Alfred Korzybski

“If we do not objectify, and feel instinctively and permanently that words are not the things spoken about, then we could not speak abouth such meaningless subjects as the 'beginning' or the 'end' of time. But, if we are semantically disturbed and objectify, then, of course, since objects have a beginning and an end, so also would 'time' have a 'beggining' and an 'end'. In such pathological fancies the universe must have a 'beginning in time' and so must have been made., and all of our old anthropomorphic and objectified mythologies follow, including the older theories of entropy in physics. But, if 'time' is only a human form of representation and not an object, the universe has no 'beginning in time' and no 'end in time'; in other words, the universe is 'time'-less. The moment we realize, feel permanently, and utilize these realizations and feelings that words are not things, then only do we acquire the semantic freedom to use different forms of representation. We can fit better their structure to the facts at hand, become better adjusted to these facts which are not words, and so evaluate properly m.o (multi-ordinal) realities, which evaluation is important for sanity.”


Alfred Korzybski, Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics
tags: time, universe, words
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