We make words to describe things…and the things we experience…and these things and experiences themselves fundamentally change once we have words to describe them. It is a merry-go-round feedback loop that has driven us forward for the last 50,000 years on this planet. We obsessively name things because we have to. We simply cannot abide the nameless and undescribed.
Everything gets a name.
The word love for instance. At one point that word did not exist and by its absence there were no sonnets, no flowery, heart rending poems of commitment and sacrifice. Humans could no more profess that depth of longing to another human being than they could discuss the polemic sensibilities of Mr. Ugg and Miss Moog down by the creek apparently wrestling naked.
Pneumatically…but that had not been named either.
The problem is that this primeval urge to name also works diligently to separate, to define and divide the universe into chunks manageable by our brains; tribe and village…gender and religion…race and continent. We divide and divide until we get to the indivisible and then call ourselves done…until we find a new name, a new division and we jump right in further reducing that manageable chunk until it’s so specialized and specific that the sheer mental weight of all of the things named sits like an iron block atop our consciousness.
Drives us all a little insane I think.
The more stridently vitriolic—you’ve heard of fascism, correct?—among us have learned over the last 50,000 years that our inherent inability to just leave things the fuck alone* also gives those who will have bad intent the ability to oppress, to murder and eradicate whole sections and subsections of those people named by our incessant obsession. They single out and denigrate and eventually push them toward genocide, if they can, and exclusion and ostracization, if they can’t.
And round and round and round.
Imagine, though, for an instance, if we could suspend our inherent and apparently evolutionary need to identify people into specific groups and categories. Imagine if we were just…people.
No characteristics define us.
No religion divides us.
No countries split us.
No skin color separates us.
No politicians pit us against each other.
No class system fragments us.
Without the words we’ve invented to define and separate us humans, there is no difference between people. None. It is not imagining, it is reality. Without the words used by politicians and religious leaders and presidents and kings and despots and dictators and the oppressors of the planet…
…we are the same.
Believe. Go. Do.