Language as possibility

Language is not how you communicate – it’s what you hope to communicate. It’s what you hope to bring to life. Writing is not language, but that which, in its organization, its structure, its appearance, aims to bring language to life. It’s what you are hoping others understand from what you are writing.

If we return to the unicorn analogy, language would be how you understand the unicorn – what it’s “supposed” to look or be like. Language exists completely in the what-if, in the virtual. It’s the interpretation.

So much of language is built on hope – every communication is really the communication of a hope, a wish, a risk.

Image of possibility

What is communicated in every communication is an image of possibility. Communication is not the “transferring” of a “message” from a “sender” to a “receiver,” as is commonly pictured, but the process of producing images of possibility using speaking, writing, gestures, etc. Such an image is not the expression of a truth, but of a possibility – it is the form in which possibility can be thought, or rather, imagined. Communication, then, is an imaginative process.

Language does not exist

Language does not exist. Or rather it exists only as a potentiality. We can hear speaking, we can see writing, but we cannot hear or see language. Language is like the unicorn: we can bring the unicorn’s image to life (through story, through sculpture, through paintings or drawings), but it does not exist.

Same thing with language. We can bring its image to life – through vocalizations, through organized patterns of ink, through electronic signals, through hand gestures – but it does not exist. It is pure possibility.

Self-Interest and Estrangement

Contrary to popular belief, one does not participate in an exchange because one is self-interested; rather, one is allowed to become self-interested by participating in the exchange.

Self-interest is not a natural state in which all individuals find themselves; rather, it is a state of pleasure the individual can produce only in becoming estranged from another.  I cannot be self-interested – I cannot become engaged in my own experience of grief and reward – unless the other becomes a stranger to me.