Life and Mind and Language

“The incomparable feature of human language is that its magical community with things is immaterial and purely mental, and the symbol of this is sound. The Bible expresses this symbolic fact when it says that God breathes his breath into man: this is at once life and mind and language.”
Walter Benjamin, “On Language as Such and on a Language of Man”



Art: “Desert Breath” by Danae Stratou

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24 Responses to Life and Mind and Language

  1. Gneiss Moon says:

    I love the play of language, seeing how the winds of time change and reshape it.
    When very young and learning to spell, I had the tendency to write in old world spellings: flavour, colour, etc… Always found it a bit odd – a past life holdover perhaps…?


  2. SalvaVenia says:

    Preservation of common values, perhaps?


  3. ptero9 says:

    I love language. For better or worse, and sometimes a little of both, language is a gift that lets us say anything we want, believe it, and live in its meaning, no matter how true or delusional.

    What language does both for, and to us, is something I can spend hours thinking about. I love the connection here with the breath, which is also connected to spirit and soul, the enlivening force of creation.

    Thank you Monika!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You love language and it loves you back, it seems. I know I post about language a lot but it is really one of my pet concerns and I am happy we are similar in this. Thank you so much for your words, Debra.


  4. Yes, I love the installation.


  5. For me, Monika, sound and silence are equally significant. For in silence I find sound. This quote is lovely. Thank you.


  6. Monika,
    These images are so breathtaking, I can hardly think – let alone think of anything insightful to say about language! Reminds me of the Stendhal Syndrome concept….

    The quote reminds me of, quite obviously the gospel of John, the word made flesh:

    “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1)

    which is often cited by Christian Gnostics as the secret teachings of Jesus. Admittedly, I have never delved into this perspective and do not know much about it.

    What I do know is the images are incredible and Desert Breath seems the most perfect title!

    Thank you


  7. Gneiss Moon says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the ‘winds of change’ idea. Words added with new inventions, usage, evolution of slang.
    I make up words, am a fan of Carlin’s riff on speaking / reading English, clever and funny observations.

    Also, are you familiar with The Yoga of Sound ? I found it very soothing, very healing, the sleeve contains info on the mantras, you might want to check it out. Thanks Monika


  8. Pingback: Life and Mind and Language | lampmagician

  9. I’ve always viewed words as symbols, but I have never thought of sounds as symbols, which as a musician I suppose I should have. Certainly minor chords are much more dark and mysterious than major chords. As always, you’ve given me something to contemplate. Thanks, and have a wonderful weekend!


  10. Language is a fascinating subject we use symbols in so many instances.. and I too find this subject one which I wanted to explore .. You kindly agreed with an old post of mine Symbols and Symbiosis, it was one post I so enjoyed putting together as I looked up the various links to pull it together..
    Loved the photo’s and a wonderful Quote to accompany it.. .. Wishing you a beautiful evening and rest of the week… Love and Light Sue xox


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