Words Incarnate

I believe we Westerners are commonly condemned by Cartesian dualism to confine ourselves to finite realms, but it need not be this way. To illustrate otherwise, I’ll expound on one physiological fact: words literally shape the neurons in our heads. The final form of a poem or story or treatise or whathaveyou is not simply ink on a page, but physical patterns in living minds, patterns which are likewise influenced by the conditions and contexts in which the words are heard or read. They are cerebral geometry, fusing the mind and the body (the world) in the act of cognition itself. (Though I believe there is no actual fusion, because there is only ever one entity/whole to begin with, there is merely what appears to be a fusion to those acculturated to Cartesian assumptions.)

Words are also the vibrations in the air as we speak them, influencing our environment both subtly and explicitly, as ripples or waves on water. They are both the physical phenomenon and the physical behavior they engender. Thus the life of a word is manifold, beginning without clear delineation from the influences of the world on the mind, and branching, through that mind, through the fingers and throat, through media, through the eyes and ears of others, and onward through other minds as they too are pressed upon by the world of which we are all a part, through even the “senseless” air and earth (which, after all, does sense through us), to live endlessly unto oblivion. There is as much an end to them as there is to us. So I believe at least.

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