Some things are just beyond words. The irony of my article is not lost on me. Here I am, trying to put into words my spiritual experience, and words simply do not suffice.
Words, themselves, are metaphors. When I write "tree," you know what I'm talking about, but the word "tree" is not a tree. In fact, the image that comes to your mind is almost certainly different than the image in mine.
When I write "God," well... You can see where this is going.
We use language to communicate. Words are all we have. Yet when I write about spirituality, I recognize that words are poor metaphors. Something as ethereal as "the eternal now" simply cannot be described. When I write about "non-attachment," I know what I mean... But do you? This is the poverty of language. And I confess, sometimes it leaves me wondering, "why bother?"
And then I am reminded of butterflies. They aren't born with wings. They are born as caterpillars and eventually they spin a cocoon and they morph into butterflies. And if you've ever watched one emerging from it's cocoon, you've noticed what a struggle it is. The struggle is necessary - it forces the newly formed wings to exercise. The struggle causes vital fluids and nutrients into the wings so that the transformed creature can actually become what it was meant to be.
Language is our earthbound home. Eventually we spin that cocoon of introspection and we struggle with language and definitions and descriptions. The struggle is necessary for us to develop our spiritual wings so that they can take us up beyond language. We struggle to break free so that we can fly through the ethereal world of no-words... no-thoughts... no-mind.
Jesus, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu, Krishna... They all spoke in "riddles." Some got it, most probably didn't. But that's ok. Their words were food for some and cocoon material for others. Those who struggled with their words eventually broke free and soared. Those who turned their words into rules or programs have simply built really large cocoons. There is a sense of security and comfort in these cocoons, but those who rest in them rather than struggle to break free are still earthbound - and not yet what they were meant to be.
So I will write of what I've experienced - grace, non-attachment, peace, God, eternal now, presence, wu wei, no mind - and some will struggle, including me. Some days I may soar beyond the clouds and other days a gust of wind will bring me back down to earth.
But I will use these wings - and words, for that is what I have.