Silly magic words
Silly magic words:
Where I stop and my life begins
What is the boundary between my life and I? I am the one who has my life, right?
Here is my residence and my neighborhood and my nation. They can change of course, but here they are for now. Here are my clothes and my bank account and my name. Yes, all of those can change as well.
So my life is a sequence of temporary changing things, right? My body changes. My thoughts change. My hairstyles change- and once upon a time my body was very small and bald.
At least, that is what some people told me. They said that I am the one in that picture right there. Isn’t that a weird thing to say, though? Clearly I am right here now, so how could I be in the picuture? Who is that in the picture, though? Or, what is that?
Is that really who I am or is that just a shadow, like from a particular perspective with a particular focus? Seriously, I do not even remember being so flat as that picture shows me to be. I clearly recall having not just a left but a right, not just a front but a back, and not just a head (as in the photo), but a toe. In fact, I insist that I had several toes. Which one of them though is the real me?
Is the real me that toe over there that I had when I was that age? Is the realm me this toe over here now?
I know that these are silly questions, but I wonder if other people get just how silly these questions really are! Before there was a toe or a limb formed on the ancestor of this present bodily organism, was I still who I am now?
The fact is that I do not ever remember not being here now. Here is the only place I have ever been, looking down on these various bodies that seem to change more or less like clothing, more or less like thoughts, more or less like clouds or seasons or eroding coastlines.
So, what is the boundary between my life and I? Where is it that I stop and my life begins?
Consider that the answer is not out there. The answer is in language. The particular answer is in the word “mine.”
Anything that I call “mine” is implicitly not me. Thus, my body is not me, nor my clothes, nor my lunch, nor my favorite color, nor the political opinions that I supported 12 years ago. We could call those my properties- which is another way of saying my qualities. We could call those my attachments or my identifications or just call them my identity.
Basically, I make up my identify in language. I claim to have an identity that is exclusive to a certain range of things and inclusive of a limiited set of things. What’s really intresting about this is that I can change my identity. In fact, I cannot keep my identity from changing any more than I can keep my body from changing.
In fact, the changing of my body may be a major part of my changing identity. Or, I may actually dramatically shift my attention away from a certain focus and towards a distinct focus.
Perhaps I identify myself with my possessions. Or, perhaps I identify myself with my past accomplishments. Or, perhaps I identify myself with what other people tell me is who I am, such as my body. Or, perhaps I identify myself with the language that is happening right now, yes, like the actual words “happening right now!”
Because identifying happens through language, identity is a phenomenon of langauge. My identity does not exist out there. My identity only ever exists here. Also, my identity never exists in the past. My identity only exists in this very moment.
Here and now is where I stop and my life also stops where I stop. My life no longer beings where I stop. Now, my life begins where I begin, and I do not begin unless and until I say so. I create my identity with words- even when those words involve “my life.”
In fact, what I say about my life is what I say about me. Instead of stopping where my life begins, my life and I are identical. I identify myself as my life.
Where does my life stop? Well, maybe it only begins. It’s here now, isn’t it?
Isn’t it kind of silly to say that my life could stop? Isn’t it equally silly to say where I stop?
Sure, I can say where I stop, but those are just some silly words. Consider that I begin whenever I say so and in whatever way I say. I am my life and I create it in language. In fact, I am the language of my life. That is where I begin.
By the way, even if it seems like I may stop, that may only be temporary. See, here I am again! Did you even notice that I was gone there for a moment?
My language is my life is me. Anyway, here is now and this is where I stop and my life just keeps beginning me, you know, with silly magic words.
- Book review: Magic of Word – linguistic dialogs (alexeysmirnov.name)
- When Magical Thinking Enters the Arena (thecollegeconservative.com)
- Magic Words – Toddler Communication (wccproviders.wordpress.com)
- One Word Guarantees They’ll Say Yes (personalbrandingblog.com)
- The Three Magic Words (psychologytoday.com)