We live in a world of ideas. An idea becomes communicable by being encapsulated into a word.

Concepts allow us to navigate and manipulate the world. Something is understood or can be worked upon because it falls within a category, which can be labeled. Knowledge is shared via words, which are descriptors of categories.

Culture and science are at heart expressions of linguistics. The power of words to inspire – rhetoric – is the spark plug of social and political movements.

A philosophy is a consistent set of definitions. Every rational realm is in essence a philosophy.

The eternal problem with words is their veracity. Words that collide with actuality should be denigrated. Yet coming to terms with terms is no easy matter – for words have a life of their own. Vernacular is not easily disabused.

Though most blithely take what comes to mind as true, the mind is malleable, and words may be definitionally spun to embrace radical ideas.

The subversive philosopher takes ordinary words and defines them in a way that turns convention on its head. By this stratagem the unorthodox becomes comprehensible, which is the first step to a mind-altering acceptability.

18th-century Irish philosopher George Berkeley wrote “that neither our thoughts, nor passions, nor ideas formed by the imagination, exist without the mind, is what everybody will allow.” We all know a “mind” is, and take for granted its existence. Yet minds don’t exist.

Not only is a mind intangible, the concept itself is mistaken. The mind is a euphemism for mentation: mental activity. Thought and its subsidiaries, such as emotions, are all processes, not ephemeral objects.

The sine qua non of mentation is perception: cognizing Nature. That too is an ongoing process.

Further, what appear as objects are also processes in disguise. The deceptive costume objects wear is time.

The one constant of existence is change. Everything constantly transforms. The distinction is pace.

Here we have the fundamental deception: the very idea of objects and bodies, which are really proceedings. This root ruse neatly corresponds with the concept of a mind: object – as opposed to process – orientation.

Our minds insist that the world comprises objects. As neither minds nor objects, nor even the world, are real, that last sentence illustrates the practical impossibility of escaping the object orientation of languages. To conveniently communicate necessitates tacitly incorporating the worldview inherent in language.

Language is as insistent on object domination as the mind. But then, consider the source: language is the mind’s way of communicating its proposed view of the world.

An early childhood mental bifurcation is between objects and bodies: between inert matter and life forms. Plants are latecomers to the living because they don’t visibly move. We innately figure the organic world as operating at our own pace – a self-centered arrogance.

You can’t kill a virus, convention contends, because viruses aren’t alive to begin with. The ostensible problem with viruses is not pace, but instead equipment deficiency: viruses are obligate parasites because they rely on other cells to replicate themselves.

Infection is no easy business. Certain cells must be identified by their specific protein receptors. Other cells must be evaded because they aim to destroy.

Viruses have to be wily to infect their host. Understanding how they behave, it becomes clear that viruses must have minds; rather mooting the issue of whether they are alive. If viruses can think, of course they are alive.

The root puzzle with viruses as alive boils downs to semantics: the definition of life. This same definitional conundrum arises with what’s behind the words mind, intelligence, and consciousness.

That viruses possess guile is indisputable. Behind the objection to viruses – or plants, for that matter – having minds is the assumption that brains are responsible for thought. This popular fiction springs from a false perspective.

The scientific worldview of object orientation is matterism: that matter is the be-all and end-all of Nature. Strictly speaking, that is correct – for Nature, by definition, is the exhibition of existence, and the mind insists that existence is composed of material objects, albeit shoved about energetically.

The contrasting – and astonishingly correct – perspective is energyism: a deep, almost mystical view that the seemingly objective world – actuality – is entirely subjective and ultimately unreal. That this is so is amply documented in the works of Ishi Nobu, employing the vehicle and vernacular of science to prove this elusive vista.

A glimpse of energyism as copacetic comes when considering what energy is. Modern physics has shown that matter is made of energy. The root of existence is sussed by comprehending the essence of energy.

Energy is nothing more than an idea: a word which characterizes any force which moves or transforms matter. Does that mean that existence is just conceptual – all in the mind? That is exactly what energy implies.

By definition, anything aware of its environment is conscious. Consciousness is the ability to be aware.

The utility of consciousness comes in mentation: conventionally speaking, having a mind. The behavioral outcomes of thought are decisions: making a choice to do this rather than that.

That plant roots head toward soil nutrients and plants thrust their leaves into sunlight demonstrate floral intelligence. That viruses evade immune systems and infect as a team endeavor shows viral savvy. Plants and viruses vividly illustrate that consciousness and intelligence are not dependent upon physical organs.

Words are the atoms of worldview. When consistent they form a philosophy.

Few people are so circumspect as to examine the consistency or veracity that form the conceptual underpinnings of their existence or expressions. Because of this, the common tongue lacks precision. As dictionaries profusely testify, vernacular evolves into vagary.

Science has its own way of taking favored concepts and proving them true even when they are patently false. This is commonly done through redefinition.

The idea of heredity predates antiquity, and is neatly captured in the word “offspring,” which was in the English language before the 12th century.

With the matterist mentality common in garden-variety scientists, German zoologist Wilhelm Haacke conjured the concept of genes near the end of the 19th century. He imagined that hereditary traits were molecularly self-contained. A gene was originally idealized as a molecular unit of trait heredity. In 1909, Danish botanist Wilhelm Johannsen used the term gene to define a dollop of inheritance information.

Though you read about them in every text about genetics, genes don’t exist. The conceptualization that genes do exist, and are conveniently demarcated by DNA, has been the ruination of genetics as a science.

That the core concepts of genetics are wrong is apparent by the profusion of nonsensical words surrounding the academic endeavor. The molecular correlates to the informational maintenance of life forms have proven far more intricate than scientists reckoned with their facile ideas. Categorical misconstrual is demonstrated by the failure of the field to shape genetics into a workable paradigmatic model.

The power of words to compel is a profound problem. Ideas are not real. Their signifiers should have no hold over us.

That they do is a hallmark, as Indian guru Nisargadatta Maharaj explained: “All this is the play of concepts. Reality is not a concept, nor the manifestation of a concept. It has nothing to do with concepts.

“Because you are not fully enlightened, your mind clings to the illusion of object perception, of concepts. The realized one knows that all this is the play of ignorance.

“Give up notions, thoughts, and intentions. When they cease, the mind naturally turns to what is truly beyond the mind – the infinite Ĉonsciousness.”

Ironically, whereas words empower dealing with and communicating actuality, words get in the way of comprehending reality.