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Language, Who Needs It?

Café-Salon Philosophique #57

April 8, 2000

No. of Participants: 8

Topic for Discussion: "Language - Who needs it?"

The group began by briefly reviewing the topic of our last group discussion, "Man versus Technology" in which we wondered if twenty-first (21st) century technology will lead us towards inventing self-replicating robots with possible extinction of the human race?

Our species seems to think that when things look impossible, the answer is to create artificial intelligence (robots); and to advance in electronics and technology.

It seems we spend our time this way, rather than discovering our own intelligence - physically and mentally. We "escape" learning, using and applying our own human intelligence because of laziness. We turn to electronics, the media, and outside entertainment in various forms to escape from learning and knowing more about our own bodies.

The human body is one of the most abused objects here on the planet. We live in this vehicle called "the body," but yet, we really don't know how to navigate with it physically, mentally, or spiritually. We drive it on "automatic" or "mechanically," never really taking the time to discover the real marvels of what is happening below the surface, deep inside.

We learn to live superficially and with pretense. We go out in the world every day and "act out" our roles with a variety of "masks." We think that our main form of communication is the "verbal word."

So, "Why do we talk?"

Jeff began the conversation by stating, "Language developed as a means of communication. It is a way of identifying with our culture, society and families. The spoken word is the way humans learn to communicate in the world."

But why do we engage in small talk? Superficiality? Why are we always "talking about" what we do, instead of just "engaging in doing?" Rae says, "It is because we learn early that speech is important, and believe that it is necessary to talk in order to communicate."

Have you ever noticed how people "get nervous," or become "uncomfortable," and "can't stand" to sit quietly or be in silence. "It bugs them." This is because through societal norms and culturally, we learn to be "on the go," and "stay busy." Most "busy-ness," "hectic-ness," and "chaos"does not lead to productiveness. Our good intentions to "get things done" never happens because we are easily distracted by our "busy-ness" with things. Then, we can't manage our affairs and become overwhelmed.

"Words are a curse from the Gods to humanity," says Samuel. Our Society has created a world which communicates like a "Tower of Babble."(Babel)

Samuel learned this wise and practical story from the essential wisdom:

"Every word should pass through three gates before being uttered. At the first gate, the gatekeeper asks, "Is it true?" At the second gate he asks, "Is it necessary?" And at the third gate he asks, "Is it kind?" If you answer in the positive at all three gates, then by all means, open your mouth and speak."

His grandfather also once told him:

"We are born with a certain number of words in our "word bank." If one uses too many words (like overspending too much), it empties our word bank account. We become overdrawn, or we become mute. So, when we use words, we should use them only when necessary to practice word economy."

"Words are only one form of communication. Ninety percent (90%) of real communication, happens through silence, and in the way we articulate with body language, facial expression, and gestures."

Samuel recommends practicing "one day of silence" a week to achieve the ability to "speak less" and "do more;" to "produce more and consume less," practicing consistently the "active wisdom" of "Word Economy." (See Samuel's Teaching Words)

Oh, there are many people who practice silence, but how, and is it with intention? Sometimes silence can be an escape for justifying not learning. Humans can retreat to silence because they do not like to be criticized. "It comes from the cause and effect of our upbringing," says Rae.

We then "bounced" to discussing, "Why have we become overwhelmed with our selves and life? What keeps us living in turmoil and chaos?"

One of the main reasons is, most humans haven't learned to manage their time. People will deny that their lives are hectic and chaotic because to them "it is normal," "status quo."

Can you honestly say you are a "clear thinker?" Is your life organized in every respect? Do you produce chaos or order? Do you find you are lazy and bored, or productive? How do you fill your time? Is life simplified, or do you try to complicate it more? Most people instead of "collecting themselves," instead of taking the time to organize, "run around" and get nothing done. They continue in the "rat race."

For many, it is easier to be overwhelmed, distracted, and "give in" to mental and physical fears, rather than trying to change and find new ways for doing things to produce order. Only a small minority of people take the time to think clearly to organize their thoughts towards being productive.

The next question was, "Where are we now and where are we headed in the art of communication?"

As 21st century technology "zooms" along, will we end up separating our selves from each other? Spend more time apart? Lose personal contact? Will technology become another "obsession" and "enslavement" of the people? How is the internet and technology shaping the way we communicate?

Will we stop to consider "who am I" as this human? Is there the possibility for using more nonverbal communication through kinesthetic practice?

"In wisdom nothing is happening," says Samuel. "I am" means "essentially nothing." At the edge of our thoughts, is where we can pierce the unknown. Be in timeless space. Find understanding through connecting with our own nature.

It is the "ego" that interferes with the "true self" - that which needs to identify with something "tangible." Tangible can be any thought, form, or object.

And then there are those that go to extremes, to "get away" from the ego, to "get out of the body" by creating Gods to worship, practice, ritualize, and "identify" with. They lose being in touch with the true self "inside" of the body.

I'm sorry, but The Gods outside of the body do not have the responsibility of caring for you physically or mentally. It is up to the individual to get to know their own "body vehicle." No body else but you, can care for your body and work for longevity.

One has to know how to maintain it in order for it to be of good service for a long time.

In my day to day contact with people, I find it very interesting how many people know so little about how the mental and physical processes work in the body.

And even more amazing, when given good constructive information on how to maintain the body, responses might be to "blow it off," "oh, no big deal," or "I don't need to do that," or they just totally ignore the information.

So, why do we spend so much time talking? Why are there so many languages in this world? Will we ever get past the "small talk," "pretense," "superficiality" in communicating?

Many ways of thinking and doing would have to be unlearned. We would have to very strongly examine our own personal prejudices and judgments that we carry with us. One would have to learn how to become a good value builder and producer.

Maybe, there will even be new discoveries for a cosmic language that would be universal and beneficial for all. You think?

It takes courageous people committed to change to genuinely create new ways of being in "the midst of madness" of our world. Are you one of them?

Hopefully, this has stimulated and expanded your "grey matter" thinking. Come with us now as we go the the Café for further sharing........

Our next Café-Salon meeting will be held April 22, 2000 at the Boulder Bookstore located at 1107 Pearl St. in Boulder, Colorado. Usual start time is 6:30 p.m. Hope to see you then! Bring a new and stimulating topic. Thanks for your participation. We appreciate it!

"Samuel brings awareness to the soul of people and gives the artists who work under his direction the need, dedication, and love for the world of silence and the beautiful art of movement."


- Marcel Marceau, BIP 1961

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About LCDS

LCDS is an independent school for self-discovery through the human Arts.  The school offers seminars and workshops teaching the concepts of Theater, Mime, and Movement.