According to the ancient Greeks, Hermes was a deity (albeit mythological at least by today’s standards), he was messenger to the gods, the inventor of language and speech. He was a thief from the second he was born and somehow unswaddled himself less than twenty four hours after his birth. He went to his brother Apollo and stole his cows. He was a liar, a trickster, a thief and an interpreter and so began language in the flighty winged feet of Hermes or Mercury as he is also recognised.
I read also that Socrates back in ancient Greece told his students that words have the power to reveal or conceal, thus having the potential to promote a message in an ambiguous way. I can only assume Hermes had fun doing this, he made it his life’s work. The ambiguity of the message is an irrationality, a sort of madness inflicted upon the receiver. I wonder how anything is communicated to and fro, hither and thither and people do manage to stay sane. Thankfully, we are not usually consciously aware of the relationship between language and logic and our communicating processing and processes happen magically and to our ignorant bliss, we understand or equally do not understand that which is being communicated to us.
I studied linguistics (a module or two), at University and discovered a field of study dedicated to signs. Yes, really; it’s linguistic name is semiotics. Socrates went on to say that words spoken are symbols (signs), which are, infact impressions on the soul. I was then, and still am fascinated by this as a concept. I admit, when “studying” or pondering such ethereal concepts it can have a reality shifting and unloosening effect on the rational thought processing. Hence why many philosophy and linguistic students line the psychiatric hospital wards. It is no secret that genius and madness walk romantically hand in hand. If one is sufficiently grounded the interplay is sensorily gratifying. If one trips out to the flip side, the experience of understanding symbols or making sense of them can be mentally arduous and result in what is commonly known as mental illness.
A sign like the letter “A” is the first letter of our alphabet. This we know and understand. This is not so in China. The first letter of their alphabet is a totally different sign, with a totally different phonetic sound and therefore a very different soul impression. (I assume this to be true, I do not speak Chinese so can not verify this from personal experience).
Imagine now two people speaking, a man and a woman let’s say. Imagine the words they sound forming swirls and curls in the air between them. Imagine these curls and swirls with colours, matching, contrasting, contradicting, blending depending on the their soul impression, depending upon the intended meaning. Imagine the words (signs), meeting in the atmosphere, touching, kissing, caressing in swirls and curls of coloured mist, creating the atmosphere, divulging a soul interpretation on Hermes’ wings.
And from this sense is made, meanings established, actions kindled and fire’s lit. Hermes the winged messenger, the liar, the thief, the interpreter at your service. My soul screams out for understanding. Make sense of my sensory impressions for me, you, with the deciphering code; because someday’s I’m not sure of what it all means and understanding your signs is a mystery. The mist still swirling in the space between…