If a scientist names an object, say a star, does it change it’s reality in any way? I think not. A star is a star, or as my mother likes to say, “It is what it is,” regardless of what some man or woman on earth names it.
The words or characters used in any language symbolize that which they attempt to describe. In this sense they connect an observer with the essence of something outside of himself. The same words or characters symbolize and therefore represent the reality of the object and as such they also divide or put something between the observer and the object. That which divides also connects.
In some cases, the words come quite close to representing the true nature of the object in question, as with onomatopoeic words like “cuckoo” or “pow.” But even the best imitation is only a close approximation. In other cases the words or symbols used are quite abstract and therefore more primarily divisive than connective in nature.
Modern language excels at describing visible, tangible and physical phenomena. It is relatively weak when it comes to describing the invisible, intangible, energetic yet omnipresent aspect of the universe in general and our lives in particular. Descriptions of the physical anatomy and the biochemistry of the human body, for instance, are elaborate, but trying to label the subtler physics or energetic nature of the same body can be quite a task. There just aren’t words to describe it in our present vocabulary.
The vocabulary of a people provides insight into their state of consciousness. If my analysis is correct, we tend to live on the outer surface of life. Our understanding of the provenance and inner workings of life is quite shallow. We see, give more weight to and are prone to confine our thinking to that which is obvious and visible. As such, the subtler or finer essences of life tend to be either overlooked, undervalued or dismissed entirely.
The question raised in all of this is: how do we develop a vocabulary in a way that connects man to the subtle essences of existence more than it divides? More on this tomorrow…