The Linguistic Approach to Knowledge – Vladimir (22/9)
In the beginning was the word, and the word was with god and the word was god. If you read further you will find what happened to that word. That word began to travel and came down and became flesh. Sri Aurobindo starts his observations from the vibrations of the spoken word, “…Let us suppose a conscious use of vibrations of sound that will produce corresponding forms or changes of form… a vibration of sound on the material plane presupposes a corresponding vibration on the vital…
“As a matter of fact, even ordinarily, even daily and hourly we do produce by the word within us thought-vibrations, thought-forms which result in corresponding vital and physical vibrations, act upon ourselves, act upon others, and end in the indirect creation of actions and of forms in the physical world. …Thus we see that the theory of creation by the Word which is the absolute expression of Truth, and the theory of the material creation by sound-vibration in the ether correspond and are two logical poles of the same idea. They both belong to the same ancient Vedic system (KU p.126).”
Sri Aurobindo defined four planes: supramental, mental, vital, and physical. If the word is tavelling from the highest down, we have these four levels – transcendental speech, mental speech, mediating speech, material speech. In the study of signs and trace, Saussure came to the discovery at the beginning of the 20th century, to the same one made long ago by Bharatrihari, of the correspondence of signified and signifier. Whatever we say about the object is the signifier, but what is signified is the concept of the object. These two build one sign – Derrida describes it as a trace structure. The signified is never there. Signifier is never that. The never there and never that makes the sign by which we suppose we know. …He never takes it for pure gold.…When you speak about anything or write anything you mean really the signified behind.
If we presume the signifier is the signified we fall into the trap of logocentrism. We think what we speak is true, but there is nothing of the kind. There is a parallel reality to which we have very little relation. ..If we look at the illustration, we have on one side the reality, form, meaning, object; on the other side we have the signifier, and this is what is called vach, nama, speech, name. I propose here a solution: …the form of seeing, the face or form is of a direct nature, of the evidence of the truth; we hear the indirect evidence, vach – seeing is superior to speech. How they correspond – the form of the thing and of the name of the thing are not the same, but they are the same on the level of semantics, of meaning. Both the pen and its name mean the tool for writing. On the higher plane this power of consciousness is one, where the sound and meaning are one, beyond the mind. It is being realized below as word and as form. …They mirror each other. There is nothing that is not a mirroring. …So that was my solution, which I found many years back and I am happy with it.
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