idea that who you are is constituted in language is, for
the most part, tough to grasp - at first. Indeed this notion that
transformation is a function of language is unpalatable.
It implies transformation is merely a function of what you
speak. It implies transforming your life and
transforming Life itself
is simply a function of your
If that indeed is the case, this notion of enlightenment as
language is an acquired taste.
If you tell someone they can transform their entire life just by
altering the conversations they have about it, in all likelihood you
would be met with a degree of disbelief, with skepticism - at first.
For the sake of conversation, whatever the path to enlightenment or
salvation is or isn't construed to be, if you ask people to tell you
the truth about how they personally construe it to be, they will almost
never include language as its facilitator. And here I'm not using
language in the sense of speaking that talks about
enlightenment or salvation. I'm using language in the sense of speaking
that generates it.
Speaking for human beings mostly implies speaking about
something. In other words, speaking is mostly a means to describe. We
consider we speak about something in existence. We hardly
ever consider we speak something into existence. We have
it that speaking is narrative. It's hardly ever generative
for us. Actually it's worse than that. Speaking, the way we hold it,
has no possibility of being generative, of being anything
other than narrative, than descriptive.
Yet we recognize generative speaking when we hear it. And when we do
recognize generative speaking (even if we don't call it that) we say
the speakers are gifted, ahead of their time, etc. We almost
never consider those gifted, ahead of their time abilities to be
normal, to be quite ordinary, to be freely available to ourselves and
to any and every human being.
Martin Luther King, referring to equality for all races, spoke "the
promised land". It came to pass. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, by inventing
the possibility with his speaking, literally spoke the colonial British
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
spoke the end of apartheid. What's more, he also spoke it as the
non-violent end of apartheid when anyone who knew anything
about politics at the time was certain that if apartheid did indeed
ever end, it would involve a blood bath simply as a matter of course.
Amazingly too, apartheid ended just as Nelson said it would. On
September 12, 1962 John Fitzgerald Kennedy spoke a man onto the
by the end of the decade. That possibility didn't exist up until the
moment of his speech. Neil Armstrong set foot on the lunar surface on
July 20, 1969, not even ten years later.
Martin, Mohandas, Nelson, and John didn't just speak about
something. It was their speaking itself which brought forth a new
possibility and ultimately a new reality. Their speaking generated new
possibilities for things not now possible to become possible, and then
even to manifest.
To an extent, I know who you are when I see you. But truth be told, I
really know who you are when I listen to you speaking.
Speaking narratively ie as a commentator you can only be in the realm
of what's already happened. However speaking
generatively not only brings forth what's not yet happened
to happen like a possibility, but it also brings yourSelf forth into
the picture. You can't bring forth possibility without bringing forth
yourSelf at the same time. That's because who you are is constituted in
language. Once who you are is brought forth ie who you
really are is brought forth, that's enlightenment.
I'm not saying that like it's the truth, by the way. In fact if
you want to completely devalue the idea that who you are is constituted
in language, just make a rule out of it, just make a belief out of it.
That's deadly. That will kill it deader than dead. What I'm suggesting
is if you stand in the idea that who you are is constituted in language
and try it on, you'll notice the correlation between who you really are
as you come forth into the world, and your speaking.
So is there really a definitive way to enlightenment? The
jury has been out for centuries on that one. Could it be simply
speaking? Is speaking your way to
really available as a possibility for human beings? I mean
really? The question is intriguing ...