Zen and English, Part 5: Intangibles»
The Post of Intangibles
The void of space represents that which is intangible. Though objects exist within this otherwise empty space, it is filled by neither water, nor air; it is for this reason that it is known popularly as space.
Space is real, but it is intangible. It is the absence of matter, not the presence of something itself. In language, it is treated as an object, but in reality, space is simply nothingness.
Intangibles are affairs of the spirit. They concern not what is on a person’s mind, or in the person’s heart, but what is in the person’s soul.
It is through knowledge of things that are tangible that one can gain knowledge of that which is not tangible, and which leaves no physical markings upon our world, but which exists only within the minds of human beings.
We may gain knowledge of these things, but they are beyond our understanding. Even if we know what is within the soul of another, or even know what is within ourselves, a full comprehension and understanding is beyond us.
Yet even this is not wasted. Even this provides us with immeasurable insight into the thoughts and ideas held within other human beings. Even if the best we can hope for is a partial understanding, this is the very purpose of communication.
Thus, it is through devotion to The Way of English that provides us with insight into The Art of English, which is itself an expression of the thoughts and ideas and feelings held within our fellow human beings, and ourselves, using the limited and incomplete tools of language available to us to communicate, to entertain, and to deepen our social relationships with each other.
We, human beings, are more than the sum of our parts. So it is with English; so it is with the universe.
There is no more to be said of Zen and English. The rest can only be discovered through direct personal experience.
After all, it is only through understanding the limitations of language that we may understand and respect its power and beauty.
- Jeremiah Bourque