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In a neat twist, the first step to becoming a sematurgist (which does not preclude being anything else) is to ponder the word “semanturgy.”

To consciously wonder at the significance of something, to be aware of meaning, its use, purpose, flow, malleability, value, this is the spot where we begin: to step off the path of unconscious assumption, to open one’s eyes, one’s ears, one’s heart.

The second step is to realize that someone is attempting to construct a message, to include that person’s awareness, as best one can, in the interpretation, to realize that the message is never set in stone, even if it’s carved in granite, because with each passing moment and mind the meaning will shift slightly in its focus and intent.

The third step is to keep in mind that the act of manipulating meaning, whether from the giving or the receiving end, requires the acceptance of responsibility for the consequences generated by the communication.  As we exchange meaning we share a deep level of commitment to each other as social creatures.

The fourth step is up to you.  

Semanturgy is not a dogma, not a doctrine, not a prescription.  It is a way of thinking, a reminder to be aware, a validation of an individual’s right to communication.  It is simply a place to put your foot to take that first step to real connection through truth.  It is an encouraging word urging you to participate, to work your own meaning into the great conversation that is human life.

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