Sometimes I like to browse blogs in other languages, and, if they look
interesting, let Firefox’s translator add-on reveal their meaning.
As you might guess, computerized translation comes out a little awkward
sometimes, so the human mind, mine in particular, must rephrase the
result. Every language "sees" things a little differently. For example,
a phrase in Chinese that means "to masturbate" also means "to console
oneself". That implies a refreshingly healthy attitude.
I happened upon a blog in French, and when I translated it, found that
it expressed some relevant thoughts better than I had conceived them in
WORDS THAT IGNITE
It is necessary to pay great attention to the words which we employ and
which we listen to. Because there are words which prevent us from
thinking; words which, as soon as they are held up, have the curious
effect to consume the intelligence, prevent us from looking at something
inside us and the complexity of what surrounds us – because we live, in
the middle of often indecipherable things, of a chaos of incommensurable
However, these words, instead of helping us to put a little clearness in
what we are, our personal existences, our families, our companies, close
One hears the words without realizing it. They fill our minds with a
pretty brilliance of explanation: “national pride”, “right of the
people”, “freedom”, “equality”, “cultural exception”, “terrorism”, etc…
They are so beautiful, though they plug our thinking. They are believed
salutary, but they are terrible. They are believed the best ways to
express ourselves, but they are the worst. Even the word “love” is a
standard under which one makes atrocities.
In fact the words HANDLE and do not explain anything. Words, to take up
the idea of Rosa Montero, do nothing but sharpen the axe of the torturer
and pile up the wood of the bûchers. Words transform the reason into
straw and throw fire there. Vis-a-vis the sparks flamers, it is
necessary to think, think, continue to think and never not to cease
I tried to edit the English translation to clarify, and I apologize to
the author if I didn’t get it quite right. She was not, of course,
saying that words are bad, but that, too often we use words as labels
for complex thoughts and feelings and ideas, and once we apply the
labels we stop thinking.
When we use words in speech and thought that are merely shortcuts for
real thought, we end up with shortcut emotional reactions. We open
ourselves to manipulation by those who are willing to twist those words
to twist our reactions and behavior.
Time and again throughout history, people, though meaning to do good,
have allowed themselves to be used for the selfish ends of a few and as
a result created major death and destruction.
As Myriam Chirousse said, we need to think.
I would like to add that it is not just the educated, the intellectual
who can and must think. Every human being has a brain and can learn to
think. It is not an idle endeavor– it is an inoculation against
“It is necessary to be wandering, to cross the ideas as one crosses the
cities and the streets.” (F. Picabia)
It’s a friendly universe…
Let’s make it a peaceful world.
Cosmic Cabdrivers’ Guide to the Universe
360 Blog: http://360.yahoo.com/captainrat23
MSN Blog: http://cosmicrat.spaces.live.com/
Thought for the day:
It would seem that evil retreats when forcibly confronted.
— Yarnek of Excalbia, "The Savage Curtain", stardate 5906.5