Following on the last posts about language, I’m just going to go way out on a limb here and re-present a picture that Rudolf Steiner gives which, when you really take it in, can transform your whole sense of language. It is this:
Steiner points out how at the present time, humanity can only tap into the deep formative forces of creativity in an unconscious way, or in a sort of caricature of what is possible. So to give birth to another human being requires a certain kind of process in which our consciousness plays only a tiny role — all the ‘work’ of creation is done unconsciously (for US — quite consciously for… other beings).
The place in the human being where we are beginning to find an entry into the realm in which this kind of creation–conscious creation–is possible can be found in the human larynx. Now, if you have a sense that there is a relationship between creative forces and the motions of the sounds that underlie speech, you begin to see that what speech is primarily today is only the merest possible shell of what is possible with regards to creation.
The sounds that I produce (or that you implicitly imagine, even unconsciously [MRI studies show this] if you are reading this) are capable of calling up within you an image, a picture… a feeling, evoked by my words. Not just the structure and grammar and so forth, but the actual sounds themselves are a part of this, and are not arbitrary (as I mentioned in the previous post).
Sounds are movement, and the larynx does what it does only as a mobile, dynamic organ of self-transformation. The larynx is doing a little dance, putting form into movement through time and interval. Alchemically this is all working with the Air element — reversal/polarity. The oscillations of the air itself happens through the polarity of compression and rarefaction, but even more: in order for my words to call up an image in you, you cannot remain the same — you must change. The way that you can allow my words to allow you to experience what lies behind the words — the experience of the one speaking — is only by going through a microcosm of a microcosm of a macrocosm.
The macrocosmic level is the process of life–>death–>life (i.e. reincarnation). The microcosmic process is awake–>sleep–>awake. The further microcosmic process is speaking—>listening—>speaking. In this last process, a part of you must go to sleep in order to dream through my words. Just as the continual process of dreaming is overshadowed by the entrance of day-waking consciousness, so too your ability to meet the images contained within the words of another’s speech is overshadowed by the holding on to and expression of elements of oneself and the temporary identity with one’s own images.
You must dream into my words as I actively speak them, just as I must do the same if I am to hear you through your words. Now, that’s all just background.
The real image is that in the future, rather than reproducing by the unconscious means that are the only ones presently available to humanity, we will learn how to reproduce consciously, and this will take place through the further development of what is now the human larynx, where we have the greatest connection to the creative forces–which now take the form of the ability to call up in another’s soul images that are produced in one’s own.
I hope the sense of this connection is clear. I recognize that this probably seems WAY out there, but I’d just like to share that such a way of thinking is possible, and that from a perspective that isn’t forced into materialistic boundaries, but which can consider the movement of processes in a wide variety of scales, such an imagination has considerable import.
This is all linked up with morality and how, as Bonnie points out, our speech is, in fact, a creative vehicle by which the world comes into being… So you can imagine that what we are doing right now in the exchange of ideas through words is a kind of proving ground and developmental platform on which we are expanding our ability to tap into something of the radical (root) nature of the creative forces, which are normally relegated to an unconscious realm.
One can, if one wishes, find this thread about speech all through the ages, as far back as you want to go. It is the root of the idea concerning the magical power of words; words as creative actions that are connected with the deepest sources of the universe.