understanding metaphorical parables like the tree of life, the eyes to see and the ears to hear

This image depicts the Tree of Life derived fr...

This image depicts the Tree of Life derived from the Flower of Life. Created by sloth_monkey 11:48, 4 November 2006 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Cover of "How Language Works"

Cover of How Language Works

Language is amazing. In fact, life is amazing and language is just one of the many amazing parts of life.

If life was like a tree, then we could say that there are stages in the growth of the tree of life. At one point, there may be exactly one trunk with exactly two limbs. Then, at a later point in the development of the tree of life, there might be several limbs, like spreading out in radiating circle from the trunk, right? The two original limbs are still there, not gone, but later there can be additional limbs beyond the original two.

Now, if language was was like a tree, then we could say that language can be divided in to two distinct categories: good language and bad language. Or, we could say that there is proper language and improper language. We could even say that there is proper pronunciation and improper pronunciation. Or we could say that, when babies make sounds, there are sounds of language and sounds of gibberish or nonsense.

Here is an example of another kind of gibberish: no anti-negativity metaphors understanding ears hearing eyes seeing tree life understanding nonsense literal interpretations could bee impossible 42ds53hsf FIVE. So, that was mostly a sequence of recognizable words of the English language, but stuck together in a way that is not especially meaningful, similar to a sequence of numbers like 1240834034. Those are real alphanumeric digits, but that is about all that is identifiable about them, right?

Video: Neva takes up gibberish

Video: Neva takes up gibberish (Photo credit: JasonUnbound)

However, language can be very meaningful. Language allows us to divide life in to categories. We could divide like in to exactly two categories, such as either “proper or improper” as in either “good or evil.” Those would be binary dichotomies of contrasting duality.

For thousands of years, people could have been attempting to point out that language can create exclusive binary categories as well as one-dimensional spectrums. For instance, language can create a categorization of “either only good or only evil,” yet language can also create categories of relativity, like “exactly how good or bad.”

I could say that eating apples is good and eating live bees is bad. I could say that eating fuji apples is best and eating allergic bees is worst. I could say that eating rotten apples is actually not so good and eating a tiny bee larvae accidentally in a honeycomb is really not so bad.

Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer (1507) given by...

Adam and Eve by Albrecht Dürer (1507) given by Christina of Sweden to King Philip IV in 1654. taken from http://www.owenbarfield.com/Images/Paintings/Durer%20Adam%20and%20Eve.jpg see also: http://museoprado.mcu.es/iadan_eva.html (links no longer work, see below) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That would be a one-dimensional spectrum: a relative range between good and bad. So, first there is only good or only evil, which is a binary dualism or dichotomy. That is the first stage in the development of language. Later, there can be spectrums of relativity in language, like brightness, loudness, height, weight, and so on.

We all know that the linguistic construction of “4 pounds” is not inherently better in any particular way than “400 pounds.” We can say mathematically that 400 is 100 times as much as 4, but are we talking about pounds of silver, British Pounds, pounds of body weight, pounds of payload on an airplane or what? That is just a spectrum.

Similarly, linguistic constructions of morality can occur as binary dichotomies of either only good or only evil. Or, they can occur as spectrums of relative value or morality. There could be perhaps 5 distinct ranges in language of moral relativity: morally repugnant, morally unfavorable, morally questionable, morally favorable, and morally excellent.

Could there be 4 categories of moral value or 10? Sure! There is no single “correct” number of moral categories.

Eating Shiva

Eating Shiva (Photo credit: Mirror | imaging reality)

For a child, two categories are how we begin to develop discernment, like the most basic distinction between right and wrong or acceptable and unacceptable or rewarded and punished. Later, we develop discrimination, like assessing between several different alternatives.  Eventually, we recognize that context matters and moral values can change.

We might not wear the same clothes to a wedding or funeral that we would wear to a beach or in the privacy of our own home. That gets in to the issue of discretion and etiquette and so on.

It is not immoral to wear a tuxedo to the beach, but it would be unusual and perhaps inappropriate. However,  someone could have a wedding at a beach and then wearing a tuxedo on the beach at the wedding would not be so unusual.

All values or norms are relative. Relative to what? To social context. In other words, “context is decisive.”

So, along come some wise people who realize that a lot of folks are not clear about what works and how language works. So, they use some metaphors like “the tree of life” to explain how something can have exactly two distinct branches, but then later can have 5 or 6 branches, and later can have dozens of branches spreading in lots of directions.

Linguistic categories can form various numbers of categories. For an infant, it is enough to know “good” and “bad.” As a child grows, they learn to discriminate between several alternatives- not just two- and they can dress themselves and be trusted to pick clothes that not only match the weather, but with each item of clothing matching all of the others. They learn discernment and discrimination and eventually even discretion.

Of course, it would be fruitless to try to explain this to an infant. They do not have the linguistic complexity or intelligence to be familiar with “big words” like distinction and discernment and discrimination and discretion.

In fact, before those particular words existed, wise people could not just use those words. They had to use stories and examples and metaphors and parables- even silly parables.

They said things like “do not get bogged down in categorizing everything as either good or evil. That is a low level of knowledge or comprehension or maturity or intelligence. However, do not discard those categories either. Those categories are valid and useful. Just go beyond fanaticism and fundamentalism and learn to appreciate all of life and even how and why various things are good or evil. First, children just learn to repeat the categorizations they are trained to identify in regard to what actions are good and what is evil or bad or dangerous. Later, someone can learn WHY and WHEN and HOW those actions fit or not. They can learn of the relativism of all things, as referenced in this ancient scripture:”

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”

http://bible.cc/ecclesiastes/3-1.htm

They can learn of scriptures like this:

Romans 14:14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced 

 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself,
but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean
//bible.cc/romans/14-14.htm - 17k

Mark 7:18 “Are you so dull?” he asked. “Don’t you see that nothing 

 Don’t you know that nothing that goes into a person from the outside can
make him unclean Jesus said to them, “Don’t you understand? 
//bible.cc/mark/7-18.htm - 17k

They can learn also of these radical statements of “moral relativism.”

Titus 1:15 To the pureall things are pure, but to those who are 

To the pureall things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe,
nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. 
//bible.cc/titus/1-15.htm - 17k

Romans 14:20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. 

 All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. 
All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eats with offense. 
//bible.cc/romans/14-20.htm - 17k

Romans 14:2 One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.

Here is a much older scripture than those of the old or new testament:

Good and evil of this world of duality are unreal,
are spoken of by words, and exist only in the mind.”
Bhagavatam, XI, ch. XXII.

Here is a rather recent comment, which even if a frightening and challenging idea for some people, it may reflect the actual experience of many actual people.

“…there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Shakespeare (spoken by the character Hamlet).

John 8:15 ”You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one.” (Jesus speaking to the orthodox religious leaders)

The one who judges other seeks to glorify himself. (See John 8:50)

“Judge not. Condemn not. Resist not evil. Turn away from evil. Remove the obstruction from your own perception before go poking around in other people’s perception. Yo, chill out, player. Have mercy on their innocent mistaken presumptions, like for your own good, baby, just forgive them and be responsible and clear, clean, open, humble, meek, godly, holy, perfect, pure, dignified. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about!”

For those who have the capacity to understand these metaphors in language, let them understand. For those who have the ears to hear beyond their own confusion and fanaticism and fear and idealism, let them hear. For those who have the eyes to see beyond their own arrogance and shame and blame, let them see.

Ezekiel 12:2 “Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people 

“Son of man, you are living among a rebellious people. They have eyes to see but
do not see and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious people. 
//bible.cc/ezekiel/12-2.htm - 16k

Deuteronomy 29:4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind 

 But to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to
understand or eyes to see or ears to hear. 
//bible.cc/deuteronomy/29-4.htm - 15k

Romans 11:8 as it is written: “God gave them a spirit of stupor 

 just as it is written, “GOD GAVE THEM A SPIRIT OF STUPOR, EYES TO
SEE NOT AND EARS TO HEAR NOT, DOWN TO THIS VERY DAY 
//bible.cc/romans/11-8.htm - 17k

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your 

 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. 
//bible.cc/psalms/119-18.htm - 15k

Isaiah 43:8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.


Jeremiah 5:21 Hear this, you foolish and senseless people, who have eyes but do not see, who have ears but do not hear:


Ezekiel 2:7 You must speak my words to them, whether they listen or fail to listen, for they are rebellious.

Matthew 13:13 This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.


Matthew 13:14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: “‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.


Mark 4:12 so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”


Mark 8:18 Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?


Luke 8:10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.’


John 9:39 Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”


John 12:40 “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn–and I would heal them.”


Acts 28:26 “‘Go to this people and say, “You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.”

<< Ecclesiastes 3 >>
King James Version

1To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

http://kingjbible.com/ecclesiastes/3.htm

Arbre de la vida

Arbre de la vida (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ernst Haeckel's "tree of life", Darw...

Ernst Haeckel’s “tree of life”, Darwin’s metaphorical description of the pattern of universal common descent made literal by his greatest popularizer in the German scientific world. This is the English version of Ernst Haeckel’s tree from the The Evolution of Man (Published 1879), one of several depictions of a tree of life by Haeckel. “Man” is at the crown of the tree; for Haeckel, as for many early evolutionists, humans were considered the pinnacle of evolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

morality over legality

morality over legality (Photo credit: GoatChild)

morality over legality (Photo credit: GoatChild)

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48 Responses to “understanding metaphorical parables like the tree of life, the eyes to see and the ears to hear”

  1. johnedoe Says:

    hey,…how you doing?????….i haven’t double checked yet,….but do you leave a “semi” comment on something i wrote from earlier today???……”TAKE TWO TABLETS?????”…….if so,…i had asked you what you meant earlier about what i thought was a comment???? anyway,…i’m still not sure,…lol,….stop back over and comment on it now if you would like,..as i added a tiny bit more to it,…have a good one,…john e doe…….thanks again!!!

  2. Ula Says:

    Thanks for linking back to my site. This is a fascinating post on language and life :)

  3. greeneyezwinkin2@aol.com Says:

    Thank you for the link back. Have a wonderful day! :-)

  4. singingbones Says:

    This is an incredibly detailed and really interesting blog post. You have covered a whole lot of ground within one shot, so to say. And your list of blog posts and sites is quite mind-boggling, to say the least. I am very impressed, thank you. I will be back. SB

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Welcome. Koans boggle the mind and then suddenly the mind, at least as it has been, is lost to a disappearance and what remains is clarity unboggled.

      • singingbones Says:

        Do you do anything else with your life besides this blog? and who are you, actually? Your blog site is an entire library unto itself. amazing!

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      If I said that all I do is write this blog, would you believe that? Many of the recently posted items are a few years old (and say so at the end of the post), but this item is content that actually was “revealed” through me a week ago as dated above. There are several audios and a few videos as well.

      As for “who are you actually,” that is a rather vague question. Is there something more specific that you care to invite me to reveal?

      • singingbones Says:

        well…. let’s see. perhaps a clue as to some of your previous incarnations, obviously you have been around on the planet off and on for quite a while…. you just have such a variety of sources and thoughts from various world religions, well did you ever see that old Star Trek episode when they meet this guy…. turns out he was Plato, and Beethoven, and all kinds of amazing humans throughout time. something about this blog reminds me of something very old indeed. I know, if you were to use one Tarot card to symbolize who you are, which one would it be?

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      I am vaguely familiar with the archetypes of the Tarot deck. I will take the spirit of your question and twist it thus:

      The following are “ritual totems” that I have used within the last several years within a relatively playful context:

      White Crane

      Living Wind

      Dancing Bear

      (elaborated to)

      Bear who dances on the skulls of bulls

      (which is a reference my economic forecasts published since 2003)

      • singingbones Says:

        These are all quite native american in quality… whereas the Tarot images are all human or god-like archetypes. but your response gives me a slight glimpse into the person behind your fascinating blog. Thank you, Fibonacci.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Those “names” were within a tradition related to native american indigenous initiation rites of passage. They were all spontaneous, instinctual, self-generated namings. I later researched the “white crane” totem and learned that cranes were associated with magic and magicians and wisdom and, if I recall right, patience.

  5. pk Says:

    Yabsolutely, keep it up.
    (I’ll be back for more careful readings later.)

  6. BeLinda Magee Says:

    You are doing a great work and interesting readings. Please continue.

  7. menvall Says:

    Indeed, if the broom would have been a rifle, then the old lady would have shot the bear. However, as the broom is just a broom, she can only use it to sweep the floor. To me, it is more interesting to explore what we can do than what we can’t do. Reality is more interesting than dream.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Reality includes language. Language directs attention, perception, and behavior.

      If the bear runs away from the old lady threatening it with a broom, then the bear does not eat the old lady, right? Why did the population of humans balloon dramatically in the last 10,000 years and not the population of bears? Language is a big part of the answer.

      By the way, reality does not exclude anything. If you think reality excludes anything at all, even dreams, then you may be very confused.

      What if it was easier to confuse a human than a bear? What if it was also easier to insult a human in to a rage than to insult a human in to a rage? ;)

  8. menvall Says:

    Yes, reality does indeed include language, and language also not only directs attention, perception and behavior, but moreover governs thought. But, it isn’t thought.

    And, yes, the broom can indeed save the old lady from the bear, but it can’t shoot it (ie, language can’t turn it into a rifle).

    But no, reality does not include everything at every moment. It does not include that which talks about it when it talks about it. It can’t include a statement about it exactly when this statement is made. (And, furthermore, exclusion of something, like this, is not confusion of some things, whatever it might be).

    Your question whether it is easier to confuse a human than a bear is interesting… To me it appears just as easy, the difference is rather that a human can be convinced (ie, believe) that he/she is “right” in confusion (for example, of a statement about reality exactly when it’s made with reality). A bear is harmonic in feeling confused when he/she is confused, in the lack of language. Your last question can only be answered with that it depends on which human it refers to. Concerning the category it refers to (ie, “human”), the two alternatives are identical.

    Your statements in the post that “if” … “then” are interesting per se, but the fact that reality can be described by different descriptions (ie, maps) does not turn all or any of the maps into reality. Concerning a “tree of life”, this idea (map) is actually a paradox called Russell’s paradox and thus can’t be a “thing” per definition, since paradoxes are contradictory and contradictions can’t be things, independently of whether it can be used to lead humans into a confusion they believe is “right”. Dream is dream and reality is reality if there is a difference between them, otherwise a broom is a rifle and a rifle is a broom. We just have to decide which.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Isn’t every map a real map already? Reality includes maps.

      If the label of “reality” is used to only include labeled perceptions but not the label of “the process of perceiving,” why not? Why isn’t the process of perceiving (or “that which talks about [reality]“) also already reality?

      Is talking reality? Is the sound of human speech reality? Is there any real sound that is not a real sound?

      Everything that can be labeled is reality. Dreams are real dreams. Atoms are real atoms. Myths are real myths. Sounds are real sounds. Unicorns are… a real category in language, like all of the other real labels and categories.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      As for confusion and contradictions, those are both just labels. Contradictions are real contradictions. The label “contradiction” is a real label.

      Confusion is a label that CAN be applied to a bear that is, for instance, walking in a totally dark cave and unaware of where the walls of the cave are- not knowing exactly how to get out- trying to sense some light or some movement of wind or whatever. However, that whole story is just a story. The bear may be ignorant (unaware!) without actually being literally confused (as in mistaking one thing for another).

      A toddler may think that “furniture” and “chair” are two exclusive categories and thus not comprehend that “all chairs are furniture, but all furniture is not a chair.” Someone may declare “confusion” about whether a stool is really a chair or not.

      Such confusion just means a lack of clarity about the definitions of various related verbal categories. That is actually what I call ignorance.

      We can define confusion as INCLUDING ignorance, in which case it makes sense to say that bears can be confused. However, a creature that does not ever rely on vision, like a blind man, would not be “confused” in the same cave. A blind man would just be ignorant or – even more gently-spoken – not able to see where the walls of the cave are.

      Reality includes confusion. Confusing an unplugged computer for a plugged-in computer can result in surprises and confusion. Those are just confusing presumptions without language. Again, we could say “bears can make erroneous presumptions.”

      Chimps can be trained various signal sounds and hand signals (like sign language). They apparently can lie- intentionally attempt to confuse each other or a human.

      However, ONLY humans are intelligent enough to experience extremely serious confusion about language. Bears and chimps cannot be confused about metaphors like the tree of life and they also cannot recognize the “genius” usefulness of such spiritual metaphors.

      They are like a Christian telling an advanced Kabbalist what the ancient Hebrews meant by the word “Christ.” The Kabbalist may know that such a Christian is something of a presumptive idiot, since the word Christ is a translation of Messiah, which is a translation of what could be written in the common alphabet as “Massioch.”

      However, a savvy Kabbalist will have no issue with the presumptive idiocy or arrogant confusion of the average mainstream Christian. The Kabbalist will comprehend the origin of the whole set of presumptions and how they correspond to arrogance and confusion and idiocy.

      Kabbalists will not be confused about Christians praying to Santa Claus. Because they will not be confused by it, they will not experience it as a threat. In fact, they may cultivate such confusions among the mainstream chattel masses.

  9. Mats Envall Says:

    In mathematical terms, reality can be described as a transition between the two sides of a differential equation, where now is the solution(s) of this equation. In this description, reality does indeed include both the sides and the solution(s) of differential equations, but the equations aren’t the solutions. It points at that there is a difference between the map and the mapped, independently of what is being mapped. That is, reality is not absolute, but it is different from descriptions of it.

    Your questions of “why isn’t” should actually be posed to yourself, because it is you that “label” and “include” or “exclude”. You may point at that others (like me) do, but you can’t discuss others doing it without doing it. You can discard doing it, but not including doing it.

    Yes, talking is reality. But talking about reality can’t always be reality at the same time as reality is reality, because it can confuse talk about reality with reality. It is just a matter of keeping talk about reality (ie, descriptions of reality) apart from reality.

    Your last paragraph is belief. On this, I have no comments, because I’m a scientist. As such, I just want to emphasize the boundary between belief and science.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      There is no boundary between belief and science. A scientist can say that scurvy is an incurable illness. That is a belief, a presumption, a superstition.

      I would say that they are using the linguistic model of demonic possession and are not only inaccurate, but idiotic. However, for hundreds of years that “scientific fact” (that pattern of labeling in language) might be popular.

      Scurvy is a diagnostic label. The physiological circumstances that correspond to the diagnostic labeling of “a case of incurable scurvy” are simple enough, but scientists were ignorant of them until they learned of them. No big deal.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      There is something of a variation in how to use the term reality. Descriptions are part of reality, specifically within the realm of reality called language.

      Reality includes everything, including language. Language includes descriptive language and descriptions.

      All language is real language. All descriptions are real descriptions. All uses of the word reality are real uses of a word.

      In mathematical terminology, I am saying that within the infinite set of all numbers, there are no numbers excluded. You are arguing against my definition of the word infinite saying “what about the numbers that are outside of infinity?!?!”

      Your confusion is purely linguistic. My clarity- that I am referencing now- is ABOUT language.

      I am using the term reality like a linguistic category- such as “furniture.” I am saying furniture includes chairs and reality includes furniture, then you are arguing about whether reality includes chairs.

      It’s all rather ridiculous. Maps are real maps. Everything that is a real thing- linguistically! – is within the definition of reality that I am presenting: including all nouns- persons, places, things, ideas, etc…. My definition of “reality” is consistent with other uses of similar words. I know that we are talking about language. You may be confused about language and not know when we are talking about language.

      “Reality” is a word with seven letters. That label refers to an ancient concept, like what the Ancient Hebrews referenced by the four letter sequence that can be transposed in to our common alphabet as YHWH. YHWH means reality. It is a label for that which is everywhere (omnipresent), includes all times (eternal), and so on.

      The Sanskrit term Brahman also references the omnipotent, almighty, omnipresent, inclusive reality. In other languages, words like God and Allah are used. Sometimes those words are use with an awareness of the nature of language and sometimes, perhaps, not so fluently

      I tell you an ancient doctrine or commandment: there is no reality but reality. You keep referencing “what about everything that is outside of reality?”

      Maybe I should ask you if your first language is English, since you could be from Britain or the USA, but also from many places where the English word “reality” would not be as familiar to you. Most people fluent in English are clear about the word reality, but very confused about God and Allah and Brahman and YHWH, which CANNOT be “outside of reality.”

  10. Mats Envall Says:

    Science works with diagnostic labels. That’s actually the essence of it. It does not, however, confuse labels with the reality it labels. Instead, it understands that labels are bound to be simplifications of the reality they diagnose, but constantly aiming to improve its diagnoses. Science understands that perfection, ie, your confusion of science with belief, is not within reach, because it would confuse the label with the labelled. Science thus avoids the confusion you acknowledge.

    This confusion may appear tempting to you, but it is actually an eternal wandering around the orthogonal relation between class and object, like a cat around hot porridge. Never will you find a consistent position in this wandering.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Scientists often have confused linguistic labels for physical substance. I love the example of scurvy, but I will use another: the sun.

      Most people I know think of the sun as a furnace. They will reference their presumption as a scientific truth, if not as a sacred doctrine.

      However, the sun is much more like a magnetic plasma “lamp bulb” than a furnace. For a 1st grader, furnace is “close enough.” However, if we want to explain coronas, sunspots, solar radiation, and so on (and PREDICT them), furnaces have none of those features and yet every star does. “magnetic plasma bulb” is not a FAMILIAR term though.

      The surface of the sun is hotter than the interior. That is a classic feature of a BULB not of a furnace.

      Why are sun spots (where the surface activity of the sun is relatively small) dark? Because the “inside” of the sun is not luminous (shining).

      Why are solar flares FAR hotter than the surface of the sun? Because the sun is electromagnetic and the flares are more like lightning than the flames of a campfire or a candle.

      The sun IS a massive electrical storm. It is almost NONE of the qualities of a furnace.

      However, ancient mythology might describe it scientifically as akin to a furnace. That is fine. Modern mythology (grade school science) may or may not “correct” that myth with a more precise myth or metaphor or label.

      There is NO DISPUTING the reality of solar activity. However, people can get in to serious disagreements- politically and commercially- about what will textbooks say about the sun. Will it be labeled as Helios, the divine source of life on this planet? Will it largely misrepresented as a furnace? Do you want to bother explaining to millions of young students what an electromagentic plasma bulb is? Keep in mind that THEY MAY NOT CARE. Do you?

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Further, Now that I have given the rather obscure (and trivial) example of the sun, let’s go back to the religion of medical science. Is there such a thing as an incurable illness?

      What percentage of government-licensed physicians would say “yes?” 80%? 100? 50%?

      I definitely assert that THERE IS NO SUCH THING. You can find my articles on the subject within this site (like http://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/the-myth-of-incurable-illness/ ) However, it is also an ENTIRELY UNDERSTANDABLE use of language to call a medical pattern “incurable.”

      Any physician who is generally ignorant of how to predictably treat some biochemical pattern can functionally categorize those conditions as “beyond cure” or “incurable.” They can tell people that they are possessed by the demons of scurvy and cancer and diabetes and autism and so on, but those are all just labels. There is no physical substance “autism.”

      As for cancer tumors (and similar bodily accumulations like kidney stones), there are real physical accumulations, but not because someone was possessed by a demon of cancer (or “kidney-stone-itis”). To say “your cancer is killing you” is pure WITCHCRAFT.

      However, such witchcraft has a privileged and protected status within the western cultures- it is licensed by governments. Further, those same governments systematically protect those who dare to question “establishment science” by asserting that what is being labeled cancer is in fact a lack of functionality of various glands, generally due to lack of vitamin B-17, but among other factors such as exposure to cigarette smoke or radiation poisoning and so on.

      Mats, what is important to understand is that language can be very powerful. Legal systems are systems of defining the definitions of words BACKED BY ORGANIZED COERCION/EXTORTION.

      Legal systems define crime and currency. Is homosexuality a crime? Ask a judge. Is homosexuality a psychiatric condition? Ask a judge. Sure, the psychiatric classification of homosexuality as a medical condition has become unpopular in most developed countries in the last several decades:

      “Until 1973, the American Psychiatric Association defined homosexuality as a mental illness.”

      http://blekko.com/ws/?ourmark=4&source=ba553428&tbp=rbox&q=homosexuality+diagnosed+as+mental+illness%2C+crime

      You may also know that adultery and homosexuality are still serious crimes in several developing nations- like punishable by death in certain parts of the Arabian peninsula.

      So, let’s not pretend that legal definitions do not matter. They do.

      The words legal and language indeed have a common Sanskrit root: yoga. “Logos” and many other words have that same root.

      Words matter. When? In court- but not just in court. Do the words of the judge matter more than the words of a witness? They certainly can.

      Why? Because the judge has a system of organized coercion backing their words and declarations and dictates.

      You can say “science has no beliefs.” I consider that absolutely ridiculous- but again a totally understandable statement.

      You mean that scientists generally admit that their definitions of words are just definitions. However, scientists operate within a complex social web of institutional politics.

      In rural confederacies, we could call “the church” the dominant form of institutional politics. Today, we can say “government” excludes all churches. Whatever….

      When a government defines marijuana use or alcohol possession or homosexuality as “criminal” (or as a sign of mental pathology), that is the same quality of coercive institutional politics established by Noah and Moses and the other Hebrew “Messiahs” (AKA Popes, Ruler over rulers, King of Kings, Christs). Science follows the rules of language and it is legal systems of organized violence that regulate the rules of language (which “establishment scientists” follow). “Mainstream scientists” use language rituallistically in ways that are consistent with the regulatory rituals of the religious systems of “criminal justice” that are established by modern governments of organized coercion.

      In other words, if a judge declares the existence of “incurable illness,” then incurable illness is real. If a judge says “the defendant has been possessed by the demons of scurvy, alcoholism, cancer, dementia, and senility and therefore is no longer capable of being tried as a legally competent adult,” then that is what is real.

  11. Mats Envall Says:

    No, no, no and no again. Map can never become anything else than a distorted copy of reality. Belief that it can just leads into the eternal orthogonal merry-go-round that you appear to be caught in between all possible subjective (contradictory) opinions. Scientific objectivity rises above this eternal wrangling. A tree of life is a matter of statistical distribution rather than of black and white. I suggest you say goodbye to Russell’s paradox instead of wandering in it! :-)

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      I am going to presume that English is not your first language. A “distorted copy” of a particular pattern of reality is a real “distorted copy.” Anything real is part of reality. A fake face (a “mask”) is a real “fake face.”

      You could even say that the sensory experience that a human brain organizes using “distorted sensory input from ears, eyes, and other nerve bundles” is “not real,” but clearly those are real sensory interpretations and sensory inputs and so on.

  12. Mats Envall Says:

    Nothing becomes real just because someone says it is. On the contrary, reality itself has a tendency to disprove such statements as soon as they are being made…

  13. Mats Envall Says:

    To paraphrase John Lennon: [reality] is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.

  14. Mats Envall Says:

    As I said before, a fake face is, of course, real, but not at the same time as the real face is real. And, the question which of these that is the real face does, of course, has the answer: the real face. You have to put “real” at one side of the boundary between real and dream (or fake), because otherwise you fall into the endless regression I explain above.

    Language is indeed fantastic, but it can’t turn dream into reality.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      I’m not sure of your interest, such as with “endless regressions.” Who cares?

      If you are interested in understanding the metaphors of spiritual poetry (AKA mythology), so be it. Perception is influenced by language. Spiritual metaphors can explore how.

      Think about something like an economic boom that suddenly collapses or a company announcing a bankruptcy. One moment, the company has horrible finances and few people know, and the next moment the bankruptcy filing is announced and perceptions change.

      One moment, a belief in Santa Claus influences the actions of a little child, but then the belief shifts. Or a misunderstanding about the diagnostic label “scurvy” influences the actions of a physician or patient. The consequences of perception are real. Perception is real perception. A huge amount of “science” is extremely imprecise. That is okay because that is the nature of language, but just because some high priest of science announces that scurvy is incurable and contagious, that does not make it so. The dreams of scientists are still just real dreams.

  15. menvall Says:

    Your perception of perception appears to imply that perception itself influences the outcome of the real process:

    ” One moment, the company has horrible finances and few people know, and the next moment the bankruptcy filing is announced and perceptions change. One moment, a belief in Santa Claus influences the actions of a little child, but then the belief shifts.”

    In this statement, you analogize the “horrible finances of a company” with “a belief in Santa Claus” and the next situation in the process that “the next moment the bankruptcy filing is announced and perceptions change” with “then the belief [in Santa Claus} shifts”.

    This is a neck-breaking analogy in analogizing the latter situations in the two processes as consequences of the “perceptions” of the former situations in the processes. The question is what on earth the perception of that “a company has horrible finances” has to do with “a belief in Santa Claus”, and what on earth “the bankruptcy filing” has to do with that “the belief [in Santa Claus} shifts”? A belief may, of course, shift, but it does not influence reality, and a change in reality does, of course, influence our perception of reality, because reality has changed, but it does not mean that our perception of reality changes reality, only that our perception of reality may change for different reasons: either because reality changes or because our beliefs of reality changes.

    Reality proceeds independently of our perceptions of our beliefs in it. It is what happens while we’re busy making other plans (John Lennon).

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      What experience of reality do you have which is independent of a process of perceiving? What is an experience except a perceiving?

      You missed the analogy. The analogy was between changing *perceptions* about Santa Claus as a real fiction story or a real non-fiction story and changing *perceptions* about Hostess being really financially stable or being really financially unstable. Your grasp of high school-level language is only so good, and yet you have an attraction to arguing, so maybe you just lower your own reading comprehension level so that you can PERCEIVE something to argue about. There is nothing to argue about for one who is clear. There is everything to talk about- including talking about arguing- but nothing to really argue about, because, to one who is clear, nothing in particular is confusing enough to be especially interesting…. ;)

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Also, the real process of perceiving, including signals of electricity flowing down nerves in neurological pathways, is not something that “influences” reality. It is part of reality. There is nothing outside of reality.

      Real perception is not apart from reality. Reality is not an exclusive category, but inclusive. Real lies are still real. Real symbols are still real. The number zero lacks quantity- so it is “nothing” – but it is still a real number. All numbers are real concepts. All concepts are real, but only as concepts.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      In the field of finance, we might use the phrase “real prices” as distinct from “nominal prices.” However, that does not mean that nominal prices are unreal, but that they are not adjusted for fluctuations of currency value (such as inflation).

      Precision varies. Reality includes imprecision, especially in things like maps, which are specifically designed to include certain useful data and exclude other data as “distracting” or irrelevant to some specific purpose.

      A map of roads may be relatively accurate or inaccurate. A map may be accurate, but fail to show relevant info like an avalanche where the road is blocked and a section of road where construction has traffic slowed to 15 mph for 20 miles.

      Imagine someone saying to the traffic construction crew: “hey, you guys need to move out of my way because this map does not have you on it.” Your arguments are like that to me. You can argue that your map (“science”) is not subject to perception bias, but I will just keep demonstrating how your science is ONLY perception bias. Perception bias is not bad. It is actually all that you have ever known.

      Eyeballs are perception bias. Ears are perception bias. Perception IS bias.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      In the field of quantum physics, there are even scientific measurements of how bias and perception work.

  16. menvall Says:

    I’m not arguing against perception bias. On the contrary, I’m actually arguing for perception bias. This is actually the distinction of reality and dream (ie, perception) that I’m pointing at. You claim that “There is nothing to argue about for one who is clear”. Well, the perception bias you (and I) argue for obviously means that there is at least one thing to argue about – our differently biased perceptions of reality (ie, the traditional subjects of our discussions) – and then the meta-level of both how and why our perceptions are biased if reality indeed is one (which I discuss).

    Then you realize that this claim is obviously wrong and instead claim the opposite “There is everything to talk about – including talking about arguing”, but add that “nothing to really argue about, because, to one who is clear, nothing in particular is confusing enough to be especially interesting”. Altogether, this appears to mean that there indeed are several things to argue about, but that to “one who is clear” nothing is interesting enough to argue about. If so, why do you run this blog, and why do you argue against my comment that “Your perception of perception appears to imply that perception itself influences the outcome of the real process” in FOUR comments, therein rotating around the issue to finally arrive to my position, but adding that this position isn’t interesting to “one who is clear”? You appear to agree with me on the perception bias but do at the same time claim that it isn’t interesting to “one who is clear”. The claim does thus contradict your behavior, and the “clarity” you claim to possess does not protrude in your words. Instead, your words are contradictory.

  17. menvall Says:

    What you do is actually discussing reality using rectangular (ie, Cartesian) coordinates, but assuming that polar coordinates are “true”. You incorporate the two possible approaches to reality by claiming one and then denying this in favor for the other. You believe that you have arrived to a “clear” comprehension of reality by claiming both of the two possible orthogonal approaches to reality at the same time. This isn’t clarity, but hypocrisy. Sooner or later you have to decide whether you want to talk or not, and then have to accept the boundaries of talk if you choose to talk.

    (BTW, if we do not talk about reality, then reality is continuous. It is our distinction of objects, e, entities, that create our problems. If we want to reach clarity, then we should thus not distinguish objects, ie, entities, like ourselves. It is thus our emergence in the continuity that creates the problems you think you have solved by by taking the two possible approaches at the same time).

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      In speaking as if one is an object, there is the issue stated of “wanting to reach clarity.” That is entirely optional.

      I am the reality which is already clear and that throws around words. I can recognize both clarity and confusion, and both hypocrisy and congruence. No categorical extremes are “beyond my reach.” I am clear about them. I witness them. I categorize them.

      In telling a joke, I may use irony (as in hypocrisy). However, because I never tell jokes, I never use hypocrisy. Furthermore, because I never use hypocrisy, I never tell jokes. This is absolutely not a joke to me. I am very concerned about what you will think. I am so concerned that I am trying not to fall asleep.

      So, let the objects argue about which object is the most objective. That is no concern to me.

      When objects argue about objects, that is because I cause it. But it is no concern to me, like a child playing with blocks- very attentive to the blocks, but with no concern for them. ;)

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      If one does not concern one’s self with so-called problems, then what does it matter if they are solved or not? Let the objects play in the world of solutions and problems.

  18. menvall Says:

    You’re simply hypocritic. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no clarity in sight in your play with words. I just aimed at excluding you from sense. :-)

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      If I type some letters and the letters form words that say “these are not words,” then it may be a completely silly joke. My 4 year-old niece would recognize it as just a joke. You, however, might get quite upset and call it an outrageous hypocrisy. Perhaps irony is only hypocrisy if there is no awareness of the irony.

      If you have been looking for clarity, I may have been making fun of you- not as an insult- but as a playful way of pointing out to you that you are the clarity (and the reality) that you may have been pretending to seek. Seek it. Then, recognize that it is not out there. Words are inherently imprecise. Sensory perception is inherently imprecise. Who is the one who recognizes both imprecision and precision, both confusion and clarity?

      A mirror must be clear in order to reflect clearly. Can you recognize clarity? If you can recognize clarity (as well as contrasting lack of clarity or precision- like something out of focus), then what are you?

  19. menvall Says:

    Your statements dance around each other in one contradicting the next. Your clarity is your own momentary perception of your own words, which never stabilize. That’s why you have to run this blog. Your words flow out on the blog posts like sewage flowing out from a sewage pipe. You give a face to what Kuhn said, “everything goes”. But, discussing with you is pointless, since you’re “the reality”. :-)

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Yes, sequences of words can present contradictions. See how clear you are about that! Sequences of words can also present insults and contempt, and, for those who are afraid of words, that may be very interesting!

  20. menvall Says:

    Clear is the word. Insult and contempt is the back side of clarity. How can a fraud be revealed without insult (and a following contempt), if the fraud was served as clarity?

    Words are there for us to discuss what we percieve, but they can’t change what we percieve, only how we percieve it. Fear of reality can’t, unfortunately, be cured by denying it with words, but only by accepting it. Words are just our way of warning us of dangers and connecting and comforting each other in this incomprehensible reality.Your belief in words is understandable, but dangerous in leading us into the black hole of typology (which in the end is nazism).

    Liberalism rests on the idea that you’re wrong (which is right by exclusion)

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      Perceive words as words. Perceive fear of words as fear of words. Are you the fear? Are you only a word (or a sequence of words)?

      Many words can be perceived, right? How about all of them? Which one should you avoid perceiving? Which word should you avoid studying? Fear? Shame? Evil? Typology? Fraud? Confusion? Curiosity?

      On Mon, Dec 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM, power of language blog: partnering with

  21. menvall Says:

    I use all words. And, no, I’m not the fear of words nor a word (or a sequence of words), at least not as I far as I know.

    All words can actually be percieved. I don’t avoid percieving any of them (why should I?). Words can only be studied insofar as to what meaning people place in them. The words you mention are not, of course, different from all other words like: of, a, this, under, over, in front of, trust, likelihood, beast, bear, bicycle, and so on.

    Words are actually just agreements between us about what we mean with certain sounds (spelling is second to wording). Belief in words is thus turning matters up-side-down. Reality is first, sounding generalizations are second, and spelling words are third. The problem with words is that they can say impossibilities, like minus three apples, which may be useful for development of conceptualization, but which none-the-less are impossible in themselves. Belief in the impossibilities may be interesting, but can’t change reality.

    • jrfibonacci Says:

      You use all words? Cool! I only know English well and I know a few other words from a few other languages- probably not more than 20,000-30,000 total.

      Some folks find certain words or certain sequences of words to be disturbing in certain ways. I understand that such a reaction may be as odd as people having an issue with a number sequence like 666 or with a shape like a swastika. In Germany, it is illegal to display a swastika (in fact, criminally penalized), and so are quite a few sequences of words.

      In the US, certain sequences of words could get someone referred to a psychiatrist. Some people say things like “the problem with words is….”

      I find that a bit odd, but whatever. Is it a problem that I had a dream last night and then I woke up and realized that the dream was actually a dream?

      If problem is a word, then it can be used as a label for lots of things, right? My nephew thinks that “1+3= ?” is a problem (a math problem). I say, no. dude, that is so not a problem at all. He says “yes, it is.” Whatever….

  22. menvall Says:

    I didn’t say that I know all words, but that I use all words, that is, that I don’t mind using any of them. “All words” are actually infinite (which you should know if you love them).

    By the way, you change the comments to this post to your own liking. So, now you’re free to change this one too. I will not write any more. Good luck with your crap! :-)

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