Monday, 25 March 2013

Thoughts between first and second sleeps

3/25   The bugbear of thought is to confound words with reality, signifier with signified. That is a commonplace, but can thought function without words? Is it possible to experience reality without words? Is expressability in words the litmus test for 'exist'? The search for the experience beyond words is one of the driving forces of mysticism, but doesn't mysticism thereby acknowledge the power of words? Is language the original sin? Isn't language part of the game of thinking and experiencing? Can I conceive of something without simultaneously 'wording' it? And once I 'word' it, I begin limiting it and differentiating it from other 'worded' things. Again, philosophical commonplaces but it is difficult to get past them in daily life. Our existence is fuelled and maintained by words, by signifiers.

4/2    My first encounter with lapis lazuli was through a picture. My initial impression was that the colour was impossible, it was too blue to be natural, and the object could only be manufactured, perhaps plastic made to look like stone. I never have lost the suspicion that this substance is unnatural and unreal. Sometimes things can be too beautiful. Sometimes physical beauty is the result of makeup and a good haircut, carefully chosen clothing, and the photographer's skill with light and shadow. There are those startling pictures of quite ordinary people who are remade to look like models (and vice versa). There is a certain level of beauty in which we assume that a human being played a role. My dislike of lapis lazuli derives from back formation from this assumption.

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