Sunday, September 10, 2006

Response to a friend on The Limitation of Recorded Converastion and Attempts to Define Self.

So the following is a follow up response to an email I received from an old friend. We'd recently reconnected online (MSN Messenger) and had a great dialogue. Afterwards I sent him the text of our conversation as a lark. He responded with the following:
Good God! after reading the transcript i felt that our realities collided multiple times but never stood on the same path; it was almost as if we were talking to ourselves but for brief periods we heard each other. (very awkward reading but i got more from it by reading it over). Thanks for sending that- interesting.
What follows is my response:
It is pretty crazy reading! There's quite a difference between being in the conversation and reading the conversation. The overlap of questions and answers really is quite apparent in the reading (creating a disjointed dialogue) but seemed more flowing in my recollection of the conversation. While conversing it was as if both conversations where happening at the same time (which they were) yet the written recording of the conversation forces the two flowing discussions into one disjointed timeline. This is a wonderful example of a limitation in written recording. Imagine if you had 4 windowns open and conversations going in all of them. Each conversation with 1 or 2 discussion threads. That means there are between 4 and 8 threads being followed at that point in time. 8 threads being juggled in "reality". Being experienced and expressed at that time. Now what if all of those conversations were put onto one transcript according to time of post. The words would be recorded, but is the conversation itself lost? For the words do not really carry the meaning of shared dialogue that is built and shaped as the discussion evolves. Discussion is more than words. Words are more than letters. Letters are more than squiggles. And so the truth and reality cannot be transfered fully to the page. This is a limitation of writing. This is a limitation with attempting to transfer "Truth" as learned through discussion and verbal/experiential teachings to the page. This is part of the reason using written words (collected wisdom) to proclaim "The Truth" greatly discomforts me. They are the recording in part, not the thing itself. Much like a photograph only captures certain visual elements of a scene, leaving out the other aspects apparent to our senses, so does a written transcript of something heard/learned/experienced only record a limited aspect of the entire teaching. So what are these words? I see writing on the pages as lines and squiggles. The lines and squiggles however, form words, which are attached to concepts, which can be connected to attempt to describe greater things; as metaphor's alluding to Truth. One can use these words as part of a discussion or dialouge. Words and the concepts built around them can act as an invitation to that which is beyond. In this way perhaps the greater truth can be sought out and interacted with? Well this is a thought in progress.. tell me what you think? Perhaps we can discuss it? ;)
He ended his email with the following thought to discuss:
If it takes everything external of me to define myself.. am i not everything? - generalized thought of the day
There are lots of places to go pondering on that one... here's where I went.
Is it the external that defines? or one's relationship and interaction with the apparent external perception internalized?
No one else can define you, only you define or hold to who you have inaccurately defined yourself as. (Though you may give strength by believing in the false attempts at definitions by external sources, the choice to accept the false definition lays with you.)

And "everything" is a lot, does your question presuppose that we are at some level aware of everything? from which we define our relationship?

Or are you looking at the idea that one could not fully define oneself unless one were to fully know everything else and therefore one's place in relation to everything else?

And by define are you using it in a definitive sense (absolute) or partial (parameters)?

Perhaps a good question to ask is "can one define oneself?" I lean towards no. But I would say that one can express oneself.

• verb
1 state or describe the exact nature or scope of.
2 give the meaning of (a word or phrase).
3 mark out the limits or outline of.
— DERIVATIVES definable adjective definer noun.
— ORIGIN Latin definire, from finire ‘finish’.

Do you believe one can state or describe the exact nature or scope of whom self is? Would that not require a full knowledge and awareness of self? Full physical, mental, emotional, and meta-physical (spiritual) knowledge? Or do you use define in the other sense meaning to contain, or create demarcations and limitations on who/what "self" is? In essence a definition of an incomplete nature, a construct of self, a pseudo-self. Which is not self. :)

Now expression of self? I think that's more attainable.

• verb 1 convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct. 2 squeeze out (liquid or air).
— DERIVATIVES expresser noun expressible adjective.
— ORIGIN Old French expresser, from Latin pressare ‘to press’.

I like the relation between expression and air. Breathing. Living, Expressing. In some faiths breath is synonymous for spirit. So I wonder as well, about the connection with expression being the process of living and sharing fully of who/what/where one is. What do you think? C'mon, express yourself! ;)

Gotta jet,Wish you well with your reading,

Parting thought.. rather than trying to figure out who you are by attempting to define yourself could you rather learn more about who you are through the process of expression and observing what you create/birth/bring forth?

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