If a picture can paint a thousand words, a sentence can do better than that – countless meanings. Each meaning doesn’t mean anything other than what it is trying to convey at that moment of its interpretation.
Words are but symbols of symbols, twice removed from reality.
The meaning I give at each moment only last, but that moment of time. Each meaning has a wonderful range of ideas attached to it. The next moment of expressing that same meaning would have mean another meaning to myself and also to others, due to the fluctuating changes of ideas coming up the next moment. The mind is not static and thus whatever that comes up is varying all the time.
As I try my best to convey the same meaning again the next moment, I would have gained a deeper insight in the process of saying it, or I may have missed a certain key words that made that meaning incomplete. Even if I were to repeat word by word of what I have spoken, my level of understanding at that point of time would have varied, due to the change of conditioning arising hitherto. It is fortunate that changes are taking place or else I would never have grown out from that meaning. Meanings are but conclusions and all conclusions are like a nail to the coffin – flattening the richness of the actual experience that is been understood at that precise moment. It can also be a bane when it comes to transmission.
Meanings are interpretations – to interprete is to mean putting a symbol onto the experience, onto the reality of what is true at the precise moment of experience. There is no way meaning can replaces experience as experience is a kind of understanding that have myriads of angles and perspectives to it. Even a simple cup can be seen from numerous angle, each angle conveys a different perspective, not to mention the levels of understanding that can be derived from a certain topic of discussion.
Imagined what could have occurred when a message is being expounded by a master, a seeker or anyone else for that matter. Each person listening at that point of time would have many conditioning within them – level of understanding, state of mind, intensity of their attention, ability to discern, ideas that is accompanying that moment – brings about the culmination of interpretation of what they are hearing. Language barrier, comprehension of the words used, the phrasing of the sentence are other factors that will influence my capacity to understand. What about the feelings at that moment – my feelings will influence the way I perceive things.
Ponder on the implication of each permutation of conditioning that comes to each moment. Everyone will understanding according to what has been heard at his or her own level – and may not wholly represent what the speaker is trying to convey. What more when the words are been written down and passed on year after year, decades after decades, centuries over centuries. Language do change, disappear from civilizations, or even took on a new meaning, distorting the meaning further.
Hence the fallacy of words. Of scriptures. Of translations. Of beliefs. Of traditions and cultures. Of rules and regulations. Of principles that changes over time. Fallacies of everything that is found in this world of form – I have no possibility of understanding another except myself. Even that, is an impossible task if I don’t take to task the effort to remain vigilant and mindful of the elusiveness of the mind, the deep conditioning that comes along with it, and what enters into the mind through my senses.
If I truly wish to understand what Truth is I have no choice but to enter into the domain of the mind – the storehouse of the unknown, the mystery of life and the ending of the meaning of existence – of the world. Blessed will be those who comes into understanding themselves – the workings of the mind.
To each its own.