holding less than all the water

To my good friends–

I really need some reading that challenges me to grow. This is an interesting statement in light of what I am reading in Leonard Shlain’s The Alphabet and the Goddess: The reading is a left brain activity, but I am looking for right brain things, too: images, stories, wholes. So maybe wherever it comes in, it can go to the appropriate side, although we need to be aware of the filters at work.

So what filters are at work in reading say Rumi? Rumi is rich in images and tactile qualities. Poe is rich in onomatopoeia. Whitman is rich in action and movement. Yet Rumi says get me past these words. The mystics want to sit and touch, albeit internally. The words cannot express all of it. Words are small, holding less than all the water. Words are one at a time, holding less than all time. Words can be suggestive, which is perhaps a right brain function. But it is not words Shlain alerts us to, but alphabets and written words. Words spoken occur in a setting of all-at-once, for they leave impressions, not a record of how they were strung together: there are many ways to tell a joke or a story and make the same point, get the same laugh. So Rumi is less filtered because his poetry was spoken, then transcribed. Even so, words do not hold all the water. Much more is expressed in gesture, body language, and presence. So one of the filters at work here limits the carrying capacity. We think we have it all, when we cannot. Also, we are directed toward the abstract by the very nature of words, especially written words, and they may be actually more concrete.

So what I need is some meeting with a soul who challenges me to grow. This perhaps is the universal admonition to seek a teacher. I have this prejudice that I can get all I need from the books and the Web. It is clearly not so. Perhaps to grow more I need to meet.

And how is journaling a process for bringing up the subliminal? It is time away from time to think and concentrate on one’s self, and the words are attempts to hold up a cup of that water to the light.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on March 1st, 2006 | No Comments »

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