sorry for that, still I will not have my words twisted even if this was an article about language.

        First off, I do not claim any sort of moral superiority, nore do i put myself on a moral highground for not participating in murder. It just seem like a fair thing to not kill others to me. If you feel that that is moral superiority then that is youre view, not mine.

        And the reason Temple keeps getting that question is ofc due to her awnsers being cliché bullshit.

        You asked me questions like “are you a vegetarian?” and “Do you equate meat-eating with sociopathology?…”
        Then you take my awnser as if i thought i was on a moral highground aswell as saying that I said that all meat eaters
        are sociopaths. And yeah I eat organic eggs and organic dairy products, Am I hypocritical now aswell?
        It is not my first time having this talk with someone who desperatly trying to justify there own actions that they feel in there heart is wrong, by twisting the issue or by rationalizing what they are doing.
        And reading or writing a blog is ofc not a freepass for critisism, I tell me best friends that I think they are wrong if I think so, And I take the side of my enemys if I think they are right.

        And yeah I might have some sociopathic traits left in me, my father was a fullblown sociopath after all. And as someone said
        “We are programmed from birth to be lunar beings”. I try my best though to leave those traits behind. I like to see myself
        as someone who is evolving and maturing and someone who atleast tries to act in a conscious way.

        Would you call people who was against slavery for ideologs or calling it a “lifestyle choice” aswell?

        And I am not trying to be rude to you or the readers of this blog, If you are content with the way you are acting and behaving towards youre others then there is no need to get offended by what I say.

        But I did not see you provide a single solid argument to why it would be okey to kill and eat others, when it is not even needed. So I guess I have to see that as that you dont think it is okey after all.

        • I haven’t taken the time to argue it because my impression is that you are coming from an ideological position, and rational arguments don’t really penetrate ideology, because ideology is mostly unconscious, passed on by society.

          To give some background, my father’s business began as a dairy and later included meat (pork and cows), so the money I inherited and then threw away in my 20s was quite literally blood money, at least in part. I have been a vegetarian on and off throughout my life (since 16 or so) and currently I eat (non-organic) chicken a couple of times a month. I am divided about it. My reasons for not eating meat have nothing to do with thinking that it is wrong to kill an animal to eat it (I don’t consider it wrong in the slightest, not even for “pleasure” as you put it), but rather the conditions of the animals while they are alive and the ways in which they are being killed. Hence eating battery-farmed eggs to me is, on this level, as undesirable as eating chicken flesh (and I would say the same about dairy products, which I also consume). I buy organic eggs, but who knows if that means anything anymore, so it’s a token effort at best.

          In my perfect image of myself, I would not eat meat or dairy or eggs; this would be mostly for health reasons as I suspect that produce that depends on the suffering of animals is laced with stress chemicals and hence adds stress to one’s own body. I also have a rather more extravagant belief, or fear, that when we die we get to experience all the suffering we have caused to others from their point of view. If at all true, this means I will get to experience the misery of every chicken who ever laid an egg or gave its life for me. But for all I know, that will include the many bugs I have swatted and the countless blades of grass I have stepped on ~ so what is a guy to do?

          Certainly nothing Temple Grandin has ever said has helped reconcile me to that conflict, that to live we must kill.

          To answer your question about slavery, being against slavery isn’t so much a lifestyle choice (I don’t see how it would influence your lifestlye, unless you were choosing not to have slaves, which isn’t exactly an option today), but it is an ideological position, and therefore a moral one, and not necessarily based on facts. I don’t even have, or try not to, a moral position against the sexual abuse of children; moral positions are always weak (morals are constantly changing) and I would say they always stem from self-importance/insecurity (as you point out above about being offended). What counts are FACTS, and the facts about sexual and other forms of abuse of children are that it destroys psychic integrity, something I know firsthand because I live it. I have never been a slave (in the sense you mean) or had slaves, so I can’t speak from experience, nor have I studied it enough to speak from real knowledge. I know Morris Berman makes a case for slaves in the US having pretty good living conditions and even relations with their masters, as compared for example to blacks living in the ghettos today, under hidden masters and the internalized slavery of IDEOLOGY. You citing it as an ipso facto correct moral position only indicates how ideology works.

          Think about other proscribed beliefs that make-up the Western liberal value system, besides the truism that slavery is wrong, and you may see what I mean.

  8. the essay he never made
    Hell make me free of it

    Oldboy (2013) our story
    God and Lucifer sitting
    in a tree k i s s i n g
    The rest is “Armoring”.

    Oldboy (2003) sync ups:
    The Hole sync with Ants
    Eating the live Octopus
    Siblings/Father “swap”.

  9. There is no reply button on youre last post, so I have to reply down here.

    Thank you for a proper awnser.

    Not 100% sure if I undertand you correctly, but are you saying that youre reasons for you being or have been a vegetarian were pure egoistical? And that you think it is okey to deny someone to feel the sun and the wind and to end there experiance of life aslong as you deny it in “a nice way” ? If so then I understand if you like slippery matts for cows on there walk to death.

    Sounds abit pseudo-evil to me, but I prefere the honesty over people pretending they rly care.
    But then again, may views might my corrupted by society, morals, and ideology 🙂

    Saying that morals are ALWAYS weak is like saying that FACTS never change.
    I believe we might have different philosofical standpoints when it comes to this.

    And slavery is slavery no mather in what form. If one form is slightly better then the other doesnt make it good.

    I am not sure Jasun, but it feels like I am sort of not fully grasping youre view. Will read you’re last post again abit later
    and see if I understand it differently.
    Right now it feels more like you tried to explain why nothing could be considered as wrong or something like that , but as said I prob missunderstanding something and I appreciate you’re awnsers given, even if I might not understand or agree with them.

  10. “I know Morris Berman makes a case for slaves in the US having pretty good living conditions and even relations with their masters, as compared for example to blacks living in the ghettos today, under hidden masters and the internalized slavery of IDEOLOGY.”

    Jasun, good-old-fashioned slavery was – and is -also an IDEOLOGY too. Anyone with an honest interest in the topic can go ask people who are living as slaves today about the facts of the matter. Of course, you will likely have to make an effort, spend money and put yourself in danger of physical violence and perhaps becoming enslaved yourself….but, hey, that’s not so bad so what’s holding you back? There are plenty of historical first hand accounts you can look into – actually Michel Parenti, one of your guests, has done quite a bit of work on this topic.

    For the record, i am opposed to slavery on moral, ideological, factual, and pretty much every other ground you’d care to name. But then, i’ve actually known people who lived as slaves or had to escape enslavement, their relatives, and have read quite a bit on the matter.

    I can’t believe i’m having to argue against slavery…Maybe you’d feel more optimistic and engaged about your life if you were doing something more inspiring than making a case for one of the more vile human ideologies? Welcome to the USA Jasun, you’re fitting right in.

    I’ll show myself out. Perhaps NKB will be up for getting a coffee…

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