It’s a Trap!
Humans confuse words with the things they represent. It’s easy to forget, for example, that “money” represents something else. In the same way that the word “money” is not money, a picture of a dollar bill is not a dollar bill, and a wheel barrel full of $100 bills is not wealth. We confuse our symbols with real objects, we get lost in the confusion, and we cannot tease apart illusion from reality. We get imprisoned by our own inventions within language because — in general — we humans do not have a sufficient understanding of what language is and how to use it in way that liberates us.
Your Linguistic Home
Throughout growth and evolution, humans typically develop some method of communicating to interact with the environment and to share meaning. As we evolve, our first communications occur through actions, then through words, then through writing. An infant’s drive to satisfy hunger might be conveyed through moving objects into their mouth, or through crying. Later, a child might simply speak the words “I am hungry.” And later a person sends a text message across the room “Watcha doing for lunch?”
If one studies enough cultures and societies, one discovers patterns within language which indicate a level of cognitive development. Our communications match our level of awareness and consciousness. While we may still get “hangry” and cry, our center of gravity of cognition tends to move to higher levels with more complex thinking, speaking, and writing. Therefore, we can measure a person’s stage of development — and changes in development over time and circumstance — by analyzing their use of language.
The key is to make language your home, and not your prison.
What is Communication?
Etymology is the study of the origins of words and the evolution of meaning. The origin of the word “communication” includes words that mean “unite”, “share”, and “to make common.” The word “common” means “belonging to all.” In a very real sense, communication is an action — a communicative action — that takes a meaningful idea in the mind of one person and makes that meaning common in both minds, whether through images, speaking, or writing. If communication happens in the real sense of the word, then a meaningful idea belongs to, and is shared by, both sender and receiver.
But if we’re honest:
- How well do humans communicate with one another, in the true sense of the word?
- How much effort do we put into the superficial aspects of communication without assessing the real drive behind communication?
- How often participants of a conversation come away with a common, meaningful idea that belongs to all?
- We each have meaning-making map, which is correlated to our developmental stage of consciousness, and we don’t know it.
- We assume that others share, or belong to, our meaning making map, and we don’t know it.
- We confuse the map with the territory, and we don’t know it.
Real Communication: Avoiding the Trap
There are four ways — four uses of language — to communicate an idea:
- Describe what the idea is through affirmative language.
- Describe what the idea is not through negating language.
- Describe what the idea is like through simile and metaphor.
- Give instructions leading to direct experience which imparts the idea.
The method of communication with the highest fidelity — truest to the idea — is (4) instructions, or injunctions, which lead an experience in which meaning is shared. In other words, to understand someone deeply, “walk a mile in their shoes.” And if they’ve left instructions on how to walk, follow them… if you’re truly willing to understand.
Ken Wilber calls injunctions “the only technically ‘correct’ type of language.” Why? Because all other forms of communication fall into traps; the traps laid by ignorance of our own meaning making map, the ignorance of the stark differences between people’s maps, and superficially mistaking the map’s description with the territory itself.
If communication is making an idea belong to all, then how can we make the most esoteric ideas — for example, waking up higher states of consciousness — belong to all?
The Ineffable Can Belong to All
Such instructions are emancipatory symbols.
It is no longer enough to read descriptions of what “it” is, what it’s not, and what it’s like. If those 3 methods were sufficient, we’d all “get it” by now!
True to its name, PraxisAletheia includes a system of instructions and practices that lead you to uncover a lifetime of direct experiences of waking up, growing up, cleaning up, and showing up.
PraxisAletheia: The Metamodern Mystery School is true communication of the waking up path of the Eastern Wisdom traditions, the growing-up path of Western Enlightenment values, and a Metamodern meaning-making map.
If you’re serious about your evolution, then watch the PraxisAletheia webinar and find out if you’re a good fit for the Metamodern Mystery School.