In civilization that predates our known history – communication was fluid, clear, and precise. At that time, experience included a ‘consensus of perception’ that is now unimaginable. Such consensus was facilitated by a lucid metaphysical conduit connecting us all as perceiving entities, by which information in all its forms traveled instantaneously and intact. Individual perspectives integrated to form a singular, multifaceted composite reality for those directly involved in each collective Moment.
Then something happened…..
1 Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. [Genesis 11:1-9]
Language was born! We all know this story. The single “language and common speech” was in fact the aforementioned prehistoric telepathic communication whereby one could successfully transmit an impression, an idea, a perspective, or whatever – preserved in its original form. Genesis [11:1-9] describes but one version of a big step in the creation of our illusory separateness – pushing our perception and its communication behind barriers – and replacing our once innate direct connections, with language – perhaps designed to impose confining limits, as Genesis [11:6] suggests – establishing a collective Truman Show that represents the current configuration of humankind.
Consider the convolution that is spoken or written word. Raw impression (image, word, perspective, feeling, concept, etc.) forms or arrives in our mind. Our perception (or misperception) and its interpretation (or misinterpretation) is then encoded into language using diction based on personal comprehension, connotations, and otherwise preformed notions in an effort to convey the impression to another. On the receiving end, decoding the language goes through the same process in reverse amidst the same twists and turns. By then the original impression has been invariably altered – in a range from slightly skewed to hopelessly unrecognizable. This has been ‘normal’ throughout recorded history. Is it any wonder we accomplish anything at all – let alone the so-called ‘impossible’.
Then something happened…..
Our convoluted language became even more ciphered in a world that so deifies technology as to strip out fundamental context clues in deference to technology itself – sacrificing communication quality in favor of convenience, commerce, and sensation. Machines were created that talked to people, followed by machines that could comprehend language. Before long, original impressions – already clouded by the jumble of language – were scrambled further by the filter of machines – people talking to machines that talk to other machines that talk to people, or sometimes then other machines that track our business and do tasks for us. Eventually the machines would come to direct our travel, pull at our fingers, formulate our thoughts, and replace our words in a deluded notion of ‘progress’1. By the 21st century, children are begotten by production, introduced to their environment through machines, and begin their lives within virtual worlds via lifeless devices that they feel impotent and groundless to be without. Virtual worlds begin to displace authenticity, definitions dissolve, and fabrications shout down actualities.
Something is happening…..
- The Data That Turned the World Upside Down – H.Grassegger, M.Krogerus
Caught up in a mass of abstractions, our attention hypnotized by a host of human-made technologies that only reflect us back to ourselves, it is all too easy for us to forget our carnal inherence in a more-than-human matrix of sensations and sensibilities. To shut ourselves off from these other voices, to continue by our lifestyles to condemn these other sensibilities to the oblivion of extinction, is to rob our own senses of their integrity, and to rob our minds of their coherence. We are human only in contact, and conviviality, with what is not human.
– David Abram (1996)