The unspeakable World / Die unaussprechliche Welt / O mundo Indizível / El mundo Indescriptible

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Everything in the World – knives and forks, tables and chairs, trees and stones – are indescibable. The physical World is the ‘Unspeakable World’.

From the standpoint of logic we can not say anything about everything, because in order to say something about something, and state it logically, you have to be able to put it in a class.

Now, classes are intellectual boxes. You do not know any one without another, because in order to have a box there must be what is inside the box and what is outside the box.

By this method of contrast, we can make a logical discussion about things. And when you come to what fundamentally is, then you are without a box and you can not talk logically.

If you talk all the time, you will never hear what anybody else has to say, and therefore, all you’ll have to talk about is your own conversation. The same is true for people who think all the time. That means, when I use the word ‘think,’ talking to yourself, subvocal conversation, the constant chit-chat of symbols and images and talk and words inside your skull.

Now, if you do that all the time, you’ll find that you’ve nothing to think about except thinking, and just as you have to stop talking to hear what I have to say, you have to stop thinking to find out what life is about. And the moment you stop thinking, you come into immediate contact with what Korzybski called, so delightfully, ‘The Unspeakable World’.

The most ordinary sights and sounds and smells, the texture of shadows on the floor in front of you. All these things, without being named, and saying ‘that’s a shadow, that’s red, that’s brown, that’s somebody’s foot.’ When you don’t name things anymore, you start seeing them.

Because say when a person says ‘I see a leaf,’ immediately, one thinks of a spearhead-shaped thing outlined in black and filled in with flat green. No leaf looks like that. No leaves – leaves are not green. That’s why Lao-Tzu said ‘the five colors make a man blind, the five tones make a man deaf,’ because if you can only see five colors, you’re blind, and if you can only hear five tones in music, you’re deaf.

You see, if you force sound into five tones, you force color into five colors, you’re blind and deaf. The world of color is infinite, as is the world of sound. And it is only by stopping fixing conceptions on the world of color and the world of sound that you really begin to hear it and see it.

So, let me say again, I am not talking about the ordering of ordinary everyday life in a reasonable and methodical way as being school-teacherish, and saying ‘If you were NICE people, that’s what you would do.’

For heaven’s sake, don’t be nice people. But the thing is, that unless you do have that basic framework of a certain kind of order, and a certain kind of discipline, the force of liberation will blow the world to pieces. It’s too strong a current for the wire.

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