The ‘world’ in a person’s words..

Words. They convey meaning, the meaning of which is only in the understanding of the listener/reader. There is no meaning outside the person or by the word itself. The speaker/writer may mean something in using a particular word, not necessarily the same a meaning as the one understood by the listener/reader. The dictionary, when referred, gives an established/documented ‘meaning’ of a word which is often not the same as it is used in common parlance, where the words acquire shades of meaning in accordance with the context from which a person speaks/writes or from ‘want of a better word’ or commonly accepted misunderstanding of the word; for example, the word intelligence – a word that has a meaning ranging from high IQ and conceptual understanding to ‘able to put 2 and 2 together.’

The meaning of what a person is attempting to say is often clear only after specifically questioning what he/she means by that word. Quite often the meaning of a sentence before asking the question and after asking are radically different, and I often would have asked the meaning of just one word in the sentence! I thus come to the realization, again, that over and above the deficit of people who actually hear when someone speak, let alone ‘listen’ to what is being said, there is further the impediment of language itself coming in the way of understanding what is being said even if a person is ‘listening.’ What has me ask the question (what do you mean by  it?) is often a want to really understand what the person is saying, even if it is the local everyday ‘familiar’ language.

I was reading through some scraps of writing that I have a habit of doing every now and then and I wondered at the sequence of words that were strung into a sentence. Each word contained a depth of its own that altered and molded the meaning of the sentence with each new word in it, which of course is the subject matter of ‘semantics’ as a field of study, but my focus of attention is on the wealth of information that comes out of a person’s mouth every time he/she writes/opens their mouth and speak. Their choice of words convey the thoughts/experience/difficulty/concern/aspiration/yearning that populates and constitute that person’s ‘world,’ if we consider that each person live in a ‘world’ of their own, the ‘reality’ of which extends to whatever the person considers to be ‘true.’ And each person’s truth is different, though several of the ‘truths’ are common to a collective set of people who think along similar lines of thought. There are ‘truths’ that ensure a better chance at survival of the individual and there are ‘truths’ that has a person have a ‘grip on reality.’ There are ‘truths’ that ensure survival of groups of varying sizes. There are ‘truths’ that ensure survival of an entire race of say ‘human beings.’ There are ‘truths’ that ensure survival of the ‘living beings.’ There are ‘truths’ that ensure survival of the planet. There are ‘truths’ that ensure survival of the soul/consciousness – at every level ‘truth’ being limited to what a person holds ‘true’ in his/her ‘world.’ The ‘truths’ that ensure the best chance of survival are more likely to be like the Russian dolls where the individual is viewed as being one amongst a group and the group as a part of a community, the community as part of a nation, the nation as part of the human race, the human race as part of ‘living beings,’ living beings as part of ‘things existing on the planet,’ the planet as part of the solar system, solar system as part of the galaxy, galaxy as part of other larger systems that constitute the ‘cosmos,’ When there is a continuity of levels like a Russian doll, then the ‘truth’ for that person would be the best survival interest all lined up and working in tandem to ensure the survival of the person at whatever level that person happens to be in, and his/her ‘soul’ would be saved! While I quite positively have gotten detoured in what I was attempting to say, it is still words that fall out of a person’s mouth/writing that says what is ‘true’ for that person and of the things that populate that person’s ‘world.’ How else could one hope to understand another person without knowing his/her ‘world,’ I wonder?

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Published in: on July 29, 2013 at 3:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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