bill_nemo (nemo_49) wrote,

Don't miss the glory

Marshall McLuhan observed that "All words, in every language, are metaphors." Husserl observed that "all perceptions are gambles". Korzybski observed that "The map is not the territory", which Alan Watt's playfully restated as "The menu is not the meal." Lao Tzu observed that the "way" you can speak about is not the "way" itself. This insight reappears down through the ages time and time again, muttered by various mutants and mystics. To grok this, to drink it deeply, is to realize that everything you say - each word, each symbol - is not the "thing" or event itself. Fingers pointing at the moon. Get hung up on the fingers, as the Zen story goes, and you'll miss the glory of the moon. The moon in this case is also a metaphor, but I will leave it to you to suss out what IT is pointing at. It's worth puzzling over.

In the meantime, let this bake your noodle: a change in language can change your apprehension of the cosmos. Language, metaphors, are symbolic, weaving semiotic webs. They are, by the way, the stuff of which myths are made, and like language, a change in myths, too, will change your apprehension of the cosmos. Embedded in all that you say is a mythic dimension - a way of pointing at the moon, if you will. Just remember while you are pointing to heed the old zen story. Don't miss the glory of the moon.
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