The more I observe my mind and how it works the more I find language to be a filter for the ideas that I hold. An imperfect filter because it forces ideas to conform to its limitations and boundaries. An idea may be in colors and sounds but difficult to share if it cannot be made to fit into sentences and words.
Language is transformational – its formality conveys prestige and elegance – ideas that are meaningful but not by their definition but on the power, access, or status they imply. Language may be casual or coarse. It conveys personality, emotion, and region. We learn so much from another person when we listen to the way language drips from their tongues.
Which is an interesting concept when we consider the ways in which we add an additional filter when we learn a new language. With new languages we learn different rules. We open up new ways of expressing ideas. Our first language may have been a less perfect tool for us to communicate. Like finally being able to describe the weather in an Inuit language that holds 50 different words for, “snow.” Or the specificity that one gains from colloquialisms based on what another culture values most. How we might relate better to one another if only our language filters were adjusted to provide even more transparency?
It also begs the question, if we need a language to share how might we be able to utilize our magnificent minds to communicate in the abstract? Through art? Movement and dance? Touch? Words are like scaffolding for dreams – without them we are unable to share our visions our dreams of what might be or what is possible now. We use them to give structure to the ideas we generate. Even those ideas not in a verbal framework but in an imagined dream. Ideas generated in colors, sounds. The small theaters of our minds forever workshopping strategies, plans, imagined scenarios, and makeshift streams of events. Strategizing how we become the version of ourselves that we imagine.
How phenomenal that we have utilized sound in this way, our bodies in this way, to communicate, to share, and to grow our influence in a world where we are all actors in a shared hallucination. This same idea that reality is a thing even though it does not appear the same to all of us. Even though we have a vast array of philosophies, values, and understandings. We long to share our thoughts and use language to communicate the desires of our minds, bodies, hearts. It’s simply phenomenal.