Lost in Translation

I often write as reflection to other’s thoughts and words, as comments or critical remarks upon other ideas.  This tends to lead me more into my own meanings and worlds wrought of words.  This is a high-wire act of balancing on a fragile thread of meaning strung between the intended meaning of the original message, across the vast yawning abyss of non-meaning and back to my own evolving responses; a trapeze wire attached securely to only one end – the original intended meaning of another author.  The topic of words and their attributed meanings, of a more or less blind flailing (on my own behalf) towards a reality illustrated with the incomplete and often inadequate languages and logics we live and breathe through – this fascinates me.  The following text was a reflection from here.

I think (and feel) that the narratives we use to communicate ideas, values are so often co-opted by the individual or collective ego (this latter may also be culture, language, mythology). It may be something of the innate neuropsychological processing of the mind that it requires the static image and concept of a thing (of itself, of anything at all) to understand and successfully comprehend that thing but then becomes mired in the static thing, its various subsequent blossoming mental associations and the ensuing endless mental chatter. Moving on from the concept of “now” to a continuous, lived experience of now appears to me to be a central challenge here.

We might extrapolate this as a general principle to organisational (perhaps doctrinal) larger-scale self-awareness and self-representation. Much of the entropic morass of international relations appears to be caused by multitudinous misrepresentations of reality which also seem to stem from base psychological confusions in the comprehension of, and narrative construction around, Self and Reality.

Words and concepts are tools to understand, negotiate and manage life and living. How often have we mistaken the word or idea for the reality that it represents and how often does this then lead into fractious anxiety, insecurity and conflict ?

There is ample analytical, philosophical and psychological space for Buddhism in the evolving noosphere. I could never self-identify as Buddhist because, for me, this kind of misses the central Buddhist tenet  of non-attachment.  The attachment to attributed, translated, biased interpretations and meanings is the source of much (if not most) misunderstanding and anxiety.  Generalisations, consensually agreed-upon vocabularies and terminologies are pivotal to communication and (self-) definition.  Granted, we require words to communicate, to negotiate and educate but then what to do with this vessel-of-words once we have crossed this river ?


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