As we grow older, our memory accumulates more and more and therefore the initial thrill and wonder is lost. Memory seems to be the enemy of wonder. After a point, it becomes very difficult to find brand new experiences which are yet to be encoded into memory. As an explorer myself, I often see first hand the cycles of my passions i.e how they rise and diminish or keep shifting. I have intensely explored philosophy to study the basis of knowledge or experience itself. The interesting conclusion I have reached is that, life is mystery and it is this mystery that gives us meaning or anything that we can ever care about. The Japanese too have identified a concept called Yugen: Subtle yet profound mysteries. In fact these cycles indicate that learning is as important as unlearning OR remembering is as important as forgetting for they both symbiotically give definition to each other.
Our serial processing minds in language can process so little of what is going on since everything is dynamically changing. There is infinite breath and infinite depth. If you decide to direct your attention on a specific area, you would know its patterns from a certain depth, however a zillion other things have changed at the same time. If the move this concentrated attention to something else then again you former object would change without your awareness on it. This is the problem with our serial operation of the mind, as a result of which we can greatly distort reality.
The trickiest part is how can we understand all the relationships and patterns when everything is happening at once, with a serial processing mind in terms of language. It seems exactly like the blind man exploring an elephant. That too, you are tied to the extent of your vocabulary. Each word too can mean different things for different people. Even if you understand something profoundly and put it across in the best possible way, will you reader understand what you exactly meant?. Say I use the word “clear headed”. Now wont this mean totally different things to different people.
While talking to people, very little of what they mean is in their words. Their meaning needs to be holistically understood. I wonder if all the complicated talk that we do in our daily life, is like endlessly modifying the finger which is pointing to the moon, with the moon being what we actually want. In other words, we are endlessly playing with representations and symbols but not directly looking at what we really want. Its like a synthetic layer obscuring us from seeing the truth. We take terribly circuitous routes and get only a fraction of what we expected or we simply totally miss it. All our motivations could be examined in this light.
When we are thinking to ourselves, why do we words? Why can’t we think at a more symbolic level say with images or feelings. Maybe, we do this for social convenience. Is it because if we store everything verbally, then retrieval is much faster in societal environments since it is stored in a directly usable form? It seems obvious that higher forms of thought would be in the form of feelings and images since they can convey a lot more than a series of words arranged using grammar rules. Have you ever tried to write down what you experienced in a dream? Its extremely difficult because everything is rewired. While noting dreams down, I often need to use a lot of simplifications and often this greatly reduces the meaning of the dream for other people reading it. It could however serve as a cue to remind you of the experience itself in its raw form.
Another very intriguing aspect is how we literally talk to ourselves and tell ourselves what we should do or what decision to take. Why should we talk within ourselves like there is a separate entity inside us telling us in language what to do. Its almost like a big time trick played on us. People consider losing this verbal inner voice as a form of regression. I think its more like claiming back your original power which was totally lost by this trick which was played on us.
This whole thing is like a very interesting puzzle. Even I have this inner verbal voice inside me and for practical purposes, I treat that as me. But whenever I think about it, it seems absurd.Where is the real me? How can I remove this obscuration? Funnily and tragically, society generally firmly believes that “You only know something if you can put it in words”.