Language; A double edged sword

The world is amazing. But “amazing” is just a word. Being only human, we don’t have the capacity to grasp the world for what it truly is.
We have five senses. They filter the world for us, allowing in only a portion of reality, which itself is endless, timeless, infinite.

But even after the filtration by the five senses has taken place, the world is still incomprehensible.
We use language to decipher reality. We label things. We label objects, phenomena, actions, emotions . . . We label as much as we can. But each label is a reduction of reality.
The word “God” is a reduction of God, which we cannot know for what it truly is. The words: Love, Day, Sun, Person and more and more labels; Those are all reductions of reality for the attempted purpose of understanding.

Three blind men were put by an elephant and were asked to describe what an elephant is. One blind man, touched the elephant’s trunk and said: “An elephant is like a snake”. The second blind man touched the elephant’s leg and said: “An elephant is like a pillar”. The third man touched the elephant’s side an said: “An elephant is like a wall”.

Non of the three has the capability to know an elephant for what it truly is. Through their existing input capacities they reached their own conclusions and their labeling reduced an elephant into something that’s not really an elephant.

We have eyes to see. We believe that we do know an elephant for what it truly is, just like the blind men believed. And just like the blind men we too reduce an elephant to something that’s infinitely smaller than what it truly is.

Language is very useful. We use it to communicate and so we become a society, capable of achieving things that would be impossible to achieve as individuals. And that’s a very good aspect of language.
On the other hand, we live in a fantasy – it’s all an illusion of our own making. Each of us sees the world differently, and each of us believes that we understand the world for what it is.

We may use similar labels, but different understanding of those same labels. One person, based on their past experience, uses the label “love” for something comforting, while another person, with past experience of emotional abuse, may understand the label “love” as something painful.

Language as a fence.
The language that we each use, the specific labels along with the individual’s own understanding of them and the way they relate to other labels, creates a finite sphere, an entire world for each and every individual. Like a fence, it creates boundaries. These boundaries are just an illusion. We may experience a life changing event, perhaps a trauma, perhaps an awakening (again, these are just words), following which the world looks very different. And for all intents and purposes it actually is different for the person undergoing such transformation.

So in reality, the world is anything that we want it to be or believe it to be. And of course, there are other individuals who have a contradicting beliefs that oppose our own ideas and understandings. Once we become aware of this invisible fence, these invisible boundaries, we can take the first step into expanding our world into something that’s vaster with each passing moment of silence and wonder. Not just for ourselves, but for entire societies. This is also the doorway leading out of suffering. After all, suffering comes to existence as a result of a misunderstanding of our environment and circumstances as well as ourselves and our place and purpose in the world.

In silence there’s no language. Once we let go of language, labeling and reductionism for the purpose that the mind will be able to comprehend (which it cannot, regardless), an infinite abyss opens. The world for what it truly is explodes open, not in our mind, but in our existence / awareness. In quieting down, truth reveals itself to us gradually, just as it is, without any labels, just pure unadulterated understanding. When this happens, our perceived limitations of the outside, and our self imposed and illusory limitations on the inside, fade into nonexistence. A wordless understanding comes to being along with answers, relief, knowing and peace.

Oded Ben-Ami

Oded Ben-Ami is a mystic, Chi-Gong teacher, mentor, writer, and musician. He dedicates his time to the exploration of the non-physical realm, its effect on our physical world and the means by which it can be affected by the mind

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Well said. The Christian mystics prayed without words because words could not full communicate the divine reality they encountered, a mystery of love beyond words.

  2. Very interesting piece. Happy Thanksgiving….

Leave a Reply

Close Menu