Sunday, March 12, 2006


ghosts can be frightening, but if we don`t know they`re around then they don`t frighten us. i`m going to describe a type of ghost to you now and from this point on you will see them but you won`t be afraid.
the type of ghost i`m going to describe is not one of wearing a beadsheet and dragging chains....the type of ghost i`m refering to here is one of language.
we use words all the time. we say things and we barely focus on what we are saying, how we say things or why we even say the things we do.
"it is raining."
we say this phrase casually in reaction to seeing the rain coming down from the sky. it`s a natural statement of fact. we have been saying this simple phrase as long as we`ve been able to speak.
but there`s a ghost in there.
can you see it?
i will ask you this question; what is raining?
think about it.
the statement we all make describes "it" as raining.
what is "it"
the rain?
"the sky?"
why do we say this thing this way?
frankly, i don`t know. i have wondered about this for years and all i can say is that it is a ghost.
i use this odd little observation as a way to illustrate the way that language gets utilised in ways that are illogical and are invisible to our conscious mind.
they do have unconscious ramifications though............i`m just unsure of what they are in this case.
i would love to know what "it" is.


Anonymous said...

This post has got the Faith No More song "Epic" resonating in my mind.Thanks for that,love that song.

"Can you feel it, see it, hear it today?
If you can't, then it doesn't matter anyway
You will never understand it cuz it happens too fast
And it feels so good, it's like walking on glass
It's so cool, it's so hip, it's so right
It's so groovy, it's outta sight
You can touch it, smell it, taste it so sweet
But it makes no difference cuz it knocks you off your feet
You want it all but you can't have it
It's cryin', bleedin', lying on the floor
So you lay down on it and you do it some more
You've got to share it, so you dare it
Then you bare it and you tear it
You want it all but you can't have it
It's in your face but you can't grab it
It's alive, afraid, a lie, a sin
It's magic, it's tragic, it's a loss, it's a win
It's dark, it's moist, it's a bitter pain
It's sad it happened and it's a shame
You want it all but you can't have it
It's in your face but you can't grab it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?...."

dr.alistair said...

the power of words is that they create feelings. no matter what. we have the power to control the choice of words we use. or, as in the faith no more song, use someone else`s words to make ourselves feel a certain way.
words are only just one part of it though.........there is so much more.

anu said...

Wow Dr, i had not thought about the 'it' factor till date. It is so amazing that you can see the obvious.

But, again, how does it help knowing what 'it' is? I understand the use of positive, motivating, peaceful and loving words can have a powerful influcence on us. But, in this case, how can knowing or not knowing the 'it' have 'unconscious ramifications' on us.

If i dont know what is 'it', how can it affect me. Since i dont know, it does not exist for me right?

Or am i missing something vital here Dr?

dr.alistair said...

it is like learning any new skill. the study of words and thier application takes years to become a part of your thinking. it is the reverse of the conditioning that we have been exposed to all our lives that has made us unaware of the mechanism below our nose.
it is like looking for a needle in a haystack, or a face hidden in a obvious when you see it.
the study of the meaning of words is a journey, not a destination. we gain new insight each day, if we are paying attention.
i am in the process, for example, of studying traffic law in canada, and i`m discovering that definitions in legal language are vastly different to the definitions that we accept and utilise in conversations with friends or with the boss. these differences allow the courts to trap us into contracts that we are unaware of yet cost us thousands of dollars when we get traffic tickets.
did you know that traffic court is a civil law process?
we are in a contractual relationship with the provincial court!
words are powerful things......
we are just scratching the surface here. let the adventure begin.
and regarding whether you are consciously aware of the effect of words on your reality and how these states effect you......words are prisons, or they are the key that unlocks the door.
it is called manifest destiny. what we agree to shapes our world. whether we understand the words or not.