Words are a type of currency - tokens.
With the spoken or written word we engage in an exchange - communication - whereby the currency we use transfers its real value.
The real worth of words is in the ideas that they carry - single words or many words in combination - and they can only be "cashed in" so to speak, when received into understanding.

A question I often ask of multi-linguistic friends is "What language do you dream in?"
As a musician I often have dreams which have a musical soundtrack. I wonder whether visual artists have dreams that are breathtakingly colourful, full of sculptured shapes and wonderful symmetry.

Picture courtesy

We obviously have many occasions which require us to communicate our ideas and I don't think it too simplistic to say that these occasions arise from some sort of need.
We are motivated by the need - which results in our communication.

But what are these ideas themselves?
What is the language of ideas?
Surely much more than strings of words?
I agree that words are what we use to help formulate our ideas, but are they involved, directly in the ideas arising, are words used at their very birth?

Would language have developed if we had the ability to communicate directly, efficiently with thought alone?
Would we still find it necessary to employ words?
Could we bypass the exchanging of tokens representing our concepts, our ideas - by exchanging the ideas themselves?
Would we miss the delights of sarcasm or the disguise of euphemy?

We feel that we are engaged directly with the world, through our senses, because that is the only world we have ever known.
But in reality, the world communicates itself to us via the tokens that are accepted by our senses - eyes respond to light - ears to variations of air pressure - our sense of smell to chemistry - but it is all fundamentally a sea of differing energies.

We accept those tokens, but we never cash them in - we use those colours, sounds, smells - all sensations, to formulate the world in our understanding.
We cannot cash them in - for we have no further understanding to receive them with.
The world, reality, in our mental reconstruction of it is stagnated - is permanently frozen in the state that it encroaches into our minds through the gateways of our senses.

We need one further step in our understanding.
The final step - how do these sensations register themselves upon our awareness, our consciousness?
Would it surprise you to know that darkness is not dark at all - where do the colours of your dreams come from?
What we consider to be silence is full of subtle sounds - where does the music in my dream originate?

I shall not venture too far into the contentious ground of discussing consciousness itself.
Surfice it to say that I believe that the very idea of consciousness, the amusingly original, totally unique concept of self awareness, is so mind-stretchingly profound - I do not entertain for one moment that it is no more than an accessory, a side effect of the universe.
That in itself is to me ludicrous.

To me - it was the essential idea behind creation.
It is of such profundity, that nothing could ever make any sense at all without it.
Does there have to be a point to everything?
Is that not simply a human reaction?
Yes - it is.
But without consciousness there would be no reaction at all - from anywhere.
The universe would be dead - lifeless - merely full of automata.

All life displays consciousness - but the awareness of its surroundings depends on the sophistication of the specific equipment with which it can interface with these surroundings - and obviously can only demonstrate or display its consciousness with the limited means at its disposal - a cell, for instance, with only limited mobility, still exhibits that it is conscious.
All evolution has secretly been guided by it.

But who is to say that water is not conscious?
Certainly, some ancient cultures believed that rivers and streams had a spirit.

Picture courtesy BBC

I believe most strongly, that consciousness is the most subtle form of energy.
That it permeates everything.
How else could it be conscious, aware of its own awareness, if it were not the most subtle energy?
Whether we like it or not, or even respect this fact, it is the most central issue of our lives - for without it - there would be nothing.
Our lives would be disappointingly blank.

So - how do sensations register themselves upon this consciousness?

Well, the colours in the mind, the music in my dreams are other forms of energy - yes - subtle forms - but energy nonetheless.
We've all heard of synapses and nerves transmitting messages to the brain.
It's all energy.

I'm not going to suggest that the brain is the seat of the mind - but certainly the mind is what we are aware of from the inside.
The mind is where our consciousness interfaces with ideas, thoughts and sensations - it is where we try to understand our world.
Our consciousness is where we have that feeling of knowing, ourselves and our ideas.

In a way, we allow a kind of euphemy to beguile us, perhaps we are hardwired to be gentle on our egos.
What if we realised that we, and all things around and about us, are created within an ocean of differentiated energies - that the boundaries between this and that, him and her are not as real as they appear?
The stark reality of not having a separate self that was absolute, would mean completely re-evaluating the way we lived and thought.
But let's imagine for a moment . . .

The reason for the title of this piece?
Well - euphemism - "substitution of a roundabout expression for a direct one."

It's going on all the time.


"Why can't you be normal?"

How many times have I heard that said, to me. The trouble is, nobody has ever explained quite what it is to be normal.

I would have to take an average, of all the various versions of "me" that exist, in the infinity of parallel universes - that would be normal for me (just as an aside here - would there be a universe somewhere in that lot - where parallel universes don't exist?) - but what is quantifiable anyway? How do we measure human-ness? What meaningful set of statistics can we come up with?

What lies to either side of normal? Is it left and right, short and tall, good and bad?

Have you ever looked at your pet cat or dog and wondered to yourself, even just briefly, what it would be like to be it, transferring the whole of your existence to another being?

Have you ever looked into a large mirror, switched off your self awareness and seen yourself in that mirror as a separate person, as others presumably see you?

Just games I play in my imagination.

Is that normal behaviour?

You know what I think?
Despite our attempts to conceal ourselves from each other - only going out in our "Sunday best" personalities - I think we have much more in common with each other than we dare, or care to imagine. I think our distinctions are paper thin - superficial. We've all got different heirlooms and junk up in the attic - but that is all quantifiable, can be weighed, valued and measured.

But does that get us any closer to answering the question - am I normal?

Looked at from a logical point of view, surely normal can only imply that cause and effect have not contradicted any universal law.
Nothing exists that can contradict or confound universal law.
Human-ness, whether we view it from a phsychological, emotional or a physical perspective - is bound also by universal law - cause and effect.

Perhaps it is only our imagination that has any freedom to manoeuvre.
Is that the space where these parallel universes are to be found, in the space surrounding our decisions - the separation between the choices we make?

So in human terms - I feel that normal means the same as uniqueness - and that's what I've always felt my answer should be - "Well, I am being normal - for me."