Just days ago I told the judge here in Taos, NM, “Do not take me literally!” I had announced days earlier, in a crowded local theater, “Fire, fire!” And I told the judge I was not speaking literally. Furthermore, I explained that my intent was to bring attention to the lunacy of Trump’s claim that his charge that President Obama had “wire-tapped” Trump towers was not intended to be taken literally. The judge summarily dismissed my argument, explaining curtly, “Well, here in reality your words do matter” and as a result I am now writing as I spend 30 days in the local jail. Seriously, as has been emphasized by some in recent months, “Words do matter.” I certainly believe that language is subtle. But I also firmly believe that beneath this complicated verbal morass in which our identity is anchored there is a spiritual “firm foundation” that reins most of us in and forces us to live in a world in which “words do matter.”
Trump is trying to legitimize a world in which words do not matter. In his way of grasping the world, and in the way his minions grasp the world, words do not matter. In Trump’s way of understanding the world, he can say anything he wishes to say and then finesse his word choice in such a way that it fits his purposes. What this means is that there is no meaning in the world. There is no external reference point, there is no “transcendental dimension,” to borrow a term from Carl Jung. Jung understood that human knowledge, i.e. human cognitive grasp of his collective experience, is limited in that some point it becomes self-referential. And when “self-referentiality” becomes primary, meaning is entirely lost. As Shakespeare put it, at that point mankind doeth “feed even on the pith of life”
The primary issue is simply “truth.” There is no one who questions the definition of “truth” more than I but there is no one more than I that questions the firm foundation of some primordial “Truth” which lies beyond, and paradoxically “within,” this contrivance of human wisdom. But I roundly challenge any and all of those who proclaim that they have the truth and appear to wish to impose it on the rest of us. These “truth tellers” promulgate a “truth” which is specious and has no spiritual foundation and amounts to “sounding brass and tinkling cymbal,” as the Apostle Paul put it.