Monday, July 7, 2008

Maybe I know where Hamlet went Wrong...

That depends on what your definition of the word is is. -President Bill Clinton

To be or not to be, that is the question. -William Shakespeare

To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step to knowledge. -Benjamin Disraeli

I wake up everyday, and sense how much of my life is challenged in a way by the declarations I have made, the opinions I hold, the feelings I have about people; as well, I believe I can manage my world better by classifying, directing, and making new boxes, or models of things. This idea comes forth in my heart as I believe a clarity can come in my heart with one single linguistic twist.

People I love, people I respect, counselors, former lovers, friends, and authors long dead have impressed upon me the value of language in my life, and the way language shapes my world view. With words, I can build myself and my world view to where nothing can stop me from achieving my goals. With words, I can limit my capacity for growth, change, wonderment, excitement.

With the acknowledgment that linguistics is just another branch of psychology, the view held by Noam Chomsky, I have to understand that language has the ability to enlarge my world, or the world to tear it apart. When I take ideas in my brain, and place them on paper, speak them out loud, or blog them to this great world of ours, I create the terms of my own development. I have read enough, seen enough, and experienced so much in my own life to know the truth of this.

One basic idea in English class was the differentiation between these verbs that show action, and these verbs which show being. The verbs that show being interest me, because these verbs create an almost mathematical relationship between the subject, and the predicate. The main idea, one I have retained since childhood, involves pronouns. One class of pronouns, called the nominative case pronouns, works on the idea that the originator of the idea, holds a basic knowledge of the nature of the subject. Pronouns indicated in the use of the “to be” verbs often are referred to as nominative case pronouns. Nominative means that the pronouns name the subject, declare the subject, or perhaps even define the subject.
Yes. I said the verbs declaring being interest me. I feel excitement while thinking about them. The possibilities that culminate in the belly of these seemingly minor declarations seed my mind with a desire to wrest control over my destiny. These declarations make it possible to codify humanity, exert an almost Godlike grip on all the aspects of my life. I can decide the nature of weather, the character of people, the nature of all aspects of behaviour, and taste the satisfaction of sharing my judgments with the world.

The other class of pronouns discussed involved objectification. For anyone who has said “I do not want to be objectified” I would say that this is actually a more stable language structure. I can have moments of shakiness, thinking my grasp on the world may actually rest on these declarations, that my indiscriminate use of the “to be” verbs could actually undo the tapestry of life I work so hard to create. I think the excitement comes in knowing many people have seen the value in this, and have evoked the movement that can bring greater happiness, fulfillment to our lives.

What is this idea? (Did I just say that?)

E-Prime started in the mind of a man named Alfred Korzybski in the 1930's, and has built up a following ever since. E-Prime is based on the idea that our happiness, our effectiveness, our functionality as a society, is based on learning to abolish our use of the “to be” verbs.

I know few people that have listened to Neil Diamond belt out the song “I Am, I said” without feeling at least a pinch of anxiety. The song is careless and filled with treachery. I support the looking at E-Prime as a way of reworking language, a way of reworking my life view. It may seem frivolous, but I think of this as a game, one in which I get to rethink how I phrase things. Just the simple question "how are you?" is a loaded weapon, an enticement into a subtle trap. You answer with a declaration of "I am ..." and you are off to the races. I am here to liberate you, to share with you the joys I have found.

My room mate studies language systems, sensory modalities, submodalities, and how so much of our world can be shaped by language systems. In Neuro-Linguistic Programming we see how impoverished language models limit existence. Possibilities open up to people who speak consciously.

I want to dream bigger dreams, a live a bigger life. I opened this blog in December quoting Ken Kesey about chasing mystery in life. He said that those who chase life's answers lose out. I believe maybe I can learn from that. I will continue to chase the mystery in my life.

Thank you for reading.


Akira 思胜 said...

Pursue the dream is a must in everyone's life... No dream, no life, and that's it!

The best part in life is the chance to work hard and worth while doing...

Joey said...

Oddly enough I found out about E-prime while browsing some libertarian website a long time ago. The article touched on similar things as you have done here. I'm not sure how to paraphrase his conclusions, but this article on E-prime followed another article where he talked about how words can be used to control people.

Anyway, fascinating stuff and perhaps you could demonstrate the power of E-prime by, say, writing a few random posts entirely in E-prime and see what a difference it makes?

K3ViN said...

Thanks 4 drop by my blog.... Anyway... wish u a Happy belated birthday!!!

faeryrowan said...

Oh deep, for me at least. But yeah, from the last lines in your post, I say, go dream and dream big. It's what makes life worth living.

And hey, I read in your "Kado Untuk Keith" post below that you're turning 38 on July 8, is that right? So it's your birthday the time I post this! Happy birthday, Keith! Here's to more birthdays! *raises goblet for a toast* =)

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