words will always fail

I used to weave, paint, draw. I was a competent weaver, but the medium was not flexible enough to express what I wanted. I tried painting and drawing—both very flexible—but wasn’t satisfied with my work. So, in the end, I switched to writing. I wanted, hoped, prayed that the words I play with in my mind or on paper would communicate with clarity and depth.

Even though words are one of the most flexible tools we have, they will never fully communicate the truth. Words cannot express the ineffable. I have no way to describe that which has no texture, no past, no color, no taste, no future, no smell. All I can do is point in the general direction of what I mean, using comparison, simile, metaphor.

I can say that a thought is like a rainbow—it only appears to be something. We can hear it, see it in our mind’s eye, speak it, but it has no more substantial reality that the rainbow itself. It’s a chimera, an illusion.

I can write about awareness—which we all agree is an experiential truth–but when I try to grab it, to describe it in a recognizable way, it eludes. Flimsy words cannot contain it. That’s the wild paradox—the inside is unable to communicate directly about the whole. The whole is unspeakable, unthinkable, outside of the mind’s capacity. And yet, awareness can be experienced, it can experience itself (except it is not a thing) outside of thought, feeling, speech. And those of us who love the unknowable above all else, who are wholly married in the singular relationship of one, are driven to try—again, again, again—to express this in words, and will always fail.

© Skye Blaine, 2011

7 Comments

Filed under Advaita, Musings, Non-duality, spirituality, writing

7 responses to “words will always fail

  1. So absolutely true! I find that so often I have such a feeling tone or energy sense about something but when I try to find the words there’s nothing that expresses it. Imagine the level of communication we can have when we’re so connected that we send back and forth the feeling tones and don’t bother with the words…

  2. Words are like a finger pointing at the moon. You keep focusing on the finger and you will never see the moon.

  3. Good morning, with peace and blessings from me to you. I have an idea re: [+follow]ing, and will send that along shortly. But before I do, I just wanted to tell you that whenever I have the fortune to carve out some time for WordPress, I love to come and sit in your corner of its e-niverse; I am impacted by your writing and energy/spirit every time. Thank you for sharing your gift(s) of writing and being with us; they are true blessings.

  4. my dear amrita

    so good to be with you, without words, so to speak. thank you for this place to meet. just after reading, soaking in the texture of what is KNOWN and TRUE and wordless. yet in all, in everything. gratitude for this way of connecting.

    christine

  5. How sweet to find you here! Thank you for following. Touches me.

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