Meditation, Visual Thought and DNA: our crown of thorns…

 

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DNA as word as DNA as word

Was everything fine until the invention of language spoiled the soup, adding a layer of symbols between us and reality, where symbols were not necessarily needed? Without getting lost in the issue of whether language is instinct or invention, let’s assume so, for the sake of argument, that people began thinking in language when that had not previously been the case…

So people naturally fell in love with them, the little sounds and symbols, when they weren’t necessarily intended for everyone in the first place, maybe just priests and scholars and their trusted accomplices. Did written language in fact precede the verbal as people felt the need to verbalize what they were describing in pictures? That’s another question for another time…

But it’s tempting to conclude that maybe phonetic language is at the heart of the problem of ‘too much thought’ clouding up our minds, too much ‘white noise’ cluttering up our collective existences, too many junk-food repetitive thought-loops colluding to drown us in mindless mental activity, BUT……

IMG_0379That would be almost like saying that all the problems of our society and our politics and our pending Apocalypse is in our DNA, that all has been written there, collectively if not individually, with only a four-letter alphabet G, C, A and T to be followed to the last literal letter, BUT……

That is simply not the case, as is obvious with only 25-30K genes to explain the entirety of human biology, and only slightly different from a chimp’s DNA, though vastly different from a chimp’s existence, and most of those genes simply not ‘turned on’ at any given time, and what turns them on unclear…

So it’s ironic, if not outright bizarre, that, according to a prominent microbiologist, “DNA works almost exactly like language. There’s no reason that it should, but it does.” Do we perhaps even direct or modify our genetic predispositions with our own thought processes? Language in this sense, would seem best understood as programming language, BUT…

double helix

crown of thorns

It seems that DNA is only a suggestion, a broad outline, and those genes only a rough draft, and that there’s a meta-language that writes the real Final Draft, whether it’s an individual’s human-life story or the History of the Species, and that perhaps there’s a visual language that predates the phonetic one, and that far predates the alphabetic one, that is perhaps the original visual language of our existences, and that guides the animal kingdom to this day, and that perhaps guides our DNA, too, but regardless…

That’s why I’m so different from my brother, even though our genes are so similar. And that’s why our human society is so conflicted even though we’re so similar in DNA and likely derived from the same mother and the same father, regardless of what you call them: Adam and Eve or Jack and Jill…

And it leaves a lot of room for creativity, and responsibility, since nothing can simply be explained away, and everything must be accounted for, and there’s no one else to blame, just ourselves and our lesser natures and our disrespect for mother Nature. And that is why we just might ultimately survive as a species, because we can, since there is no racial basis for racism, and there are no rational bases for castes, just cold hard cash to be won or lost at the races…

IMG_0542The challenge now is to use the little symbols not as objects of beauty in themselves nor even as tags for communication with others, but as a means to return to the source, always and forever. And the best way to do that is to shut them off, shut off the thought-loops that keep us awake at night, and return to the sound of silence, if only for a few minutes every day. That is the value of meditation, BUT STILL…

In a perfect world, I don’t think meditation would even be necessary, as our minds would not be so vexed and perplexed as to need solace in silence. It’s that so much of our interaction is so quarrelsome and meddlesome that some respite is needed…

This might be the fault of language itself, whether the phonics or the alphabets or the grammar—whatever. The elders laugh at kids “taking pictures of everything,” but is SnapChat(TM) not an effort at new forms of communication, in a visual language? Think about it…

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