An article by Sha'Tara, local writer and friend.
The Importance of Language
[thoughts from ~burning woman~ by Sha'Tara]
The more I push myself by mind to understand the "greater" all-encompassing concepts of life, the more, it seems, my language fails. I am struck dumb by vistas of infinite possibilities. Seems to me only fools, and I've been as great a one as any, go on about things they cannot possibly understand from this level of evolved consciousness and awareness.
Still, if we do not question, if we do not discuss, even with our so limited, so barbaric utterances; if we but accept the fiats of previous fools, do we not remain spiritual eunuchs? Aren't religious institutions the repose of such billions of accepting eunuchs, powerless, more often than not totally idiotic in their dutiful performance of religious rituals? Worse, how about mental eunuchs? Unable to comprehend, unable to see, unable to advance, trusting somehow that social dynamics, like a high tide, will push them on. But we know, don't we, where all that flotsam ends up after a high tide: beached... likely worse off than before.
How important is language in all of this? What if what bars us from understanding is our language? What if there is a greater language that contains these greater concepts without the tiresome overuse of metaphors and images? Seems to me at times that my quest for understanding could be compared (imagery again!) to trying to understand the conflicting forces that were responsible for world war II by looking through someone's photo album. What are all mankind's great books, great treasuries and repositories of history, religion and philosophy but such photo albums, little more than curios in a museum?
It is said that a man dying of thirst while crossing a desert will pursue a mirage, drop to the sand and drink it. Imagine how thirsty you have to be to do such a thing. That is the kind of thirst that assails the one who awakens on this world. If you've ever been "in love" you know the force that pulls you to that "other" which you call your lover. Our thirst is like that, only it does not depend on anyone else's performance. It doesn't waver or cool. It doesn't go after another. It just grows and every drop it tastes only makes it search the more.
There is no greater thirst than that experienced by the awakened. We look under rocks. We wait for the clouds to part to stare into the teasing blue of the sky. We even try to stare into the sun, that fusion furnace, almost daring to let our eyes of flesh be seared that we may gain the gift of true sight. We look at the night sky, at the countless reflections of worlds surrounded by dancing lights of myriad suns and we wonder. We watch the horizon at the edge of the sea. We watch the moon rise and the sun set. And we dream and even in our dreams, we observe, we collate data, and we wonder why we are permitted to see but cannot reach, cannot touch, cannot taste, or so it would seem because we remain perpetually thirsty.
We want to believe our thirst is an illusion. So we shake our heads and look around at what passes for the real world in the hope of finding solace for our thirst. But what do we find?
That all of man's great concepts and all attempts to make himself more than what he is, encompassing his faith, hope, dreams; his visions, religions and philosophies; his racial pride, economies, empires; his great statements of guaranteed freedoms: all are but teasers, a strutting, fretting and posturing. What promises to create change only produces more of the same. How dreary and paltry then, how stale that which is called the daily grind and the forces that move it to and fro! It is no wonder that people plunge into mindless hedonism; that they run after idols in business, sports, entertainment, politics and religion; that they rejoice in war. It is no wonder they believe the silliest of stories and fail to realize the stories are the same, day after day; that the game is forever rigged. Yes, these "generic" sheeple thirst too, but invariably they accept the polluted water and never get to the point where they fall on their knees to drink the sand.
So then, when does the real happen? When do we break free? Is it when, as we kneel to drink the sand, it miraculously turns into clear, fresh water and we drink our fill? And when does that happen? Some will claim it happens when an individual acknowledges God. In a world as jaded as this one has become, that works in closed circles but I wouldn't want to go around proclaiming it too loudly. Somewhere, torn between Christians (I include all camps here), Moslems (again including all camps), Buddhist, Jews and assortments of others who all believe in God in some way, God's image has become remarkably meaningless of late; a tarnished and twisted idol with so many faces and aspects, it is no longer recognizable by anyone, not even the faithful, whoever they are.
Because so many believe in him, God, of a certainty must form at least part of what would slake the awakener's thirst, yes? But it's not that simple, is it! We know, from reading Scriptures that when God acts among people, he demonstrates that his nature is dualistic, employing both good and evil to work his ends. Theologians would deny this, of course, but the facts (if we accept Scripture as fact and of course when you speak of God, those are the facts) fly in the face of their protestations. It is written that God plans and executes terribly evil deeds. That gives rise to an impossible conundrum. Is there a level of incomprehensible understanding from which it is possible to see "God" actually engaging, or decreeing, evil deeds without being evil in and of himself? To see God as other than what he does? What if God were other than religions define it? What if even those previous great Teachers and Avatars were deluded, completely wrong about their understanding of God?
What if God was an intelligent development, a confluence of energies attracted to each other and locked into step and not a being as we understand it? For "being" implies "creature" – in this case a most intelligent one – and that implies conscience. To be able to do something without being that act, God cannot have a conscience. A far removed alien life form perhaps from another universe? A hologram?
Do you see what I mean about language? God is a language we do not speak. That becomes a stumbling block. What good is it to have a relationship with someone or something I cannot communicate with; cannot interact with? There is no difference then, whether it is God or an earthworm. I remain just as unenlightened. My thirst for new knowledge which I can process into understanding is not quenched that way. When you know of a stumbling block on a path and you cannot remove it, do you not teach yourself to walk around it, or avoid that path altogether and find a better one?
So in my thirsting mind I return to combing the deserts in search of new understanding, and a language with which to absorb and perhaps share such an elusive thing. I no longer laugh when I read of those men who drove themselves to their death searching for the fountain of youth. I understand now what drove them on.
"A return to a place never seen. Always it is thus when we understand what we cannot speak." (R. Scott Bakker: The Thousandfold Thought)