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Inception, Discrimination, and Freedom

On How Language Threatens Liberty
O.G. Rose

To allude to Nolan’s masterpiece, all conversation is ‘inception’. It is because I brought up Inception that
you are now thinking about the movie: I planted the idea in your mind. If you claim you are not being incepted,
you are only saying that because I claimed that you were: you are making that claim because I put the idea of ‘being
incepted’ into your mind. Now that I’ve spoken about inception, there’s ‘no exit’ from it – ‘l'enfer, c'est les bouches’.
You are not free to choose not to be incepted.
Your liberty ends along the borders of my words.

I

If I ask ‘are you worried?’, you must now be defined in terms of ‘worried’ or ‘not worried’. You are not
free to avoid this dichotomy. Before you simply ‘were’, but now you are ‘not worried’. Before you were worriless
without the word ‘worriless’: worriless-ness was a non-characteristic of your previous state (as was everything else
you ‘were not’, such as ‘garden-less’, ‘griefless’, etc.). However, once I ask ‘are you worried?’, worriless-ness
becomes an ‘active non-characteristic’, for now you are thinking about your ‘worriless-ness’ rather than simply
being (worriless). You must now actively engage with that non-characteristic of yourself: you must now think of
yourself as ‘being worriless’ as opposed to or in comparison with ‘being worried’. With this thought, you may think
‘maybe I should be worried’, ‘maybe I’m being carless’, or ‘is he worried?’ – with a thought comes a network of
thoughts. To return to the (relative) state of (simple) existence or (pure) being, you must now actively capture all of
these thoughts and address them: you are not free to return to simply being without mentally fighting to return to
where you ‘were’. Ironically, the very thought of thinking of one’s self as ‘being worriless’ as opposed to ‘being
worried’ may suddenly cause you to become worried. It will then seem to be the case that the right answer to the
original question was ‘yes’, when that doesn’t really describe your initial state.
If to the question ‘are you worried?’ you answer ‘I’m not worried’, you are unintentionally lying, for before
you were neither worried nor worriless: you simple ‘were’. However, humans cannot comprehend, speak about, or
engage with (pure) being, for being can only be approached by humans within the confines of dichotomies. If a
person says ‘I am poor’, the person, believing that the term ‘poor’ refers to his or her state, lies unintentionally, for
the person isn’t ‘poor’: the person simply exists. The term ‘poor’ is a term that ‘points to’ that existence, but
‘poorness ≠ existence’. It would be truer if the person said ‘I am’ rather than ‘I am poor’, even better if he said ‘I’,
and best if he smiled.
To speak is rarely not an act of inception that creates dichotomies. Whether it be between the word ‘cup’
and the object-cup, happiness and sadness, a person or someone else, the idea of 1 and the word ‘one’ – language
divides. Language leads to being only insomuch as it puts the idea of being into a person’s head to orientate that
individual ‘toward’ being (especially if it then immediately deconstructs itself). The act of inception that is language,
which inherently dichotomizes, is nothing worth noting normally, and normally doesn’t destabilize being for any
notable amount of time. However, when language is judgmental or charged with emotions, like anxiety or hatred,
the point must be noted and fully grasped to ultimately escape the dichotomizing prison – l'enfer.

II

If I tell you after you finish making a point that ‘you won the debate’, you will suddenly think of our
conversation in terms of ‘debate-ness’. You may then reply ‘I was just talking’, irritated. With my words, I planted
the thought of our conversation being a debate via ‘inception’, making you irritated. The irritation arises because
you have been thrust, without consent, into a dichotomy: I have split you without permission. Despite what seems
right, you shouldn’t define the previous exchange in terms of ‘not being a debate’; rather, you should simply accept
it for what it ‘was’. Rather than (re)define it, you should remain open to it.1
If you ask me to get your keys and ask ‘do you mind?’, I now think of myself as wanting to get your keys
as opposed to not wanting to get them, versus simply doing it. This transforms how I see the act: I’m now thinking
of it in dialectical terms of an ‘ ‘act I want to do’ versus an ‘act I don’t want to do’ ’, when before I may have
simply done it without this added complexity (which brings with it an emotional dimension). It would have been
better had you simply asked ‘will you get my keys?’, let me answer ‘yes’, and left it at that. If after I get your keys
you say ‘sorry for asking you to do that’, I can then think of our exchange in terms of an apology versus ‘task
complete’.
Freedom within dialectics is free in some regards and not in others. When someone asks ‘are you
worried?’, you are free to capture your thoughts and return to a state of (simple) existence, but you aren’t free to
return to that state without doing anything. You are free to choose to embrace the dichotomy and accept
worriless-ness as opposed to (simply) existing, but you are not free to choose whether or not that dichotomy is
incepted into you in the first place. The very fact that to speak always risks the freedom of being is one reason why
wisdom is heavily associated with knowing when and how to talk. Of course, the one who asks ‘are you worried?’
would only do so if the person believed that the question was worth asking at the time. Yet, recognizing the gravity
of words (and how they inherently divide beings from purity/freedom whenever they are uttered) will help one
think twice before asking questions. Whether or not it is indeed worth asking will ultimately be up to the person.
Since all speech creates dichotomies, listening is very hard. It is hard to think about what a person is
saying beyond the dichotomies those words fashion, for words and even thoughts are inherently dichotomizing.
Irritations, misunderstandings, losses of freedom, etc. that are the result of dichotomizes are magnified if
dichotomizes are embraced. If for example a person accepts the dichotomy of ‘right and wrong’ rather than simply
‘the truth’, the person will either think of themselves as ‘right’, which may give rise to arrogance, or ‘wrong’, which
may give rise to self-degradation. Also, an embraced dichotomy preserves the loss of liberty and separation from
being. If there is always a right and wrong, ‘truth’ (of being) will be in jeopardy: if at no point ‘right’ stands alone,
‘right’ never converges with existence (into ‘truth’), and ‘right’ is rendered arbitrary. Lastly, ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ are
words that carry emotional weight, and whenever the dichotomy of ‘right and wrong’ is thrust down upon a
conversation, it becomes more difficult to listen and for the conversation to deconstruct itself back into being.
Though the construction of a wall down the middle of a country doesn’t necessitate its division, it makes unity
harder. At the same time, without walls and borders, it can be hard to tell who is who and who is unified.
Fear is a reason humans stray from being, and words are a vehicle through which worries are made
tangible. Words are also through which the world, you, and I are made tangible; without words, ‘thing-ness’ would
be indefinable. Words, like free will, are a blessing and a burden. Without the necessary ‘fall’ brought on by words,
being would be indefinable from nothingness. Yet, with words, humans are able to press upon the world emotions
like fear and anxiety which, unto the world, lack reality. There is nothing to fear about a snake insomuch as it is a
snake: the fear emerges when a person thinks or says ‘it’s a snake!’, for such an act triggers an individual’s
consciousness to associate ‘snake’ with ‘poison, danger, etc.’. Fear, worry, and discrimination arise within people,
not the world: they are ‘non-being(s)’. Because of words, humans can orientate themselves toward non-being, but
because of words, there is a (meaningful) difference between non-being and being, making the embrace of being
good. The more a person can control his or her tongue to resist the urge to voice fears, worries, and various
discriminations, the more humans shall exist in (simple) existence, transcendent of dichotomies.
True thought deconstructs itself as it is thought.
True conversation deconstructs itself as it is said.

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