Is it “One Thing,” “All,” “Not Two,” “Limitless”?
Language remains conceptual/conditional, conventional so that it cannot describe that which cannot be labeled.
So, why bother with language if words cannot say it?
Still, if intentionally “turned,” language can point toward that which cannot be labeled:
· Language can negate, saying not or without or no [i.e., not this, no end, endless].
· Language can challenge dualisms/polarities, saying “All things are it,” “This exists because that exists,” “It is inside and outside,” or, for example, that “It stands still and outruns all that are running.”
· But perhaps in its clearest teaching form, language can skillfully link words that seem disparate: “the limitless is everyday” or “whole body mind seeing” [Dogen] or mix metaphors such as “see sound.”
[Negate, challenge dualisms, link terms: Adapted from lecture by Anantanand Rambachan, Professor of Religion, Philosophy and
Asian Studies at Saint Olaf College, 10/9/2014, Drake University]
Why bother to point toward that which cannot be labeled?
That which cannot be labeled is not esoteric, not distant. Suffering develops from the domination of polarity and dualism because it is not the real nature of the world. It does not actualize who we are.
“Who we are” is inherent in the phenomena/the objective world, the everyday world/the relative world: the clouds and sky, the flower, the dewfall and rain, the snow and frost. Mountains and oceans and clouds and flowers literally bring us into being, and so they are walking in each of our steps, they are dimensions of self. We are actualized by the “ineffable” that is expressing the myriad things.
So, in any age, looking at a tree or a leaf or a river or a star, a “turning word” can point something that we can see but not say that is the real working essence of the self/world.
“Elephant” and “house” and “mountain”—“ same” or “different,” “One” or “Two” or “Not Two or “zero”?
Then, seeing elephant or house or mountain, what appears?