“What is language?” jokes Ramana Maharshi

HL quoted http://www.happycow.org.uk/thought/qa14.shtml, which says:

”Imagine there are two numbers. There are zero and one and they come together in multiplication. The result is – zero. Now, from a position of ‘one worship’, this will seem totally abhorrent. The one has been completely nullified, destroyed. But from the position of the zero, it is just business as usual. Nothing has changed. Nothing ever does. Any number of any magnitude might come along and try to copulate with the zero and the (no-)effect will be the same. From the position of zero, the matters (numbers) don’t really matter, they are just impotent imaginations. They have no effect, never can, not ever. But from the position of the non-zero numbers (the position where ‘things matter’), this is a terrible calamity that keeps occurring over and over again without end, a terrible tale of wanton destruction.

“How horrible. How bleak. This zero fellow really makes a terrible spouse.”

Q: My spiritual teacher said that we are not any individual person or thing, but the totality of consciousness itself.

A: The totality of consciousness itself is an individual person or thing. Just a grander sounding one. Supposed spiritual teachers have to have that special grand sounding thing as the lure or no-one would bother listening to them. Then they might have to go and get a regular job, which would be a real downer when you have got used to making a living talking shite to gullible suckers, oops, I mean seekers.

Q: But you also have indicated that we are not an individual person or thing. What then are we?

A: Haven’t a clue. The question doesn’t even arise, as the question ‘Are we?’ has yet to be answered. If ever it gets answered, then maybe it will be appropriate to move on to the next question.”

JR replies:

Maybe “what are we?” is not a very useful question (in a particular case). Does it have a single, exclusive answer like that one quiz that I took in school?

If there are many valid ways to answer it and all of them lead in different directions, then it is only useful to ask that question for expansion and creativity and exploration and experimentation. Sometimes, such results are confusing, like to some ultra-special perfectionist guru who says “it has never been appropriately answered, so we cannot move on yet.” What a silly joke!

A question that the spiritual “guru” [may be] repulsed by (terrified of?) is “what is language?” With that question, again there are many ways to answer it, yet they all lead to the same point of concentration. Rather than being expansive, that question focuses and concentrates energy. [Some gurus do not really want to concentrate energy, but only to avoid it as in to exhaust it, like the ironic and even hypocriyical “desire to for desire to be absent”.]

So, since “zero” is entirely a figment of language, then discovering the nature of language also reduces the importance of zero to “nothing.” Zero-worship is witnessed as the extreme of self-importance and drama.

The roots of zero-worship are recognized as precisely the same as the roots of one-worship. Both are dualistic half-truths.

They are both rooted in “either this or that” as well as “does it matter or not.” They are two distinct answers to one question: yes or no.

The problem is that “yes or no” is a linguistic figment. By studying language, BOTH yes AND no are valid (as well as “either yes or no”). Zero and one are both figments of language. “This matters” and “that does not matter” again are both just figments of language.

Language allows for the use of language but does not require it. Zero-worshipers attempts to exclude “one,” which is just a more extreme paranoia than how one-worshipers attempts to exclude zero. Those are two branches of the language of exclusion. So what?

I don’t mind if it matters or if it doesn’t. So what if you do mind? I still do not mind!

What is it like to have a spouse like that? Hmmm… Many figments of language will be exposed as silly jokes.

What about outside of language? Well, since language is always social and social jokes are always linguistic, then perhaps jokes are also always social. Outside of social language, life is no joke.

To the zero-worshiper, that is blasphemy. They reject life as the ultimate joke.

“Life is a joke! You should not INSULT me by suggesting that life is not a joke!”

However, only in language do jokes arise. So, they want to reject language (the multiplicity) but keep a single exclusive figment of language: the great “joke” (zero). If sincere, they actually have no sense of humor.

They have no appreciation for “zero” at all, even as they pretend socially to worship it: “Hail zero! Everything is ultimately zero! I am so powerful just like zero! Come to me and I will tell you that you do not matter (relative to me and my zero-worship)!”

Again, they actually make a point to exclude having a sense of humor. So, they have no appreciation for life. They have no appreciation for language. They exclude appreciation because they exclude “this matters.”

Because “everything is just a joke” to them, in fact they have no appreciation whatsoever for jokes. “Even jokes do not matter to me! As I already said, everything is just a joke! There is nothing special about jokes either!?!?! It is very important that jokes do not matter and it matters very much that jokes are not important! You must agree with me!”

For now, they concentrate exclusively on exclusion. Eventually, they may be curious about language.

Until then, why bother talking to them? It is like trying to talk to someone who is very tired and keeps falling asleep. Let them sleep. I don’t mind!

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One Response to ““What is language?” jokes Ramana Maharshi”

  1. Pete Hughes Says:

    Yawn 🙂

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