To Destroy a Word (re-edited)

... the refinement of a writer's style and his ongoing sophistication of thought finds its direct reflection in the refinement of his emotional style and psychological prowess of spirit...


The Scientific Spirit is that which renounces all claim to its own spirituality, and rejects all hope of apotheosis while denying every heaven and hell as well as its own ability to rise any higher than the crude empiricism and coercive rationality of the senses, slaying in the process all art, all existential basis for art, all validity and necessity of art, rendering the man possessed of such a spirit inescapably unambiguous, unextraordinary, predictable and monotonous as the mathematical formulas that so govern the mechanical determinacy to which he is metaphysically wed; science which disallows man from becoming anything other than what he supposedly “is”, condemning him to be forever rooted and bound to the time and place of his own decaying materiality.


At birth, man enters a “world” – which is to say, a time/space intersectionality – of words. Nothing more, nothing less: all things a word, all thoughts, emotion, all phenomena and sensual perception worthy of consideration must first clothe itself in a word in order to be apprehended by the higher faculties; each “word” requiring its own particular definition and actualization, its own “acting out” in the mind and body of man for it to even be perceived let alone “understood”; the understanding of such which does not arise from spontaneous subjectivity but is instilled and entrained in man from youngest youth with the goal of endowing the individual with the navigational tools by which he may successfully sail upon and through the moral, social and emotional world of his culture and greater civilization, that culture which mandates the proper usage of the words as well as defines the consequences that may ensue if such mandates are ignored or deliberately broken.

From a certain crude perspective, the words of a culture can be likened to the so-called “atoms” that are said to compose the objects of Newtonian reality, each word unconsciously executing its mandated function so that the larger object of society may unify, move and (if possible) act as a cohesive entity. Any breach of that mandate, either by the growing self-awareness of a word itself or the conscious intent of the man who seeks to deform it, is met with the severest of all cultural penalties, those that strike the very heart of the emotionality that no doubt gave rise to the word in the first place; penalties which manifest by way of the derision, alienation and societal isolation one can surely expect from one’s peers and closest kin who cannot keep themselves from employing the word by its formalized use while ostracizing those who do not.

Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Henry Ossawa Tanner

Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Henry Ossawa Tanner

These emotional consequences, so primordial in their efficacy, are able to deter – through immense psychological fear and intimidation – even the most nihilistic of potential saviors from straying too far from the linguistic consensus for any length of time, leaving only the “philosophical” temperament – that embodied maliciousness of a people whose natural and often preferable condition is that of exile and cultural reprobate – with the task of reshaping those words, or “social atoms”, so that the civilization may be kept from the disease and eventual death that always results from aesthetic inactivity and linguistic stagnancy; words which, through their destruction and transmutation, release the same kind of catastrophic energy in the unseen worlds as their Newtonian counterparts do in the material plane; that energy, powerful enough to raze in the blink of an eye an entire human city, rages with commensurate fury across the phenomenological expanse whenever the Philosopher splits his words like so many fine blonde hairs upon his arm: the “redefinition-ing” of words as the most powerful aesthetic activity available to man, no matter how dimly felt or faintly heard the blast to the generation in whom they were split.


To destroy a word one must first become ever more conscious of its oft-innocuous presence and thoughtless purpose in a lexicon of terms; consciousness whose duty it is to perceive the emotional discrepancy between the cultural consequences of a word’s consensual or else “common” use (that which, once accepted without thoughtful scrutiny, immediately begins to empower itself with the sentimentality that arises from tradition and convention) and the uncommon potentiality that may result from its difficult, subtle or nuanced employment; uncommonness which forces the sentimental derivation of a word to submit to the penetrating profundity evoked by the careful refinement of emotional style.

Death of Orpheus, Henri Levy

Death of Orpheus, Henri Levy


The practice of linguistic redefinition-ing is the art of Noble Thinking: the act of distinguishing between what is base, common and assumed within, and what, apparently, is not.


The refinement of a writer’s style as well as his ongoing sophistication of thought finds its direct reflection in the refinement of his emotional style and psychological prowess of spirit, prowess won by his will’s persistent ability to overcome the inertia of inactivity brought about by the undue reason, doubt, confusion and self-derision that always has and will continue to hazard the path to literary greatness and exceptionality of mind.


Cold climates make for cold people and calculating. Probably the coats and layers, the scarves, occasional face mask, the physical space this creates between one another, etcetera.