Thursday, August 18, 2011

#230 / Words And Realities

My "two worlds hypothesis" suggests that we live ultimately in the world of Nature. The world of Nature is a world that we don't create, and it is a world upon which we are completely dependent.

Most immediately, though, we live not in the world of Nature, but in a world that we do create, our human world. In our world, because we ourselves create it, anything is possible. That is emphatically not true in the world of Nature, but it is true for the world that humans construct. It may be difficult to change the human world, but it is possible.

As Bob Dylan and I have noted before, our world is, essentially, a "political" world, and politics (by which we both create and govern our world) is properly called the "art of the possible." And this well-known phrase is not by way of limitation.

Words do matter. We cannot really "know" something unless we know the word that says what it is. This is why I have always loved vocabulary. Until I knew the word, I didn't really know the thought. I didn't know the reality.

Until I know the word, I don't really know the truth, or even the existence, of the thing of which the word speaks.

As we construct a better world, and as we make the possibilities we dream about into the new realities we inhabit, I am convinced that we have to pay attention to the words that define, and make possible, the realities we care most about.

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