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Semantics & Words

Anything Goes Leaves Nothing


Words Have No Meaning: All Meaning Is Added


AVOID WORD GAMES

  • To argue over words is to let experience slip out.
  • To focus on words is to miss experience.
  • To debate words is to emphasize form over content.
  • To obsess about words is to strain after the letter and to miss the spirit.
  • Words have no meaning of their own.
  • If you think semantics is not important, then you do not care what name you are called.
  • Accuracy is important but not more important than meaning.
  • Not to be careful with your words is not to be careful with your soul.
  • How you talk to yourself in your head is also semantics.
  • Words are signposts, not destinations. And following wrong signposts leads to wrong destinations.
  • Words are pointers that lose their usefulness when they become more important than what they point to.
  • Words can only point to something other than themselves.
  • When words are the end result then all manner of folly ensues.
  • Words indicate but are not what they indicate.
  • To verbally understand a fact and to experientially understand a fact are as different as thinking about food and eating food.
  • The fool regards the description as the event.
  • The fool is satisfied with knowledge.
  • The fool mistakes words for understanding.
  • The fool thinks vocabulary is intelligence.
  • The fool thinks education is wisdom when it is only an increase in inner noise.
  • To be able to use the appropriate words at the appropriate time indicates only the understanding of a computer program: none.
  • The manipulation of symbols and words is a game that distracts one from the pursuit of what lives beyond words.
  • The accumulation of words is no more the accumulation of wisdom than the accumulation of possessions is the accumulation of security.

Language misleads into its own reality.


Related Pages


Related Book

Book cover for We're All Insane


Related Quotations from Various Sources

Organized Alphabetically

“Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken.” —Orson Card 

“And believing can only condition experience. Surely, what I believe, that I experience.” —J. Krishnamurti, The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Volume V, p. 346 

“Belief creates its own experience; therefore, such an experience is not true.” —J. Krishnamurti, The Collected Works of J. Krishnamurti, Volume V, p. 334 

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;” —I Peter 1:15 

“Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.” —Spanish proverb 

“Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, which speak peace to their neighbours, but mischief is in their hearts.” —Psalms 28:3 

“Everything that can be said can be said clearly.” —Ludwig Wittgenstein 

“Facts can’t feel.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Facts can’t figure.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Facts can’t fix.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Foolishness always results when the tongue outraces the brain.” —Unknown 

“Identity is invariably false to facts.” —Alfred Korzybski 

“Knowledge does not do.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Knowledge does not get it.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Knowledge does not know.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Knowledge has no intelligence.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Knowledge is an addiction, as drink; knowledge does not bring understanding. Knowledge can be taught, but not wisdom; there must be freedom from knowledge for the coming of wisdom.” —J. Krishnamurti, Commentaries on Living, First Series, p. 169 

“Knowledge is not it.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Negative thinking is the highest form of intelligence.” —Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1895-1986: Indian philosopher, Commentaries on Living, Second Series, p. 71 

“Nothing is either clear or unclear except your thinking.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Nothing makes sense only beings make sense.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.” —Ludwig Wittgenstein 

“Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language.” —Ludwig Wittgenstein 

“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” —Proverbs 16:24 

“Sentimentality and emotionalism have nothing whatsoever to do with love.” —J. Krishnamurti 

“Some man holdeth his tongue, because he hath not to answer: and some keepeth silence, knowing his time.” —Ecclesiasticus 20:6 

“The blueprint is not the building.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice 

“The description is not the described.” —J. Krishnamurti 

“The fact is one thing and the idea about the fact is another.” —J. Krishnamurti 

“The first duty of love is to listen.” —Paul Tillich, 1886-1965 

“The map is not the territory.” —Alfred Korzybski 

“The moment a man questions the meaning and value of life, he is sick, since objectively neither has any existence; by asking this question one is merely admitting to a store of unsatisfied libido to which something else must have happened, a kind of fermentation leading to sadness and depression.” —Sigmund Freud 

“The most precious things in speech are pauses.” —Ralph Richardson 

“The study of history is a powerful antidote to contemporary arrogance. It is humbling to discover how many of our glib assumptions, which seem to us novel and plausible, have been tested before, not once but many times and in innumerable guises; and discovered to be, at great human cost, wholly false.” —Paul Johnson 

“The thought is not the thing.” —Alfred Korzybski 

“The thought is not the thing.” —J. Krishnamurti 

Thus the negative perception is the triumph of consciousness.” —Alfred North Whitehead, 1861-1947: British mathematician and philosopher 

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson 

“Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.” —Lao Tzu 

“What you believe you experience.” —J. Krishnamurti 

“Whatever you say something is–it is not.” —Alfred Korzybski 

“When one has an image about oneself one is surely insane, one lives in a world of illusion.” —J. Krishnamurti, The Flight of the Eagle, p. 57


Anecdote about Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln once asked an audience how many legs a dog has if you count the tail as a leg.

When the audience answered “five,” Lincoln told them that the answer was still four.

Why? Because the fact that you called a tail a leg did not change the fact that the tail was still a tail and not a leg.

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