The Missing Link

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…

11 thoughts on “The Missing Link

  1. Steve Ventola

    Your post is mind expanding. In thinking about the the invisible, intangible, energetic yet omnipresent aspect of the universe in general it is apparent it is so much more than the visible world we perceive. In thinking how we are to answer your question regarding how do we develop a vocabulary in a way that connects man to the subtle essences of existence more than it divides it is also apparent that it will take an opening up our minds and hearts. Thank you for articulating a pathway for a connection to be made from the invisible to the visible.

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  2. David R

    I’ve heard legends related to languages of the past where the specific vibration of a word or phrase was actually consistent with the thing or the quality itself. I suppose that would be a true symbol. Sometimes music or graphic art can provide that immediacy of connection to the core of something. Regardless of the limitations of present language, there is always the challenge of working effectivley and artistically with symbols to connect with what is real, meaningful and beautiful.

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  3. Colin

    You can learn a lot about a culture by what words it has and doesn’t have to describe different things. We obviously have so much to learn about the subtle and energetic parts of our world. We know so little about it that many people do not even believe there is anything to it. They live in a world that is so physical that they lack the capacity to feel the world’s energy, which is by far the greater part. While some people cannot feel the energetic parts of the world, it’s evidence is there if you are honest enough to see. That is how we will start to change the world’s vocabulary: by showing the evidence of the energetic world in our own lives.

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  4. Kolya

    As a society, we don’t put much weight into that which can’t be seen or proven. I know there have been languages that have had more words to describe the invisible or the essences of things, but interestingly enough languages such as these are rarely used anymore or have been entirely forgotten. Language is used to express to another our thoughts, feelings, etc. Perhaps if we were more in-tune to those subtle essences you described, we would find (or create) the words that would connect us to them and others.

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  5. Kimberly

    I love to read and I’m always so impressed when an author can describe what can initially seem impossible to convey. I love when a book or piece sends me to the dictionary. I love your blog for its ability to cause me to think about things I haven’t and to look at many things from new view. Thanks Gregg !

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  6. Joshua

    Love this, look forward to connecting more tomorrow!
    As for today, much thought will be given unto how the words I choose can better connect with those subtle, omni-important essences.
    Thanks Gregg!

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  7. Coco

    What an interesting observation. I’ll bet there are other cultures that have more vocabulary to describe some of the subtler essences of life. My first thought is maybe some dialects of Chinese or more of the ancient languages. Can’t wait to read part 2!

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  8. I believe that the more that humans use language the further we remove ourselves from the entire rest of Life. Language is only made up of words, sounds actually. Different people, different languages, different sounds – right?? We come to depend on this one form of expression soully to determine and define the world around us, and how it works. What it even is. But everything is so much more than words, there is always an underlying part that words can never describe. But the heart, the soul can know. The human body reflects the truth of the Universe, but that awareness can never be reached with the limited confinements of a lanuage, no matter which language it happens to be.

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  9. Kai Newell

    Ah this post is so refreshing and revitalizing. Just what this teacher needed at this time of year when the school year is ending and everyone tends to ‘check out’. Can’t wait for the next installment!

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  10. DeeDee

    So interesting! I will definitely be more mindful of not just attempting to give description of the subtler levels, but of being aware of them in the first place (:

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