6

Words and Theories

2 of 6
kanji

Living process and words about it are not the same and should not be treated as equal in worth. When we perceive the incongruity between theories about life and what we feel intuitively to be true on the nonverbal, nonjudging plane, there is nothing to do but laugh.

As Soseki discovered, even butterflies confuse words and things:

Butterfly! These words
From my brush are not flowers,
Only their shadows.

Issa found a nonverbal and nonhuman communicator who spoke to his feelings:

Plumes of pampas grass
Tremble in every wind:
A lonely heart.

Basho tells what happens to symbols of insight and wisdom:

The carved god is gone:
Dead leaves alone foregather
On the temple porch.