Many professional writers and editors lament that the English language is being obliterated by the casual use of more symbolic language on mobile devices and some social media internet sites.
They cite two main grievances, which are that casual writing formats are showing up where formal writing styles would be more appropriate and that most people don’t know the difference. Are we witnessing the demise of a modern language or the birth of a new way to communicate that is rooted in ancient traditions?
The history of language and the written word is a fascinating trip through the evolution of human thought. Well crafted alphabets such as Hebrew, Greek, Arabic and Syrian have deeper functions than simply conveying words. They contain the essence of sacred sound, number, as well as the origin of change and motion.
For instance, symbolic communication is seen in certain ritualistic dancing. Some Asian and Polynesian cultures still practice this art, and the stories depicted by the dances are passed on to the next generation. However, to foreign eyes the symbols are only pretty movements and the tale is lost due to lack of translation. This type of symbolic communication through movement is rooted in primal language.
Prehistoric tales around the campfire were probably not conveyed using long sentences strung together. They consisted mainly of gestures augmented by sound and a few words. This method still serves as the basis of modern sign language. Several current linguistic historians have explored such ritual gestures as a possible origin of what eventually became the Hebrew language. When gestures are made that imitate the letters which constitute some of the basic Hebrew words, their functional meaning becomes quite clear.
Greek letters also represent numbers. Athena was a virgin goddess and her sacred number was seven, which is a prime number indivisible by any other number. The numbers associated with the Greek letters in her name add up to 77 (length). The letters of her epithet, which is Pallas, equal 343, which is seven cubed (an indication of volume). The letters of her appallation, which is parthenos or virgin, equal 515. The degree angle of a heptagon, a seven sided figure, is 51.5 degrees. This indicates area.
Pictorial based written languages such as those found in China and Japan are purely rooted in symbology. They were first developed to convey whole ideas, not single words or letters. The hieroglyphics of the Egyptian language were much the same. The name of the pharaoh was not nearly as important as the fact that the symbol represented the incarnation of the sun god.
The idea of using symbols and abbreviated text in casual writing may strike Western readers as a lack of discipline or education. However, it may be a sign of the changing times toward a melding of global influence. The well formed alphabets mentioned previously are thousands of years older than the characters and structures used in the English language and they are still living languages today. By using symbols and abbreviations in everyday English, are we being lazy or are we opening ourselves to a cultural shift in our thinking?
Here’s something to consider. It’s very difficult for most folks to think without the use of words. Try it. Now, what if you could think in another language, like Chinese? Perhaps instead of words, you might be able to think in whole concepts or in the fluid waves of motion. What if you could think in Greek. Perhaps you could imagine spatial dimensions as well.
The lament presented by writers and editors is the grieving of loss and an inquiry about the future. In the West, our casual language has infiltrated formal writing for centuries. But, adding or deleting words to the lexicon is very different from changing the basic rules by which we communicate. By incorporating more symbolic language, are we simply adapting to current technology and the accelerated pace of life or are we changing the way we perceive and communicate at a more basic level?
For the last ten years, several movies and books have appeared concerning the coming of the Indigo children. One of their hallmark characteristics is the ability to communicate with one another telepathically. As a group, they form an interconnected matrix that is constantly in touch with every other point on the web.
Current mobile technology emulates this type of interconnectedness. By incorporating a phone, an internet connection, and a camera, hand-held devices give each owner immediate global interaction at an unprecedented level. Remember one of the recent earthquakes in China? A particular cell phone owner captured the event via video that showed at least ten other people doing the same. At the time, each participant considered it more important to document the event than to seek safety.
We are no longer telling our stories only with words. We are communicating through pictures and sound at a personal level and our unique point of view has less to do with our reaction and thought process than it does with where we were standing at the time in relation to the focal point of the event.
There is one fortunate side effect of this trend. When the Indigo children do arrive en masse, being in constant contact with one another will not be seen as odd or strange. More importantly, it will not be viewed as threatening. Perhaps we are merely using today’s technology to usher in a major shift in the way we connect with one another. It is very likely that the evolution of our language will be a blending of science and intuitive wisdom into a new form of interconnectivity.
Some content excerpted from The Sage Age – Blending Science with Intuitive Wisdom
© 2008 MaAnna Stephenson
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