Language can form anything (the new “realm of possibility” or “kingdom of heaven”)

Language can form anything

The sequence of how this proceeds simply flows from nothing. There is no “getting to nothing” first. There is no clearing other things away and only then beginning. There is simply nothing.

When there is already nothing, then there is nothing to fix or change. There is no standard for how to judge or evaluate success or failure. There is simply a sequence of proceedings, with no particular boundary between one proceeding and the next.

However, there is clearly language happening. If there were not already language happening, then there might actually be nothing to do, and, without language already being here, there would certainly be nothing to say about the fact that only nothing is already here (along with language, obviously).

So, here is nothing and part of that nothing is language. By the way, language means nothing. Language is not going to eventually mean something. Language is just a sequence of codes for the directing of attention. By the way, attention is also nothing. Attention is simply a context in which for the perception of something to arise. Language, of course, is simply one form of something, and all forms of something are still essentially nothing.

Nothing simply means “no thing in particular.” Nothing, in this case, does not mean the absence of something. That is mere somethinglessness. Nothing is actually beyond the realm of anything- of any something- and yet nothing includes not only every single something of perception, but the possibility of perception itself and even the possibility of anything.

Any something is only nothing, too. Different words are distinct, just as are different letters. However, even though other words can be used to describe words- like sound and shape- those are all variations on nothing at all.

A word, like “shape,” only means something in particular through perception. Perception, however, is a concept. Concepts are linguistic formations. From out of nothing, linguistic formations are happening.

Nothing itself is the capacity for linguistic formations to simply happen by themselves. Linguistic formations just proceed in a sequence of expressions of nothing. Language is the expression of nothing.

From out of nothing, nothing expresses itself through language. The language is still the nothing, however any language is also a specific set of distinct, isolated formations. By the way, language itself is infinite, though any particular language might distinguish itself from other finite languages.

Distribution of language families and isolates...

Image via Wikipedia

Of course, the particular boundaries between languages are actually nothing. One language evolves into another, with perhaps an entire family of languages being similar to each other.

Languages mix and influence each other. Languages may be called distinct, but the boundaries between them shift. If the boundaries shift, then the boundaries are arbitrary. In fact, the alleged boundaries between various languages are alive, existing only through the declaration of language.

Language can divide itself into dialects. Different dialects can be subdivided further. All of them are variations of nothing at all.

Is Creole a language? Clearly it is entirely composed of other languages. However, it is also not a dialect of any particular language. What is it? It is whatever it is called!

Many words in one language have roots or ancestors that pass through a set of other languages. One ancient word can have a huge number of descendants in a variety of languages that formed subsequently as variations and expansions of the single ancient language.

Language is the mechanism by which the various expressions of nothing can be distinguished. Without language, everything is the exact same nothing- that is- there is only nothing and not a single other thing (a concept of an isolated something). That nothing is somethinglessness, but to even use a term like somethinglessness- or to use language at all- is no longer “only nothing.”

With language, while there is still nothing of course, there is also anything and everything- any number of particular somethings. Those particular somethings are all expressions of nothing.

These somethings do not eliminate nothing. They are in fact nothing itself, but with distinct forms recognizable in language.

English: Repartition map of the languages over...

Image via Wikipedia

For instance, is there such a thing as “I” (“me”)? In many languages there is such a thing as “I” or similar concepts to the concept of “I.”

However, “I” is fundamentally a concept, a construct of language, merely a thing. “I” is not itself fundamental (which is the ancient teaching called anatma). Only nothing itself is fundamental.

“I” is just a particular pattern of perception, that is, a structure or habit of language. “I” is a subcategory within language. Language is more fundamental than “I,” and nothing is more fundamental than language.

<December 4, 2009>

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3 Responses to “Language can form anything (the new “realm of possibility” or “kingdom of heaven”)”

  1. marknewbrook Says:

    This url was posted on Skeptical Humanities as a pingback to my own material there. In general I do not expect to be able to engage in extensive discussion of this material, but this specific sample has been deliberately brought to my attention and therefore I would like to comment on it at some length on this occasion. If I am invited to do this, I will send my comments to you or your site in any way that suits you, and I will copy them as a post on Skeptical Humanities.

    Mark Newbrook

    • J R Fibonacci Hunn Says:

      I am absolutely delighted to present the response of Mr. Mark Newbrook below:

      I realise that you are not likely to agree with much that I say; we seem to inhabit very different intellectual worlds, in respect of our views of language and of much else. And as I said I can’t engage in lengthy discussion of your ideas (though if time permits I may occasionally have a remark). But as the main linguist on Skeptical Humanities I’m keen to respond at least once to material which was posted as a pingback to my own. Mark N

      >>>>>

      As I said [in the brief reply above], this url was posted on Skeptical Humanities as a pingback to my own material there. In general I do not expect to be able to engage in extensive discussion of this material, but this specific sample has been deliberately brought to my attention and therefore I would like to comment on it at some length on this occasion.

      The following represents my considered opinion, but of course this is subject to change in response to evidence and argumentation. I have to say that I find most of the novel aspects of this material difficult to interpret with any confidence. Unless this material can be presented more clearly, and properly defended, I do not think that linguists and philosophers will feel obliged to take it seriously. The onus is upon this source to justify the attention of linguists and philosophers (if this is wanted). (It might also be better if a less ‘forthright’ style were adopted.)

      Although the url was posted as a pingback to my specifically linguistic material, in its own discussion of language the source adopts a ‘tone’ and approach very different from what prevails in empirical linguistics. In addition, the specific statements about language which it makes, where they are intelligible and accurate, are already familiar to linguists. Any useful insights which the material may possess are more likely to be philosophical in character. Unfortunately, even this is uncertain, chiefly because the discourse is often (in my view) obscure; it also seems to involve a radical general ontological stance which (here, at least) is only roughly sketched and not defended.

      I may be able to comment on the philosophical aspects of this material at a later date. At this present moment I prefer to address more specifically linguistic issues.

      It is claimed here that language means nothing and never will mean anything. Subject to the major issues regarding how the term nothing is being used here, this viewpoint is, of course, contrary to prevailing opinion both popular and academic (the latter including both linguists and philosophers), and thus needs to be justified at this point. Indeed, it might be suggested that if language ‘means nothing’ it cannot itself be used to say anything useful. And, while – as is proclaimed here (albeit in somewhat strange wording) – language can be seen as ‘a sequence of codes for the directing of attention’, it is generally taken as obvious that language has other functions and aspects in addition to this.

      Within language, it is accepted here that different words and letters are distinct. (The use of the term letters seems to betray a folk-linguistic starting-point; a writer with knowledge of linguistics would instead talk here primarily of phonemes.) But these words and letters are all seen as variations on ‘nothing’ (this raises the above-mentioned issues regarding this term); and, while they do possess meaning (this apparently contradicts what is said earlier), this supposedly arises only ‘through perception’. Concepts are identified as ‘linguistic formations’ arising ‘out of nothing’, which is ‘the capacity for linguistic formations to simply happen by themselves’. Like individual words and ‘letters’, each specific language is distinct, being seen as ‘a specific set of distinct, isolated formations’ – and is ‘finite’, in contrast with ‘language itself’ which is ‘infinite’; it is not clear how the terms finite and especially infinite are to be understood here. And boundaries between languages are, again, seen as different manifestations of ‘nothing’. I find the conceptualising obscure at this point, and it is difficult to comment helpfully.

      I add here brief comments on some specific points in later sections of the material.

      ‘One language evolves into another, with perhaps an entire family of languages being similar to each other’
      While essentially ‘along the right lines’, this claim apparently mixes diachronic and synchronic points and needs to be clarified. (The term evolve is also contentious here.)

      ‘Languages mix and influence each other. Languages may be called distinct, but the boundaries between them shift’
      Although the reference to shifting boundaries is obscurely expressed and perhaps mis-conceptualised, these general points are, of course, very familiar to linguists.

      ‘If the boundaries shift, then the boundaries are arbitrary. In fact, the alleged boundaries between various languages are alive, existing only through the declaration of language’
      This appears obscure. There may be a good (if familiar) point in the former of these two sentences, though it needs to be much more clearly expressed; but the second sentence, as expressed, is very strange (what do alive and declaration mean here?).

      ‘Is Creole [= a particular creole language? (MN)] a language? Clearly it is entirely composed of other languages. [Not necessarily the case. (MN)] However, it is also not a dialect of any particular language. What is it? It is whatever it is called!’
      It is not clear that there is a genuine issue here regarding creoles as such. There are relevant definitional-cum-philosophical issues at a more general level concerning the individuation of languages, the ‘language’-‘dialect’ distinction, etc.; but these are not rehearsed here.

      ‘Is there such a thing as “I” (“me”)? In many languages there is such a thing as “I” or similar concepts to the concept of “I.” However, “I” is fundamentally a concept, a construct of language, merely a thing. “I” is not itself fundamental (which is the ancient teaching called anatma).’
      There, of course, are words meaning ‘I’ in all languages. But it is not clear how significant linguistic facts of this kind might be for philosophical issues regarding the reality or otherwise of persons; as I have argued elsewhere, it is probably dangerous in a philosophical context to focus too heavily upon the ways in which ideas are expressed in specific languages – although this approach is common enough in mainstream ‘analytical’ philosophy.

      ‘Language is more fundamental than “I,” and nothing is more fundamental than language.’
      It is not clear what fundamental means here, or what this claim amounts to.

      The same source presents https://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/2011/12/22/maturing-beyond-sinfulness/. This material again deals with some linguistic issues, this time in the context of an essentially religious discussion involving claims regarding souls, sin, etc. Linguistics, as an empirical discipline, cannot be grounded in specific theological viewpoints; and as an atheist I would prefer not to engage in this context in discussion which assumes a religious stance that I do not share.

      However: it is undoubtedly true, as is claimed here, that it is a conceptual error to mistake a piece of language, such as a word, for the item in the non-linguistic world to which it refers. Like the well-known picture of a pipe by Magritte, the word pipe is not itself a pipe. Some such conceptual errors are potentially damaging. But the further claim that ‘belief in words is the root of all malice or ill will’ is not adequately defended and appears vastly overstated.

      Mark Newbrook

  2. comment on a pingback « Skeptical Humanities Says:

    […] https://jrfibonacci.wordpress.com/2012/03/17/language-can-form-anything-the-new-realm-of-possibility-… […]

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