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On The Eternal (Language) Stream

Published by Hwaigon in the blog Hwaigon's blog. Views: 255

You might be wondering what the title means but be advised, it is derived with a certain logic, based on my personal observations of how language is acquired and how I personally acquire it with the all subjectivity involved.

Of late, I've been having the feeling of being dragged into some kind of centre, core of things - language specifically - (as a result of being fairly constantly hooked on anything connected with English). The more I read, speak and write the more valid the metaphor is getting.

I envision the commencement of language (or whatever) learning as the "outskirt" of a stream (outskirt of the field of knowledge), from which the learner is trying to cross-swim perpendicularly to get to the centre of the stream, it being the "eternal, complete, correct and absolute knowledge". (I've developed the idea of an eternal "knowledge stream" as in every field of knowledge there's a tendency to hoard more and more knowledge until its completeness is reached, a goal ultimately not accomplisheable).
Again, with every article I read, every new word noted, expression or grammar structure actively use, I'm getting nearer to the centre.
Now to be perfectly concrete: The "language centre" of the stream I'm referring to means for me the "not more and not less than needed, just about right, the golden mean". That is, I express myself flawlessly and clearly, I use apt words in my written discourse, I'm attentive and alert in speech, I strive for perfection.
(Obviously a life-long commitment).

Using the "cross-swimming" metaphor, it is imperative that I do not "overswim" my target, that is, the middle stream, the ideal of "just right", since I might as well end up on the other outskirt of the river, and if the initial outskirt means the lack of knowledge (blank slate), will or grit, the other side means enslavement by talent (I was advised by a seasoned priest, who had seen a lot the world has to offer, to take heed of falling into the trap of intellectual snobbism that results from what I now call "overswimming" the middle current).
It thus follows that it is almost inconceivably difficult to steer for the middle, the closer you get, the more attentive, alert and - most of all - humble you have to be not to get set adrift. Once being in the middle of the current, the goal is accomplished and re-accomplished almost infinitely.

Haruki Murakami said principally the same in one of his interviews:

"Position yourself in the middle (i.e. don't stand out too much), take good care of yourself - and work extremely hard."

Now you might consider this a bit far-fetched but in my view the following small step to calling this middle stream, "just-about-right" eternality God, is but a logical consequence.
Let me give you an example to explain why I'm mentioning a religious view: The Parable of the Talents in Mathew 25: 14-30 speaks of servants receiving a number of talents, from few to many, equally to their abilities. The one who gets 10 exploits 10, the one who gets 5 exploits 5, even the one with as few as 2 talents exploits them. Translation: For every one of them the "middle current" was elsewhere, according to the talents' owner's nature. But the one who got 1 spared that talent, squandered it, we might say, making himself get stuck on the outskirt of the river. Except for the last owner, all of them headed for the centre of the stream, for the ideal. The ideal could also be substitued for the word "truth".
Again I'm going back to the beginning: It's difficult to assess one's talents, whether they are 10 or just 2 or 1, as is it difficult to position oneself in the middle of the current. To me, these two theses are interchangeable.

To present my final implication, by heading for the golden, ideal middle in language learning, acquisition and usage, I'm in a way steering in God's course, the more so, since the very talent I dispose of, namely language, comes from God, as do all the means that I use for its acquisition. It is thus at hand to say my language is a steering wheel to help me find God and of such nature should be any talent of every man on this planet, namely to help man seek and find God.

The above is merely my opinion, observation, not exhortation or proselytizing. And yes, it is difficult for me to exclude God from my reasoning, since the mindpaths of my rationale usually end in Him.
  • Okon
  • Hwaigon
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