What Words Made Us (Do)

Technology is essentially wordcraft. From the Greek tekhne, meaning art, craft, skill, as weaving, and logos, the Word itself. This is the same Word that "was in the beginning", as John would preach the gospel. It's how Gilgamesh knew it all.

History is built on this Word and clothed with culture , whereas Herstory is woven of more natural fibers. Culture may as well be a lego movie studio where the bricks are words. And what are words? Only other words can tell.

They comprise apparent reality, the virtual, maya, the illusion. Consider the authors of many of our ancient texts. The Vedas represent the one true song, lost on the still tongues of ghostly mutes scratching in the sand. For unknown eons the song had been echoed from heart to heart, generation to generation.

Gilgamesh remembers the flood

Until some 80 ka, when the skies grew dark with ash, and the rain began but did not stop, and the floods froze into songless fields. Speech and language preexisted this near extinction event, but only as sound and fury, as music, like the rest of natural reality. And as the Earthβ€”then not yet our Mother but at long last our Destroyerβ€” withdrew her boundless providence and smote all but 8,000 of our prehistoric ancestors into frozen dust, we almost lost the song.

Those that survived the icy cataclysm by fleeing to the last dry, thawing land in East Africa vowed to remember the song. Once they devoured the last of the savannah's herds, they were forced to farm for sustenance. In their stagnant, idiotic desperation, the word was born, as they scratched in the sand with sticks, mumbling through their grandmothers' sacred melodies, waiting for the fields to melt.

Some others, unbeknownst to the sand-skritters, had found sanctuary high in the Himalayas, and in the Andes, above the flood, beyond the ice floes. And still fewer had adapted to life on the ice. These found no need for words, for they had not lost the song. They still moved with the flocks and the herds and the seasons.

The leap we hadn't made when speech was song

The awareness of being, satchitananda, evolves, loving itself, loving what is, becoming everything and its mutually balancing opposite in any permutation and combination imaginable. These moments, we points of awareness, evolve from and within it. Experiences arise as dualities emerge and perspectives intersect.

The leap we hadn't made until the Word is the same leap that today keep us apart: the leap from subject to object. The Story of Separation, as Charles Eisenstein puts it, was quite possibly the first story ever told. Before that our stories were sung, were songs, like the words of the birds, the symphonies of mycelium, the orchestras of ants, or the arias of whales.

Look what that initial act of social distancing made us do!

Once we could separate ourself from the world with a quill or a chisel, our suffering soared as our desire to reunite with nature expressed as a murderous hunger to consume and an unslakable thirst for control. For separating ourself from the world had cleaved what some now call God in two, and then into three, and then into the ten thousand things. tao-te-ching 22?

Of the Word we carved Law, control of the Other encoded in stone. With a Word, we divorced body from soul, and mind from body. Pig became porque, then pork porque the kids cry less than when we had "pigchops" for dinner. Words gave us categories, classes, grades, types, species, races, genders, ages, nations, ideologies, identities, names… for… everything.

I'm reminded of the Piraha in the Amazon that Charles discusses in Ascent of Humanity. So committed to union, to interbeing, to the song of truth are the Piraha that they will not draw a straight line, nor will they write a letter the same way twice. Those who found sanctuary in the Andes during the ice age and its flood and the volcanic blotto that triggered them, they were the first to follow the melting mountain streams to the newborn forests that would become the Amazon Jungle.

In stark relief, the Internet nowadays runs chiefly on object-oriented programs. JavaScript, the universal scripting language spoken by nearly all web browsers and now most web servers, employs this approach, wherein elements of data are objects that exhibit the attributes and methods of the class of which they are instances. Am I the only one who reads the architecture of the Internet as a not-so-subliminal recipe for bigotry?

The Word won't rest until everything has a proper name, a common noun, a right place. Its warpath is paved in gravestones for the unique, the sacred, the infinitesimal, the meek. A zillion artful blades of grass reduced to a lawn. Or like so many raindrops, each one an individual momentary gem, now but a puddle.

The Story of Separation began with the Word, and it can end without it. Until we remember how to sing our truth, while we keep insisting on all this telling, all this talk, we're stuck here, disintegrated, quarantined, alone together. I'm not helping by writing this, am I.

New rules, then nobody talk

  • It's not serious.
  • We don't mention the simulation in the hot tub.
  • Silence is golden. The multiverse is musical.

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What Words Made Us (Do)