Tao Has No Language


If this site becomes of any serious value to you, leave it, and do not visit again. Language, certainly written texts, does not lead to wisdom.

The Tao text of Lao Tzu starts with the sentences:

The Ineffable, about which is spoken, is not the eternal Ineffable

A name for the Unnameable, is but a name

The Unnameable is what makes everything what it is

By naming things you divide the Indivisible

To reach satori, nirwana, personal enlightenment, Buddha advises: If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.

Ludwig Wittgenstein says in his Tractatus Logico Philosophicus:

My propositions serve as elucidations in the following way: anyone who understands me eventually recognizes them as nonsensical, when he has used them – as steps – to climb beyond them. He must, so to speak, throw away the ladder after he has climbed up it….whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

Zen admirer Gregory Bateson (1972) repeats Alfred Korzybski’s (1931) decentering our anthropomorphism: ‘The Map is not The Territory

If we take these claims, on human wisdom, seriously, language is not a highway, but rather a village road, to knowledge. So if this site becomes of any value to you leave it and do not visit again.

We cannot do without language to understand our contemporary humanity’s predicament.

In the end, however, we have to let go of this burden to re-synchronize with nature’s patterns, cycles, systems, processes.

Bateson makes rather clear in his paper on Style, Grace and Information in Primitive Art (1967) that making and experiencing art IS a Highway to knowing and understanding our world.

My paper ‘Beauty and Grace in making Artifacts‘ (2015) tries to make this point.

So, do not let yourself be fooled by language and social science.

These are indispensable realities but can lead you astray.