Famously, and perhaps apocryphally, when Gandhi was asked what he thought of western civilization, he replied that he thought it would be a good idea.
We live in the very horror of a society predicted by the early post modernists; a world where there are no facts, only points of view, and no realities, only simulacra — bad copies of reality that we’re supposed to accept just because everyone else does.
The ironic thing is that most of the people who have adopted this post modernist approach don’t realize that these original writers were warning us, not advocating for this approach.
“The world is everything that is the case” says proposition 1 of the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein. We won’t get anywhere if we don’t first recognize reality, and yet every day we are blasted by the media and politicians trying to “spin” reality.
But, the last line of that same work (Tractatus Logico Philosophicus) is “Whereof one can not speak, thereof one must be silent.” In between, one of the most preeminent logicians of the 20th century proves the necessity of what he calls “the mystical”:
There are, indeed, things that cannot be put into words. They make themselves manifest. They are what is mystical.
Tractatus Logico Philosophicus, Proposition 6.522
The mystical is what we reach when we transcend words to describe things; the mystical is as obvious and necessary as the infinite, though these are by no means the same thing.
Both Jesus and Lao Tsu knew the mystical, as indicated by these quotes:
People won’t be saying, ‘Look! Here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ because the kingdom of God is within you. (Luke 17:21)
Look, it cannot be seen – it is beyond form.
Listen, it cannot be heard – it is beyond sound.
Grasp, it cannot be held – it is intangible.
Tao Te Ching, Chapter 14
Words are very powerful, by far the most powerful invention of the human race. They can be used as manipulative weapons on the unsuspecting. We have to see through them to fend off their power over us. The best way that I know to do that is to call out those that would use words to enslave us.
That is the purpose of this blog.