Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: metaphysical

I’ve Never Really Seen A Word . . .


Our last post began to explore where words come from.

I postulated that words are metaphysical entities–that the things we see on the screen or paper aren’t Real Words but just the symbols we use to get a set of Real Words from one mind to another.

If the word “metaphysical” isn’t something you’re real comfortable with, you may want to look at that last post for a possible excuse to give it a reprieve :-)

Minds are metaphysical.

If you doubt that bald statement you may want to check out the Wikipedia entry that includes this statement: “The nature of the mind and its relation to the body has been seen as more of a problem as science has progressed in its mechanistic understanding of the brain and body”

I can only continue on the assumption that our minds and the words which come from them are metaphysical because I’ve spent most of my 65 years studying the whole messy business of how we think and why we write.

If you can’t believe that the mind and words are something other than physical entities then I suppose you can only leave me behind in your cloud of dust

OK, now where are the Real Words and how did they get there?

Some folks are happy saying God created words and that’s that.

Some folks could agree with that last statement but would need a bit more explanation about where they hang out and how we know about them.

Some folks believe that humans evolved a capacity to formulate words, even though they couldn’t see them.

Some folks don’t really give a damn :-)

So, as they say, for the sake of the argument, let’s temporarily agree that words are not physical and hang out somewhere in our minds.

I’ll propose they have their residence in what’s called the Collective Unconscious. For now just think of the collective unconscious as a realm so deep in the mind that there are no “my thoughts” or “your thoughts” but only the energy patterns that make conscious thought possible.

These energy patterns are ultra-creative and we all share them–the same basic primal patterns of all words, concepts, and thoughts are in every one of our minds–this is why you can understand what I’m typing right now, even if you don’t believe what I’m typing :-)

In our next post I’ll attempt a detailed description of how a set of Real Words gets from one mind to another. And, in case you’d like to explore a range of other opinions on the creativity of the unconscious, check out these archived articles on Demon Muse
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This Post Is A Setup . . .


This post’s “message” will be a series of statements and questions designed to massage various parts of your mind and heart; but, first, just a bit of explanation:

I keep a list of possible blog posts.

I was just looking that list over.

I realized that most of the posts would need a lot of explaining before I could get to the meat of the matter.

I agree with the “experts” who say blog posts should generally be on the short side of long

So, I want to use this post to get my regular readers ready for a series of posts. I’ll also use it as a reference-link in certain posts for folks new to the blog.

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All of us use words but most of us don’t stop to consider how they were created.

Most of us do most of our thinking with words.

Without words, human communication would be a rather bleak endeavor :-)

There are words that point to emotions–like “hate”–and then there are words that convey emotions–like, “She drove the knife deep into his groin.”

Emotions can either cloud the meaning of words or add color and light

Many people feel thoughts and emotions are usually antagonistic.

Some people think emotions are the source, or at least the goad, of thought.

The rational mind (with the sometimes aid of its cousin, the emotional mind) is the creator of every object surrounding you, including the words you just read

Some words (and the thoughts they summon) refer to states and forces that can never be directly sensed. One example: you can define “integrity” and you can say things like, “John, in spite of his feelings and in the face of terrible risk to his life, continued to publish what he saw as the truth.”, but can you actually see, smell, or taste integrity?

Where do words exist when they’re not on the page?

Where do emotions happen?

Why does so much of what’s important in life seem to resist simple definition?

Is the metaphysical realm a fantasy or can there be metaphysical realities?

Are there entities and forces that exist beyond human sensation?

Does any of this matter in reading, writing, and publishing??

O.K., that was the setup—look in the left side-bar for the free essay, What Are Words?—it’s what the setup was about :-)
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Mind/Reality & Writers


Yesterday I posed a number of questions about mind and reality and got some fascinating comments from a group of writers.

I promised a follow-up post and feel very good that I didn’t have to weave it out of thin air :-)

The thin air my mind is in now is a rarified state of reality I like to call metaphysical funk.

The comments from yesterday began to fill that mental reality with urges and pokes that are helping me turn the funk into a faith that I can make the walking woundedness of pervasive grief over the death of a friend an experience rich with fertile futurity.

If that last sentence made some sense to you, we could probably enjoy a chat in some groovy coffee house :-)

I decided the best I could do, right now, to indicate how helpful all the comments were is to put the urges and pokes here, hoping they prod my readers to check back with yesterday’s post and read all the comments

Shalon said:

“My take on this, Alexander, is that we can’t know what’s real or what’s not real, and that the blind commitment to one form of reality is a type of zombie-hood that sucks your brain out of your mind and eats it….

“I also feel that since reality is unknowable, the smartest thing to do is give it the benefit of the doubt….

“…I’m not saying that there isn’t a real ‘reality’ out there, but that despite the possibility of a ‘true’ and ‘real’ reality, there still exists a choice. I believe that this requirement to choose one reality over another means, to me, that reality is unknowable.”

Karla> said:

“The brain is an elegant and amazing organ, constantly gathering input from our environment and processing it according to ever evolving life lessons. I don’t see why we feel the need to attribute reality to anything more than that.”

Simone said:

“Well, a couple of children’s stories come to mind. One is The Emperor’s New Clothes. The other is about the blind men and the elephant.”

John said:

“The questions on the floor, of course, are so elephantine (speaking of “the blind men and the elephant”) that I doubt I could make much more than a stab in the direction of actually unraveling the questions of “mind” and “reality” enough to even approach an answer or two concerning either….

“Personally, reality appears to be what it is to me; the minute I must related this reality to someone else, voilà! There are difficulties which simply do not exist in the singular; when it comes to the plural of humanity, then, of course, we run into a problem of justice and equity, which is an entirely different kettle of fish, and whole new elephant to examine.”

Cassy said:

“There is an inseparable symbiotic relationship between our senses and the reality that is created within our mind….

“Metacognition helps us to evaluate our minds reality as shaped by our sensual experiences….

“So, in short, I would say that the weave of reality and mind is so tight, it would be difficult to identify which is the chicken and which is the egg (though I am writing this before 8am and have only had one cup of coffee – no telling what my reality will be an hour from now :)”

Your Thoughts/Feelings??
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