Semantic Circles

by Mike Sententia on April 20, 2015

You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.

From 1667 until the late 1700s, the smartest humans believed that fire was caused by phlogiston. Wood (and other flammable materials) contained phlogiston, and fire was phlogiston being released.

You may already know the error. Phlogiston only caused fire. It wasn’t visible, didn’t have a scent, wasn’t something you could measure. If you observe a material burning, that told you it contained phlogiston. Knowing a material contained phlogiston told you that it would burn.

Fire –> Contains Phlogiston –> Fire

“Phlogiston” is a semantic circle. It sounds like an answer, but just loops back to what you already know.

To any particular person, any term can be a semantic circle. A childhood friend explained that the sky was blue because of “refraction.” What’s refraction? “It’s the reason the sky is blue.”

To creationists, “evolution” seems to be a semantic circle. It’s a word in the mental map, but it’s only linked to “scientific answer for how humans came to be.” It’s not connected to virology, cancer, DNA, etc — the real reasons for embracing evolution.

I fear that “ethereal software” may be a semantic circle to some readers. Merely the Direct Magick name for “the thing that drives magick.” Nothing more than a clever term. And explaining, “Reiki healers call their ethereal software ‘The Universe'” just sounds like rebranding their art with Direct Magick terms.

The key, I think, is to first discuss techniques for working with ethereal software. How do you get ethereal software to listen to your commands? How do you get it to tell you how it’s used? What can you do with a thing once you know it’s ethereal software?

After you know that, it becomes useful to learn that Reiki healers call their ethereal software “The Universe.” It tells you how to use that tool. Once the concept “ethereal software” is connected to other concepts and techniques, it becomes knowledge and a model, not just a words to argue over.

On my mind as I contemplate my book.

If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: