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Comment on Is Language a Window into Human Nature?

rene Thu, Mar 13, 2008
I'm glad to see that you're "looking for a language that transcends our current symbol oriented system of communication." I'm planning to contribute to this discussion more extensively, but for now let me use this context to make a few more remarks about the “exuberant” laughter you and your friends experienced during the road trip you described in Nothingness Rules. You commented that your fit of laughter had "the sense of the universal, a sensation not unlike an insight into the nature of things." I have many friendships that likewise have transcended language on several memorable occasions, forging enduring bonds that were strengthened by the sensation of having spontaneously tuned into a similar wavelength that often remained inaccessible to others in the room. I even know families that are permanently at odds with each other except for such inexplicable shared moments. I’ve often wondered how it’s possible that something as significant as sharing an “insight into the true nature of things,” which has an unmistakable philosophical component, is so much more effectively expressed by laughter rather than words. This phenomenon appears to be some kind of end run around every known rule, convention or discourse, bypassing symbolism, code and language to tune into the way things actually are; like a glimpse into another dimension among the many that are currently imperceptible to us.