Do Words Bring You Closer to The Truth?

What if words did not exist?

Ever wondered how babies think? They can’t talk and understand our words yet. The use of words has become such an ordinary thing to do that we consider words almost as part of nature. We don’t stand still for a minute wondering what it would be like when words did not exist. However, words are a human creation, enabling us to talk about actions happening at the same time. One sentence could summarize what you have been doing this morning, one word can define an entire bundle of actions such as a dog. The dog is not one single actions. It consists of many actions simultaneously.
We entitled a sum of actions just as we gave you a name for making communication easier. Without words, it wouldn’t be easy to understand about what we are talking.
How are you going to make your friend know that you are talking about a dog without using the word? Will probably look like a game of Charades trying to make the bark sound. Let’s go back to the situation where we have the capacity to use words. We tell our friend: “The dog is beautiful”. We hear the words “dog” and “beautiful”. How would you define dog? The dog-word is simply a mean to transfer the sum of actions to your friend. Consider beautiful now, is there really a difference between the words beautiful and beauty? We could say that the beautiful dog is simply beauty. However, this wouldn’t be clear. If someone said “what a beauty”, would you be able to know about what he is talking? — not really. Despite the usefulness of words for our daily understanding, our communication stays limited. There are no simple definitions for these sum of actions. Giving it a definition would narrow its meaning. We try to simplify the complex existence by using simple words. Our world is described by words and is similarly visualized by these words.
But we should not forget that a word can also invoke feelings, namely the connotation. These feelings are unique to each of us. Sadly enough, it is easier to solely understand the denotation of a word and forget about the feelings. Nevertheless, it is just this feeling which is of great importance. You can give beautiful a definition, or you can associate beauty with the feeling that arises once you see something beautiful.
Each of us experiences it differently. Some feel this sensation when they look at the sunset, others have this peculiar feeling when they see a horse grazing in the meadows.
The point is, we simplified life by words, by giving definitions to everything that surrounds us. The simplification of life by words deviates reality more of the truth.
Once feelings are expressed by using words, the feeling loses its true senses. While words limit our experience of life, deeds are much more powerful.
Anyhow, our perception of the world finds it origins in words. How would we encounter the world when words were absent and could only communicate making noises and depicting?
Since our we are born, words have been hammered into our head. We take them as such and say them without even thinking carefully about what they really mean to us. Words will certainly lead to problems, while actions lead us to the true life. You won’t always say what you really feel while you aren’t going to hug someone whom you do not really care about. We easily say “I love you” but we won’t give everyone that “special hug”. Even if you do so, it will be obvious that this hug will rather be uncomfortable and will not last long. It is so powerful, the touch, the action, the expression on someone face. It tells the truth, is much broader than a dictionary. It isn’t bad to rely on our feelings if it is for the sake of getting closer to the truth.
To go back to the beautiful dog, according to Cambridge Dictionary, the definition of beauty is “the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially when you look at it”. First of all, how do you understand this definition? — I don’t clearly see the point, this is not how you would define beauty, nor do I. It contains the words: quality and pleasure. While Beautiful has different meanings to all of us as the latter ones. You are defining words by using more words that need at their turn a definition. See how complex this becomes. Three sentences, it only took three sentences to describe beauty. It is sad. This powerful bundle of actions is delineated by only using a couple of words. Let me tell you, again, words are creating boundaries for how we perceive life.
Let’s take another example, how would you perceive the sunrise? Cambridge dictionary cites “the time in the morning when the sun starts to rise in the sky”. A clear, simple definition for a much more complex reality. The sunrise has become a thing, a straightforward description of the sum of actions. In some way, this means that there exists no uniqueness in each sunrise. Why would you be amazed to see the sun rise in the sky when it happens each day and is assumed to be this simple sum of actions. Is the sunrise not different each day? Every day, a unique sunrise takes place, but because we simplified this sum of actions by using our words, it loses its magnificence. The sunrise of yesterday could be pinker than the sunrise two weeks ago, the sunrise of this morning was barely visible because of the clouds. The point is, the words are simply a mean for understanding, trying to communicate and enables us to live together. However, we should not take words as facts as the truth. The truth is much more complex and abstract than what has been taught.

Nietzsche said that thinking and language cannot describe or represent a world in flux, this limitation of thoughts and language then gets projected into the world. The distinction we can make between appearance and reality depends on the structure of the language, better said “words”. We use words to make sense of the actions or phenomena we experience in the world we live in.

Let’s imagine the world of no words, a world where only expressions and actions could make us communicate how we feel. We do not have to look far to find an example to this world. The closest one is the world of the babies. Babies cannot talk yet, they do not think by using words, they use their bodies to communicate what is going on. No, a baby will not be thinking “oh, I am hungry, I now will start crying so they know I am hungry”. This is not how it will go. This baby will solely open its mouth once it is hungry and we will know how late it is. Moreover, who will rather be speaking the truth on whether they liked your cake or not, your friend or a little child?
When you feed the child food, it will or throw it on the ground, or play with it, or be enormously happy. He might even reach to you as a sign he wants more. The actions the baby undertakes will be clear and no misunderstanding is possible. We all know that once the child looks angry, takes the spoon, put food on it and you already see it coming, throws it at you, you will most probably not give that kind of food again.
Furthermore, each family has different definitions for actions which they will teach their children. Nevertheless, the child will ask occasionally the why-question. They wonder why we called it such, why this word means that, why we feel this particular feeling. Mostly the parents will answer “because”. The child might ask again or will shut up and absorb what has been said. The idea has been created and stored. Further illustration, remember those moments your blood started cooking and you could throw a chair out of the window on which your mom shouted: “Stop being so angry!”. There it is, you were “angry”. The child will associate this feeling with the word anger. He did not give the feeling a definition by himself. Later, he will use the same word once he recognizes a situation similar to the one in the past. He will consider that person as “angry” while this person might be solely upset. The idea of “angry” has been shaped. We all use words so loosely without really thinking about the signification behind it. We say red, blue, chair, sun, pretty, dumb, amazing… but what do they mean? They are merely created for the sake of communication. Yet again, words limit the perception of what true life is.
This world of no words would make you see it differently. No one has ever been able to describe something, only your feelings would be the origin of our understandings and perception. Every phenomenon which passes your path will be interpreted in a distinct way for each one of us. Our imagination would be unlimited and make us experience life in its optimal truth. Only actions could be used to express our feelings, no presence of thought since thinking uses words. No overthinking anymore, only feeling and acting in function of these emotions. You know that when you are angry, you want to punch that person in his face and when you like someone, you want to be close to them.

Furthermore, the use of words for expressing our ambitions or what we try to achieve are not always close to the truth. Saying those words, do they really tell the others what we really feel like? Words are a limitation of our truest believes while actions are a better mean for expression. Take for example the young activist Greta Thunberg. She did not just write some articles on how she thinks we ought to behave for saving the planet. No, she stood up and acted. Not a surprise that she manages to impact all of us. She acted in the name of what she felt inside. It is admirable to see how someone fights for what she believes. All those people who constantly share their negative opinions on her deeds, are they really serious about how they feel when expressing their words? It is questionable whether those who tell her to calm down and live as all teenage girls ought to do really mean what say. If they were really concerned about her actions, didn’t they know that words will not bring them far and should rather stand up. Those words used by the critical people do not express how they really feel. The words exaggerate their feelings. You act when it is of great importance. You can say you have pain but still continue doing it. Once the pain become unbearable, you will most likely stop doing it. No matter how many times you said it hurt, once you stop, it is clear you really suffered. Again, words are nothing more than a mean to an end. Without words, it indeed wouldn’t be easy to live. They made life easier but also more complex. While you are able to communicate, it is possible that the receiver does not understand the message. This is why the solution to those complexities is the use of actions instead of words. Someone close of mine lost his father and I couldn’t simply say :“I am sorry for your loss”. All I wanted was to make him understand how I really felt at that moment. All that mattered was he knowing that I would be there for him and that I deeply cared. Instead of saying the words, I ran to him and gave him a hug. These actions could express better how I felt than whatever sum of words could do. There is simply no possibility to communicate our truest feelings. We can only try to get closer to the truth by using actions. In some cases, the acts will be able to remove this boarder and show our purest concerns. Look at Romeo and Julia. It is not the numerous times of saying “I love you” that made clear that their love was unconditional, it was the moment they both decided to kill themselves, not being able to live without the other. I assume you must really love someone for doing that. (an extreme example, you get the point). Once more, words are purely a mean used for communicating easiest concepts. Although, even for the easiest concepts, words limit our perception.
Picture yourself asking “what is home?”, all of you will have different answer. Home can be a place, a person or just the moment you put on your headphones to disappear and enter your world of music. You being home is merely that feeling you call being home. This object, melody or person makes you feel like home. Beyond that, the role of music is much more essential in discribing the true nature of things than considered.

Music takes part of the broader range of activities, expressing feelings, thoughts, senses and intuitions, named “art”. Music will serve as explanatory variable to make it easier to explain. Literature, painting or craftsmanship could equally be discussed. As mentioned before, words are used to describe a reality which is complex and ambiguous. Simply to simplify the truth. Words are considered as the ideal medium of expression for describing our world. Nevertheless, these words cannot express our truest feelings. How are we supposed to have an accurate perception of life when we base ourselves entirely on words? The words misrepresent human’s surroundings and encourages the misunderstanding of its meaning. This is where art plays a huge role. Art is much more capable of expressing the genuine perception we have of life. All because it recognizes the significance of feelings. We should not perceive our lives purely based on facts, meaning the definition of the phenomena, but also on feelings. Music will help in this situation since it enables us to express what we feel. Listening to music makes us develop certain skills such as the appreciation of the worth and uniqueness of situations, people, and feelings. Emotions are the closest we can get to the truth. The moment you start crying while listening to a song, you will not cry because you feel like it, but because a certain emotion arises. Music will not promote any simplistic understanding of how life works but will make us understand better what we really value as a person. Two individuals will never react the alike way when listening to the same song. It depends on how they get touched by the melody or the emotions the singer expresses. A better communcation will be possible since you identify yourself with the singer, or a better understanding of how you feel when the melody strikes you. Emotions go together with the ability of thinking clearly. Yes, this might sound odd. Since when do emotions make us think clearer than facts? Shouldn’t your rather think with the thing in your head than the thing in your chest? — You can be right or wrong. If you really let your emotions take over without being brainwashed by the words that shaped your thoughts, than your emotions will get you further. However, we assume sometimes to think with our heart while in reality, it is all being controlled by our head. Anyhow, the tear rolling of your cheek, the smile on your face or the uncontrollable urge to start dancing once that song starts playing can’t be in the hands of your brain, it is subjected by the feelings. Music is just another way of expressing our feelings. Despite some songs do not use words, they, such as songs with lyrics, communicate a feeling. In both cases, a certain feeling will wake up in you. Not only the text makes you understand, also the music itself. Listening to music brings emotions to the surface. Some people get emotional to a song because they can relate with the text, are touched by what the singer tells or feels this unexplainable sentiment in their belly. It aren’t the words that are making this song so special for us, it is the feeling that awakens in us by listening to the text and/or melody. We don’t love the song simply because of the words, but as pointed out before, the tingling feeling. Music in its purest form make us even more conscious of how we really feel without being influenced by words. Once you hear the music play, only the sound can touch you. The sound reaches you in a peculiar way, different than it will strike others. The same melody will make some peaceful and others overpowered. Even when the same lyrics is being played with another resonance will affect us differently. Not the same feelings will arise when you listen a metal cover of your favourite song as when you listen to the original.
Art, such as music, can make us aware of how we really feel, what we really value and makes us discover the things of which we aren’t yet conscious of. Words have shaped the idea of the world in your head. “The world is nothing more than an idea” said Schopenhauer, however this perception of the perceiver is limited because of the use of words. Since words are a mean used by many people, those who recognize the meaning of those words will experience the same idea. The fact that many people share a common vision of life, we consider it as the truth. Yet again, if words did not exist, we would all have a different idea, a different perception of life. In the case of a song, the connotation of the words is stronger than the denotation. The emotions associated with the words pop up. No need for understanding the meaning of the word, all that matters is how the words make us feel.
Remember when you were a child and heard that song sung in a foreign language on the radio, not knowing what they were actually singing, but you loved the song? You trying to sing along, completely off the mark, using the words you associate with how you felt while the song was playing. I can say that my childhood has been a lie, 50 cents’ song “Candy Shop” is not really about candy as I had always understood. This again proves how words do not always communicate what their definition would do, say denotation. It is any kind of art which can make us perceive the world in the truest form possible (not that it is the truest, but since it is closer to nature than facts, it is closer to the truth.)
Art is a just as words a signifier, an element that delivers the message. Still, art can really make us get in touch with how we really feel. The sense of awe emanating provoked by art is the feeling of wonder, amazement, admiration and even fear. It makes communication much more transparent. Some might not understand it while others do. But those who understand it, their understanding will be linked with their values. “Their values” and not those that are communicated by using words throughout our entire life. Not a surprise that people start listening to music to escape of this complex world. Entering this world they understand much better to finally find peace in their world of emotions.

Words and tones of music are both signifiers; however, words are unmotivated, they do not have an organic relationship to the concept they denote. A word can only be used once the users recognize the meaning of code being used while a note of a song has a motivated relationship since there is no need for understanding. There is no need for being familiar with the “code” for being able to have meaning. Music is simply a unmediated kind of signifier while a words stays a simple mediation enabling us to represent the concept is signifies. A melody is an unaltered and straightforward representation of what it tries to signify. No need for understanding the code, to transform what we hear or feel, it has its naturalness. You use your own imagination and reflection to understand what is means, it is you who gives meaning to it. Those words are simply means to decode what is tried to be communicated. Since art is close to nature, it is also close to the truth, conversely for words. Whereas a melody is captured mechanically, words are apprehended humanly.

Throughout our lives, words are taught, change constantly and try to explain the meaning of everything we see, feel, touch, hear and experience. These worlds have disciplined us how to perceive the world and limit our vision of the truth. We have been taught that the object with four legs standing under the table is a chair. All you do with a chair is sit on it. If no one would have told us it were a chair, if no one would have taught us what the purpose of a chair were, you could have used the chair for a complete distinct purpose. If we would have raised a child giving different meanings to the words, the child would observe the world unlike we do right now. The chair was the table and the table were the chair, the dog was the cat and the cat was the dog. Loving someone becomes hating someone, however, these different groups were entitled differently while still being the same sum of actions.
Saying “I hate you” would be as saying “I love you”. This indicates that words have no purpose but exist for the sake of communication. When you deeply care about someone, you feel it. You will use the words you acknowledged to express your feelings, whether it was “I love you” or “I hate you”, the truth is hidden in how you feel. Imagine that a girl and a boy have been raised up similarly. The only difference was that one learned to say, “I love you” and the other, for this same feeling, to say “I hate you”. One day, they met. They fell in love and that one moment they wanted to reveal their emotions, one said I love you while the other said I hate you. Both were shocked since I love you was an insult for one and I hate you for the other. They felt sad. They misunderstood each other since they could not express their feelings in the same way. Once the boy saw that the girl was feeling heartbroken, he took her in his arms ad hugged her. At that moment, the girl understood what the boy wanted to communicate. He did not hate her, he cared about her. The power of words is limited while the power of deeds is boundless.

“It is not the man who has too little but the man who craves more, that is poor”- Seneca