the thing pre-words

Words are symbols we use to explain ideas and point at things. “It’s cold” is pointing at a sensation very different from the one I would explain as “hot”. We all know this but don’t keep it in mind. We don’t see when the explanations don’t match the explained. One benefit of meditation is quieting the mind so you can see the sensation being explained.

A picture of a bike is no bike. We use the picture to build an image of a bike in our mind. And so our words describing our life are not our life – it’s a linear story trying to make sense of the nonsensical. When you look at a sunset and tell the person you’re with “Golly, what a beautiful sunset” you are describing and experience that just happened. In the moment the words are formulated the experience of the sunset is diminished. The moment the sunset struck you as something beautiful enough to be reported to someone else was probably the pure awareness of the sunset.

We call people who can trust that pure, thoughtless, seeing as intuitive. We only trust words though and the stories they can build. I’m going to go stare at a leaf and try not to explain it. Maybe then I’ll have more faith in my un-worded knowledge.

Confusion implies choice and choice is the product of thought. Shall I do this or that – the “me” and the “not me,” the “you” and the “not you,” “we” and “they,” and so on, all that is implied by thought. And out of this arises confusion and from that confusion we choose; we choose our political leaders, our gurus, and so many other things, but when there is clarity, then there is direct perception. And to be clear, the mind must be completely quiet, completely still, then there is real understanding and therefore that understanding is action. It isn’t the other way around.

J. Krishnamurti