I miss Jean Baudrillard

There is a necessary relation between the fact that languages are multiple and singular and the fact that language never says (only) what it means.

Spent the afternoon chatting with a friend in hospital, and spent the hours after that pondering about human interaction and communication (as usual). Again, this is another repeat situation of “why do we view the same information we are reading so differently?

I thought of Jean Baudrillard again. He was the French philosopher I always go to (his books, I mean) when I am plagued with this question. It is a deeply disturbing question, yet it is also a deeply romantic concept in that all of us are special – so special that there can be no one else in this world with that same interpretation however close we may be. I like how he discusses this subject with a much wider worldview, which helps me see the bigger picture from where I can zoom back down to person-to-person interaction again.

This afternoon’s conversation was particularly disturbing, mainly because the topic revolved around something really close to my heart. I was shocked to hear a totally different perspective, which my instinctive response was to accredit that to a person’s bias. It is rather ridiculous for me to even link that to prejudice as it serves no purpose (as in this friend does not derive anything material out of a terrible image cast on another), or so I believe. But then again, one really doesn’t know, because human beings are human beings and satisfaction can just arise from having put someone he disliked in bad light, right? I don’t know, and I don’t see the need to get to it in any part of my conversation. So I settled for “let me integrate this”, in layman terms – let me digest / figure out how true this is when I am in my alone-space.

And so I did. I re-read the entire chat history (that piece of “information” referred to in the above) again and I still don’t see it the way my friend did. By now, I have that magical ability to take Ego out of any equation and look at it from a very centred, objective, emotion-free, prejudice-free (maybe even gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free *roll eyes*) perspective. Well, I ascertain (to myself) that my friend’s reading of it is really not how I would see it or how I would take it. Or, tentatively, I will not view it as such.

Well, this afternoon’s discussion did throw some light on other parts of the situation though. It made me think a lot more on the “un-discussed” beyond the “discussed”, which I think is healthy! It also made me revisit the contextual background, but this time with a different set of eyes. The protagonist was really much more pro-active in the earlier part of the year, with a sincerity to find out what’s going on, and the terseness arose only in recent months, and I am sure there are other things going on outside of this bubble which we wouldn’t know and therefore in no position to make any judgement on. I think circumstances cause people to behave in certain ways, and it is really no fault of theirs. Or to some extent, they could have phrased things better, but if they could, they would! Wouldn’t they? People mean no harm unless they get something they want out of it, this something which they prioritise more than other things.

Well. This is a great lesson on discernment. I trust my friend, I trust he wants the best for me, I am not sure what is it that he (subconsciously) derives from that perspective, and I am glad I went through this so I can make a sound judgement instead of ramming myself into and finding myself caught in bad situations.

Compassion. Everyone sits in a different platform with different difficulties, strengths, and weaknesses. We have to understand that and view it from there.

Compassion. For myself. Don’t worry, I will take better care of myself. I know where you are coming from. ❤

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. I am absolutely enamored with all things philosophy. Do you have any recommendations for me to read by Baudrillard? Also, very interesting thoughts in this piece. I am glad you took some time to calmly consider what your friend had to say, as well as realize that your friend wants the best for you. Only a few people are able to make those judgments, especially when it’s about something that’s close to their heart. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. leapingtoes says:

      Thanks for reading!
      My favourite is Impossible Exchange. The language he used in this book is very simple everyday terms, yet the points driven across are very profound and profoundly enmeshed in our day-to-day life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I will definitely have to look into that. Thank you for the recommendation! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Irene says:

    Missing that type of friend often. Enjoyed your post. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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