Words come unbidden with every glance, a stream of words to acknowledge first the act of seeing, next the object and subject and finally to name all around it, all signified. With words I understand what appears before me, with words I contextualise, apply meaning and attempt with the feeble but desperate strength of naming to fix steady the ever spinning, fluxing, tearing-apart world. And the ever spinning, fluxing, tearing-apart self.
I understand the desire to leave words as a death drive. A desire to lose meaning, to loosen the self. To leave ‘me’ and ‘myself’ behind, to roll naked and unashamed in a pre-linguistic ecstasy where meaning is unnecessary and communication is all feeling passed through the language of sight and touch (what words are these?). An ecstasy of meaninglessness. An ecstasy of un-knowledge.
It should be peaceful, a world without words, a self without words. No more attempts to hold and carry over (no more metaphor), no more laboured attempts to affix meaning. No more tightening and sweating over placement, sequence. No more trying to pretend the self is stable when it is not.
But pushing words away – in favour of what? Of feeling, intuition, freedom? What are these words? – can only reflect a belief that the world outside the self is fixed, steady, and immanent. A belief in the universal. A belief in truth. A belief in authenticity. A belief in the proper sequence of time. A belief that whatever we will ecstatically roll naked in (knowing nothing) will be there to hold us whether named or not.
A belief in belief itself which knows that belief is simply belief takes effort to maintain. A belief that a steady world with meaningful objects can support a floating, meaningless self.
I believe (disbelievingly) in the power of words to stabilise my consciousness in a world devoid of inherent meaning. I suspect the self is not coherent, linear and although I suspect that the memory that makes up the self is not coherent or linear, but these are easier suspicions to suppress than the suspicion that the world is not coherent or linear. It takes less work to doubt the world than to doubt my self.
You may believe in the stability of a meaningful world in which to loosen your consciousness. But I cannot believe you wish to loosen your self entirely, to cut loose, or to lose words altogether. Without words there would be no ‘my’ to look at the ‘self’. It would not even be a case of looking at one’s self and seeing nothing. It would preclude the very act of seeing. To look but see nothing. To wish to see nothing…? That surely is a wish for death. If it is not a wish for death then what is this wish?
In self-awareness, we are presented with the knowledge that the self is alone. I can see my self, and I am not you. Nor am I with you or connected to you in any way. Is a true (full, mindless) turning away from words a wish simply to lose the pain of knowing that the self is both unstable and alone?
If the self is completely loosened, lost, then it (in complete isolation from its self) is no longer self-aware. It can float without seeing its own isolation. Is this bliss? There are no first person words for this state, even a third person description assumes the lost mind is being observed by someone and is therefore not lost.
Those bringing words to everything play with the illusion that meaning stabilises. That the self is coherent and ‘I’ am constant. A knowing act of holding, remembering whilst knowing and remembering that which is forgetting and forgotten. Those pushing words away play with the self-imposed and altogether self-present blindness of one who pretends not to look. Diving into the void of unconsciousness whilst holding on to the rim of the void with one finger, always, always self-aware although pretending otherwise. And in pretending not to look, in feigning blindness of what is clearly seen, could you ever forget yourself?