There is a very old saying that goes: If you don’t have legs to travel, then travel inwards.
Before creating a sculpture, the sculptor has to decide how he is going to do it. Should he create a shape by starting from nothing and adding one layer at a time? Or should he choose to remove one piece at a time from a large block?
Since intention and action are one and the same, the first question to ask oneself is therefore that of the intention followed by action, in other words, the goal targeted by an action, since the end is already present at the beginning. It is indeed the goal that is already there, before the mechanism to reach it.
The difference between a specified goal and an unknown goal is that if the goal is specified, each act must necessarily be subject to it so that each step leads to a certainty; this is not the case if the goal is unknown: here each steps leads to uncertainty. What both approaches share is that a sculpture is completed once the goal is attained.
Speaking is only part of the action, not an action in itself. This raises the question of understanding if the action necessarily requires a speaking element to achieve its goal, since the goal is not attainable without this component, if this action could attain its goal even without words, or if the words hinder the very achievement of the goal.
What all human languages have in common is that they are exclusively composed of component parts, as these components, i.e., nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, etc., are all without exception based on a comparative system applied to a limited number of identifiers, which define the limits of a language.
Given that everything is made of elements that can be compared and also some that cannot, we can only talk about something by making a comparison, and anything we say only comes from making a comparison, and nothing more.
This begs the question as to whether comparison has any meaning if it is unable to make an essential (eðli) point, since it is unable to describe anything with sufficient clarity. Consequently, the comparators exult in the implications they have created, while the things themselves delight that for them there is neither division nor union.
In scarcely a century, the number of spoken and written phrases have undergone an exponential growth in the super-organisms we call civilisations, in the best case, this leads to a literacy that is not in step with arete, i.e., wisdom, magnanimity, justice and generosity, and in the worst case, even creates obstacles to these qualities. If, rather than interpreting the self-organised interactions of ants, the inventors of collective intelligence, had scientifically studied the behaviour of schools of minnows, no doubt they would not have mistakenly referred to Artistotle’s theory of the addition of individuals by confusing intelligence with arete.
In summary, given the brief considerations set out above, we might consider that it would be absurd not to ask ourselves the question as to the type of act which necessarily requires a speaking component to attain a goal, therefore forcing us to waste precious time, sitting in a solitary room, pulling out phrases from the end of our fingers, with our eyes fixed on the screen onto which these phrases are projected.
To understand the level of stupidity committed, you just have to take a quick look at the shimmering surface of Alfavatn. Someone who has never seen himself in a reflection will take the reflection for a precise, adequate representation of this thing.
It wasn’t that long ago that travellers passing by Icelandic farms were invited inside and begged to spend the night in the house. Anyone who has experienced the isolation of the Icelandic farms knows that silence in which consciousness blossoms, and anyone then leaving the house will have experienced the knowledge that this can bestow. Effort increases perception, lack of effort increases stupidity.
Those days in the farms, when knowledge and experiences were shared around a við (both of us) were therefore considered as festive days. There is credible evidence to support that these rare days are responsible for giving Iceland what now clearly sets it apart from other countries, for example, a vocabulary that does not include any word for the first person plural in the nominative.
And this is precisely the act, which necessarily requires the speaking component to attain the goal sought: begging passing travellers to stop to share their knowledge and experiences around a both of us.
We don’t know if travellers will stop here to share their knowledge and experience around a two of us, nor who such travellers may be. The goal sought is therefore necessarily unknown, and each step takes us towards uncertainty.
Bernhard Pangerl, Publisher
Translation: Jackie Dobble