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on language

language: late 13 c., from o.fr. langage (12c.), from v.l. *linguaticum, from l., lingua “tongue,” also speech, language.

tongue: o.e. tunge “organ of speech, speech, language,” from p.gmc. *tungon (cf. o.s..o.n. tunga, o. fris. tunge, m.du. tonghe, du. tong, o.h.g. zunga, ger. zunge, goth.tuggo).

in sanskrit texts, the speech is described thus: it has four stages, forming four forms of expression. 1) the supreme being, desirous of conveying something, unites with the human being in the ‘naabhi”, the gut, or abdomen, and ignites the bodily fire. at this stage it has no vocal or sign language form, but this, the “naadabrahma”, the cosmic sound, can be experienced only when one has withdrawn all external senses, and is in a state of samadhi, “no-mind’. 2) this bodily fire rises up and in the stomach creates gases. it still has no sound, but it can be felt as an inspiration. 3) these gases flow upward and reach the brains, where the inspirational form is transformed into the nonverbal thoughts. 4) the brains direct the thought-form of expression through the various openings in the mouth, and it takes the vocal form that can be heard. of these, the first stage is of expression is purely between the person and nature; the second stage of communication between the selfless beings; in the third stage, persons with keen observations can read other person’s mind, the thoughts; and in the fourth stage, people familiar with the spoken words, the language of the speaker, can understand what is expressed.

linguists are studying the technicalities of the tongue and the brains that formulate the egg-chicken type musings. like: “red dog ran after the gray fox,” as expressed in european languages, or “dog red fox gray after ran”, in some other tongues. what are less observed are the environmental effects upon the human tongues which are as much biological links to the eco-organism, and hence differ in clicking sounds of the tongues to mean no or go or pity as they express conceptual thoughts arising from the different location related needs.

any group dwelling creatures need to convey to each other the kind of mutually beneficial interaction to be undertaken. and connected with the availability of the needed resources of existence and their physical and mental capacities, creatures form range of their domain. each group’s size depended upon each creature’s surrounding related biological makeup. for instance, tiger and lion are both hunting carnivores, yet, living in two different terrains their respective needs for reliance on their own kind are different. in the open range the hunting animals need to form teams for the successive hunt. the dense wood dwelling tiger does not have the cheetah-like long distance chase of the animal of prey. nor there is team effort needed. thus lions formed prides, while tiger is a solitary creature. hunting related team work of lions, as well as all other creatures, requires the nonverbal communication, which over the ages became their inherent instincts of understanding. this is also true among humans who live and work together in close proximity. they, too, have evolved a silent language. human infant and its mother communicate with minimum of sounds as there is the need related interdependence creating the eagerness to respond.

in contrast, despite the english language being the official single language of the entire country of the u.s.a., and the education being compulsory from the age 6 to 16, there are undeniable signs of miscommunication in all walks of the american life.

listen to the english native speakers talking normally or formally. quite unlike the 3rd world people’s tongues, the english speech more often than not begins with an ambiguous phrase or word, making the much of what follows to be a wishful thinking. for instance: in answer to inquiry about time or place’s direction, one would hear: “i think it is…” it is rarely: “i do not know.” admittance to ignorance is not allowed in the super ego conscious culture. then there is the wishfulness in expression: good morning, good day, etc, and outright uncertainty “i guess, i suppose, i wish, i believe…” this form of expression represents the desire to please, which comes from a cultivated sense of insecurity in relationship. “god bless,” denotes favoritism, which in negative form becomes cursing. in formal speeches there is very little of informative statements, and much too much of wishful words.

in the entire eco-organism the interdependence is as much a non-matter element, as is the so called dark matter for the theoretical physicists. among the group dwelling creatures, in the humans of the west, this aspect of existence is fervently denied, and replaced with the “self” as the supreme reigning entity for whom everything exists. but, as the prerequisite for the existence necessitates, even the supreme self itself is only an assumed relative term, for without the lesser beings the supreme being cannot be supreme.

now this supreme being not being a species in and by itself, but is only a thought out entity, and there are multitudes of selves, each one desiring to designate oneself to be the supreme being, there arises the conflict among the humans. this conflict is reflected in language. in english language, the first person pronoun is the big capital “I”; and “you” are in lower case, as are, he, she, it and they. in farsi dominated urdu language, for the imperial mode, the first person pronoun is “we”, second person is “tu”.

the english and farsi/ urdu were the languages of the court. so the necessary interactive communication between the ruler and the ruled was mainly to give orders and to listen to what was ordered in order to carry it out. sanskrit language, on the other hand, was the “refined” mode of “pali”, the prakrit – prototype, natural form of communication. so, as in nature of things every thing and being exists outside of the thought out order of things, the sanskrit language retained the prakrit terms of reference to things and beings. so the second person, regardless of the status, remained “tu”. all the modern indian languages continued the trend until the farsi and english speaking royalties took over. much the same has happened in the americas.

the mother tongue of the american countries is the tongues of the mother country of the colonizers -- the english, french portugese and spanish. in the u.s. a. since the mass extermination of the natives, the colonizing natives are now the natives, and the remaining old natives, not having inherent european mindset, are now benignly neglected to live in reservations. the mainstream americans, having the same mother tongue as their great grandmothers’, express their ardent support for the divine right of “promised land” for the jews whose god had granted them to grab land for the second time, moses having led the first displacement of the natives. the u.s. americans’ tongue would not support the right of the natives of palestine, as then they would also have to know the tongues of natives of the old as well as the new world.

tongue is the most used muscle of the human physic. watch the olympic gymnastic performances of teenage girls. having trained their limber bodies to perform, their gymnastic routines are transformed into art form. now listen to a bill clinton or a barak obama or a university professor or a preacher. they have trained their tongues to transform their speech into an oratory art form. what is common between the gymnastic performers and the orators is that they both take their cues from their trainers. they rehearse their performance being watched by the critical observer. presidents have their team of speech writers, who write and rewrite the words that will be put in the president’s mouth delivering a state of the union speech or the u.n. security council veto.

all eloquent orators have nothing new to say, as a say, being relevant cannot be anything but of the immediate need. nor are the listening ears eager to hear anything new. the modern urban communication is all about what sounds familiar. mother’s lullaby is the primary form of this one way communication. its desired effect is to put the cry baby to sleep, so that the mother can go on with her mundane chores. teachers, preachers, politicians and the advertizing industry, taking cue from the infantile lullabies have developed a pattern of familiarity to put the now adult ears to sleep, so that they, to go on exploiting the unsuspecting masses.

one of the first persons to point this out was buddha, who stressed the need to be awake, so that one can perceive what is. his insistence upon no authority included himself. “see not who says, but listen to what is said. believe not what i say, see it for yourself.” now this is in stark contrast with all the religious, political and academic authorities. they all want people to believe what they say, without doubt, without question. now if what one is saying is the fact of a given matter, one would not be afraid of any questioning. questioning is but a participating statement in the quest. but when the very questioning is viewed as the questioning of the authority, and not what is said, the author is dispelled along with the untrue statement. it is fear of being found out that frightens the authority figure, be it the father who is supposed to know best, or a pope or a president. all formal institutions, whether religious, political, social or commercial are formed around the belief system, whether in singular or multiple god, or some doctrine that once uttered, the speaker who is identified with it, then inherits an everlasting preoccupation of defending it. then father fears losing face in his children’s eyes. then fear begets further fear of losing everything that comes with the authoritative image. dictators fear coup, presidents and congress members fear losing the second term in office, businessman fear losing out to competitors, and even spouses and friends fear falling out.

most people know when they do not know something, and yet behave as if they do know. this is so because the entire modern civilization is formed of this notion the authority figure that cannot be ignorant. and knowledge is always after the fact. so father knows best only if his children face a problem of the known kind. but father also knows that regardless of his desire his children cannot live their lives like father, like son. in the nature of constance, the motion is not on a circular path. the earth does not circle around the sun in the repeated form like a machine. belief is only an untested thought about things, be it about the origin of the universe, or god or a capitalist or communist way of life. everyone knows that no belief has ever given the satisfactory answer to solving any problem, whether mundane or philosophical. but admitting so means the loss of face, which spells the loss of socio-economic standing based upon the authority figure. and knowing that one does not know then becomes an object of fear of being found out that one does not know. so people invent further beliefs to support further beliefs. whatever the authority figure said, when doubted, would then require strengthening the superior position of the person. thus jesus then becomes the son of god, who could not be anything but omniscient. kings and dictators, and even the street-gang leaders employ physical force to support their stance. lovers rely upon gifts of diamonds to retain their niche in their loved ones’ hearts.

all these lies, whether sinister, or fairy tale-like innocent, reflect a way of thinking that is based upon fear of loss. it is for this insecure feeling about one’s position and place in the relationships with things and beings around one. some rely upon the brute force to ward off this fear, others upon lies. children growing up with finding the painted eggs laid by the easter bunny, and receiving gifts they had wished for sitting on the department store employed santa claus, then grow up to search for their socio- economic niches by the way of employment that promotes lies related to all walks of life. it’s a way of life that is made of the mutual exploitation of one another. it all starts with telling and listening lies about a needed thing or action that would supposedly benefit oneself or the other person.

take fairy tales, for instance. telling tales, whether of the actual past event, or a made up one, is the invention of the urban mind. it is the bed time story telling to calm down the restless children who are restless because they have not had enough physical motions necessary for their growth. children of the jungle and non urban countryside do not need stories to fall asleep. staying awake requires seeing, and seeing requires light. urban environment is made up of the lights, the street lights, yard lights, porch lights, and even in the lighted rooms, the reading lights and spotlights. lights stimulate the brains through eyes. it makes people and even creatures to want to do something. as the poultry farmers use lights in the chicken barns to keep chickens awake so as to make them eat and grow faster, so, too, the children of the overly lighted urban environment experience the stimulated physical growth. since the entire urban population lives off each other’s needs, real and imagined, cultivated, this lighted environment itself becomes a commercial enterprise now employing the nuclear energy, notwithstanding chernobyl and fukushima disasters. this twenty four hour lighted-ness has modified the motions of life, but it is not able to control the elementally interrelated aspect of life. so neither the exploiter nor the exploited have found the desired satisfaction from the goods exchanged. since nature is beyond the human dictations, the exploited suffer twice, once at the hands of the humans, and then with the natural consequences of the misdeeds. all these failed deeds and lotions and potions and the pleas to the heavens for rescue, begin with words of promotion: the political manifestoes, country’s preambles and declaration of independence and charters of constitution; educational syllabuses and textbooks; commercial pamphlets, and, religious doctrines and gospels. then there is the media industry in print and on air, both radio and tv, as well as internet.

everybody has a say, and everyone desires the listening ears. and yet, when one does open one’s mouth to say something, the fear of disapproval inhibits the expression. instead, almost without exception what one says is not one had in mind to convey. even though one lies, one expects of others nothing but the truth. the adversary system of rendering justice is based upon this duality. there are lawyers who would employ their verbal skills to defend the adversaries regardless of their respective stances for a fee. even the court appoints a lawyer for an out in the open guilty person to defend him, if he cannot afford one. then, even when a person loses the case, and is sentenced to death, his lawyer suffers no adverse consequence, except, may be, a slight drop in getting new clients. what happens, if the lawyers, too, are punished along with their guilty clients? then, they would want to make sure, that they are not defending the wrong person, and further, that the jurisprudence is not a courtroom game of words played at the expense of the innocent victims.

if one is really eager for living an honest and truthful life, all one has to do is to look around, and see that one is directly interconnected with not that many people. there are one’s immediate family members, one’s friends, colleagues, employer, employees, grocery store people and restaurant people. if one is a student or a teacher, then the few people one meets there. and, of course, the media people and the storybook writers and journalists, including the internet writers like this one. all that one does in the form of verbal communication with these people fits neatly within one’s perceptive senses in a given day, and it still leaves ample time to ruminate upon the events of the day, especially the ones that did not sit well. now barring the natural calamities, one is a party to whatever else that happens to one. in it one is either a liar or a lied to person. if one does not like the game of lies, it is up to one to stop playing it by not lying and by not putting up when being lied to. after all, what passes for love and respect are forms of fear. people are doing terrible things in the name of love and respect. one who sees things as they are, and responds to them accordingly, can never be concerned with what others will say. one who strives to earn others’ love or respect has to invent lies to appear loving in others’ eyes. no wonder, why many a famous people’s children are not impressed with their adults, for they see the stark contradiction between the image that the famous people project and how actually they live when away from the watching eyes.

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