Problems in Translation
Adam Blatner, Imagination-ologist
Posted May 12, 2011. (Link
(This is 8)
See Also Journal of Speculative Philosophy
No. 2 Fractal Metaphysics
On my Christmas
Holiday Cartoons in the last decade I also speak to these
That word means you can't actually put it into language. Fie and
fiddlesticks, say I. I can try, to Dream the Impossible Dream---read
those lyrics! Of course, as noted on the upper right, in the language
of a sage from another planet---one who chooses to remain anonymous not
because his name is unpronounceable, but because... well, don't tell
anyone, okay? But the speaker really looks to us sort of like a mouse.
(Yes, the same super-intelligent speaker in another dimension who built
the super-super-super computer described in the Hitchikers Guide to the
Galaxy!) up there on the right? Oh, the message is sort of The Tao that
can be spoken is not the Tao. Or the fullness of reality cannot be
processed adequately through the left-brain functions of language, and
I would add, hardly grasped even with the help of illustrations. But
it's a start.
That form-language is really only a shadow of a multi-dimensional
expression of a certain kind of consciousness. There are problems in
translation, that's the point. Okay, here on the left is one of my
friends. Some leprechaun types do their own type of trans-dimensional
mathematics, which doesn't yield easily to expression in 2-dimensional
space---i.e., on "paper." But for you, my friends, he is
trying---though by the look on his face you can see that he's uncertain
whether he's succeeded in making it any clearer to you. You know that
To the right is a more casual expression: I fear my cloud-like pals are
not all that precise, but their vaporous existence is evanescent and
elusive as... well, clouds. Not that they aren't real---oh, my friends,
you don't know the tenth of it how multi-dimensionally real they are.
But not easily given to accepting boundaries or hard definitions. And,
perhaps, that's their message: Much of reality indeed is more like that
than the modernist sentiment that truth is grasp-able.
Then there's the problem of whether I or any of my spokespersons,
henchmen, minions, assistants, backup singers, support staff,
colleagues, or whatever you might classify them as might in fact just
Could this be? And how would we know if it was so? What empirical
measures can assess this truly, meta-metaphysical discourse regarding
I picture it now. Flying saucer lands. Being from another planet, more
advanced civilization. Speaks in its own language, with a level of
sophistication that accords with inter-dimensional travel. Doesn't use
telepathy. Later some guy who encountered this being is interviewed: So
what did he say? "Oh, I couldn't make it out. Blah blah blah. It didn't
make any sense whatsoever. Silly talk, you know."
Or maybe that's what half of the people who listened to Jesus said.
That's what he meant by casting pearls before swine. Not that people
were swine. He was too kind for that. But some folks at some levels of
consciousness would not recognize what pearls symbolized, their rarity,
their value. To pigs they'd just be
Okay, try a different tack, one that always grabbed me! It's a secret
formula! Aha! Now we're getting down to it. Tell me! what is it?
can't tell you! It's secret! Somehow I always felt that if it weren't a
secret, if they could tell me, then I would understand what it was! I
could use the formula to do whatever nefarious or fabulous thing it
suggested. There were no problems of chemical engineering when I was a
kid. You knew the formula, there it was. Later I got smart. Degrees,
everything. You know? I still can't figure out what most formulas mean
and what to do with them. Could it be pearls and swine time?
Okay, seriously now, here's the explanation. No, oh golly, those star
fairies above have altered the explanation so that you can't understand
it. And I so wanted to explain it clearly. Bother! .
Well, let's try math again, as we did in the previous issue of Confabulations. Now
do you understand?
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