Language, Words, Meaning

Language is very mysterious to me. Words have such a big impact on people. Yet they can mean different thing to different people and most people only accept their understanding. They do not ask for clarifications “is that what you meant?” they even do not want to listen to explanation.

I remember when I used a word I did not intended to and said “upps this is not what I meant” I heard. “No this is what you meant, it was your subconscious talking”.  What a strange perception I thought and asked “What makes you think my subconscious  speaks English”.

I do mix word, sometimes I cannot recall what is the name of the concept I have in mind, or I will say one that sound like the one I intended to use.

For me words are like labels that we use to identify things, concepts, ideas.

It was best explained by my IT lecturer at Queen Mary Collage who wrote his name on a blackboard and asked “what is this?”.

We said:

  • It is you.
  • No I am standing here
  • It is your name
  • No, it is chalk on a black board, arranged in a pattern that points to my name, that points to me.

For me this is what words are: sounds arranged into patterns that we recognised as pointers to concepts, ideas, thoughts. We use them to communicate, as we do  not know how to exchange thoughts in any another way. To do this we would need to be better connected to each other. Some may call it being on the same wavelength.

Words are especially difficult in describing emotions or feelings:  For me each time emotions feelings are different, there will be a variation depending on the situation, circumstances, people involved before and in  the moment.

I do not know about you, but I always have a mixture of emotions. Mixture of feelings.

How do we learn what is the name of an emotion we feel? Well, we look at a situation, observe how we feel, listen to what others are calling it, but the same circumstances can give rise to different emotions.

I remember staying in a hotel in Wales over Easter holidays. There were 3 groups of people English, Italians and Poles. It was long time ago when the TV was only in the lounge and we were watching a comedy show. I found it amazingly funny that each group laughed at different moments (in addition to the laughter on TV). Different cultures, different backgrounds, different sense of humour.

Words, emotions, perceptions

All these words we use and get so emotional about them. People get offended because they add their emotions, their perspective to the words said by others, but the speaker can have a completely different perception of the word.

We are judgemental and believe that our understanding is the only one and that everyone thinks like this. But this is not true. We all have different experiences, perceptions, and beliefs.

I heard so many times, after making a statement, someone asking: Is it good or bad; Is it right or wrong. There is right and wrong, good and bad in everything. IT depends on what we focus, what is our objective, our preference. The Yin and Yang sign shows it beautifully.


In 1975 I moved from Poland to London.  It was the time when political correctness was ramping the scenes.  Calling someone “black” was an offence. At that time many Polish people got to the court accused of racism and could not understand why. Why is calling someone black racist? It was not in Poland. In fact, referring to someone as black would if any bring sympathetic emotions.

I remember my first day at school in London. I was sitting alone in the common room looking for someone to connect, someone sympathetic and I saw this black guy on the other side of the room, he looked friendly. As I stood up to approach him, he started to move away so I shouted:

“Hey you black”. 

There was a sudden silence in the room, all eyes on me and someone said:

“I cannot believe you are so racist.”  I could not understand where did that come from and asked “why are you calling me racist?

“Because what you called him”

I was surprised and remembering what I just said I repeated:

“I called him back”

“I cannot believe she said it again” came from the room.

I still did not get it, what is their problem? And I said:

“It does not prove I am racist; it proves I am not blind”

There was an uproar. My mind was franticly trying to understand what is the connection between calling someone black and being a racist, finely I got it, they think that there is something wrong, bad in being black so I said:

“Calling someone black is racist, only in a racist society”

Everyone left the room except for Jim – the guy I was calling. Seems he was the only person in the room not offended by what I said and I was taking about him.

In Poland calling someone black was favourable, black hair, darker skin was uncommon and hence considered more attractive.

Do People think in words?

Do people think in words ? That is what I was told, but I do not. I think in pictures, movies, feelings, smell, emotions. If I think about the smell of the roses I can smell it. I do not think about the roses. I am surrounded by the aroma of the rose. I feel the breeze that brings it to me and even my skin can feel the smell.

People who are so much tided up in words remind me of computer programs. It is copmuter programs that only exist in the language. They might be able to express their feeling better but it does not follow that their feelings are better. How many times people say different things, think different things and doing different things; yet most people believe in the words more then they believe the action.

Take Israel for example; from the time it was formed it said it does recognise Palestine and yet is was growing its territory. Its action contradicted what they were saying; but the world believed the words not action. Even now they are still building new settlements on Palestinian land. How would you like for your neighbour telling you that he respects your land and then build his shed or granny flat in your backyard?

Landmark say that reality arises from language. It is not the reality it is your story about the reality. Limiting your reality to language limits you to awareness of a computer program. Reality is belong words. Reality is pure and simple; not good or bad just is.

It is the stories that arises in language that create our frustrations. Expectations we build. We forgot how we perceived the world as children. With trust and open hurt; with joy of every new moment at which we look at the world around us with amazement. With time we lost this ability to enjoy every moment of interaction with our surrounding. Mostly because of the negative experiences we got from others who also lost this ability and no longer understand how it feels. Could it be that it is because they limited their existence to words only.

I mix up words and It amazes me when people say “Oh that is what you subconsciously meant.” I do not understand what makes you think my subconscious thinks in English?

Words, thought, consciousness. What creates our reality?

You walk through the street mindful that you may be attacked.  You are ready for it.  How are you ready?  Well you are prepared to attack.  Attack is the best defense. That is a common belief.  What happens then is that you smell of fear, you smell of aggression. And; you create an attack.  That is what is on you mind. Most people actually do what you expect them to do.  Additionally the universe or God is like a jinni “your wish is my command”.  What is on your mind sooner or later will manifest itself in your life.

More and more people are getting aware of this. Many thinkers/teachers know this; but they will tell you that these are words that drive the universe.  I do not think so.  It amazes me when people get so much caught up in words. It is not the words; it is the meaning we give them, the internal picture and intensity of emotion that creates our world.

I mix up words and was told it is not mixing up it is my subconscious talking.  Why do they assume that my subconscious speaks English??  I do not believe it speaks any language.  Consciousness language is wordless.  Why do you think spiritual gurus say the truth is beyond words; I cannot tell you; you have to experience it.

Words are linear; they describe just one aspect of our perceived reality. It takes a long time to draw picture in words. Life is instant.  I look at a valley and see all trees, their leaves and brunches, birds flying, clouds moving; you hear the wind and the birds; you smell the fresh air; all at the same time; is takes a second and how long would it take me to describe this valley. Also words bring into the mind of a listener their experiences their mental models, not the ones of the speaker.

As read these words describing my valley you create an image of a valley into your mind, but this is based on your experience not mine.  It is not the one I was describing; you do not know my valley because words cannot desribe the smell of my valley,  the song of my valley, the beauty of my valley.  For you to know my valley our mind would need to connect become one with mine so you and I  feel, see, smell, touch the same thing at the same time.  At that time no words are required.

However words are needed to get us to this connection they guide us through our blindness until we find light until we find the connection between each other then they are not required anymore.  You do not need to tell yourself to breath you do it; you do not  need to tell yourself you are hungry to eat, you do not need to tell yourself you are happy just be happy.

Have you every been able to communicate with someone without words. I did. After a huge argument with my team leader (we argued the case not getting personal) telling each other what we think.  After that it was amazing we could communicate just by looking at each other.  And it was not just reading emotions or single thought.

It was an amazing feeling; a split of a second communication.