The Trick of Language

Language plays tricks on us. Distinctions separate from each other as an effect of successful meaning-making during our recurring tasks that we perform with the help of this meaningful communication. The two sides of the distinction grow apart as we vacillate between them, organizing things to fit neatly inside of two opposite containers. (A) is not (B), (b) is not (A); suddenly what you are saying makes sense and I can hone in on the thought you are having.

Often people will take the distinction, spend a long time considering what is in one side and then the other, and declare that they are illusions – the real makes no such division, all is one (although, between ’all’ and ’one’ there is, without a doubt, a distinction). Other times people will take the difference, the ’not the other’, and give it special powers. Many will leap into one container berate the other to no end, holding the front-, the hard-line.

These concepts are a product, and perhaps even a by-product, of language. We can try to imagine without language, but it still remains a profound method for expression and will not go away. We simply must be on guard from its trickery. To accept the spellbinding, yet not be coerced.

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