Words and Experience

I encountered these reflections today in my reading of a Richard Rorty book, “Philosophy and Social Hope”. He wrote that “there is no inescapable truth which either metaphysicians or pragmatists are trying to evade or capture, for any candidate for truth can be escaped by a suitable choice of description and can be underwritten by another such choice.”
I wonder sometimes why I read philosophy and spiritual discourses. It seems that, as others suggest, it is often an overly intellectual and irrelevant discourse. Anything can be rationalized with skillful use of words; however, I realize that for me putting words together can have a similar effect as painting or other forms of creative indulgence. It can at times touch a place within of intimate, creative and passionate connection with life, my own unspoken origins and story.

When I describe my experience of “essence” I am referring to a deeper quality of awareness, than I have been conventionally taught to verbalize or even to realize. There are so many poets and artists that have adeptly captured this in unique, wonderful ways. I need not delve into it at this time.

There is a sense of increased awareness of a fluctuating flow of energy and peacefulness lurking at times behind all my conditioned actions. I think that this deepening of awareness and emerging realization of “essence” or “ being” might be at the heart of our human philosophical and religious origins and quests. I am doubtful about the possibility of being able to represent this experience in words or to discover it through dogma, although the process of “inquiry” seems to be most beneficial in this realization. There is something, as well, in the the experience and the sharing and expression of that for me. A key focus being to remain grounded in the experience and not to be seduced by the attempted representation of it. It seems to me that if we are not aware of the limitations of language we can find ourselves becoming side tracked. As the “Zen” adepts say, “it is a finger pointing to the moon.”

Author: Gord Clements

I find some satisfaction in the act of attempting to express my experience of life through painting, writing, language and other art forms. I have been painting for over thirty five years and combine my love of art with a meditative and contemplative way of life. I have an intuitive sense that true creativity is something that arises from beyond and through Qthe self that can be explored and shared through some form of expression although I always hope to open to the influence of that which is beyond my limited sense of self.

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