While contemplating which tea to order at my favourite tea shop, I began to wonder about how we describe the taste of things and asked the owner how she would share what a certain tea tastes like, to which she replied, “If they asked for a Rooibos tea, for instance, I would say it pretty much tastes like, well, Rooibos!” I asked this question because what occurred to me is how we tend to use all kinds of descriptive words to describe things like how a tea tastes, such as ‘floral,’ ‘woody,’ ‘rich,’ ‘earthy,’ ‘smooth,’ ‘crisp’ and we can take on the subjective nature of these words as our truth in a way that removes the most accurate sensor of Truth that all of humanity has… the human body.
What unfolded from there was a philosophical discussion with the purveyor of the tea about how predominant this type of communication is in all walks of life, from the description of foods and drinks, what it feels like to watch an eagle soaring above you, to other things like flying an airplane, how it feels to pet a fluffy dog, or even lying on a sandy beach as you watch a golden sunset, and if there is a deeper form of experiential wisdom we can have in our lives. Of course we want to use our language to convey to others the sense of something we experienced, but my feeling is that at some point we give more significance to what others have said about something rather than honouring the power of what our bodies can feel on a deeper level once we directly experience something for ourselves.
It’s almost like we trust our brains and what others think more than we trust our bodies and what they know. Another example of this just came to me, where last night at work we were looking for an inspector we needed to check our work and were asked to find the next shift’s inspector (let’s call him Tom for the story). When we asked the manager what he looked like, he hesitated and said, “Well, he’s kinda short and chubby,” to which we all laughed as that was quite a generic description that matches a lot of people, really! He really had a hard time describing him and I can totally understand that because there really is no substitute for meeting someone in person, looking into their eyes, and allowing not only our five senses to take in the image of the person, but to feel their presence and the quality of their personality and all it offers as well.
When we honour these direct forms of experiential wisdom we are actually recognising that there are deeper levels of energetic communication happening that go way beyond the words used to describe something. Anyone who has listened to an inspiring or touching story can attest to the fact that they could feel something within them that was being communicated from the other person on a level that was not expressed merely by the words being used.
Therefore, we can easily be fooled by words alone, such as when someone makes a claim of something being true but we just read the words being used and don’t give ourselves the chance to read the underlying energy that these words were transmitted with. This also applies to verbal communication, for instance, when we listen to a politician’s speech and believe what he or she is proposing but fail to consider the motivation or force behind those words.
Anyone can perform a certain act, but what quality of energy is it being accomplished with? I can hammer in a nail while building a house with anger, frustration and resentment, or with love and appreciation for the opportunity to build a lasting ‘nest’ that is supportive for the occupants for a hundred years into the future. These energetic imprints are lasting and we actually do have the ability to feel the difference between the two when we allow our bodies to observe the truth of this, as we are feeling it all the time whether we acknowledge this or not.
Our history of accumulating facts and knowledge and owning it as if that is going to help advance us as a humanity has simply not worked.
All one needs to do is look at the current levels of exhaustion, mental illness, disease, famine, poverty and war in the world to see that one may have the ability to regurgitate a million factoids and have 10 doctorate degrees, but he or she may not be one step closer to living a life filled with the love, harmony, stillness, joyand vitality that is our natural way. I feel that a more practical approach to life and a focus on feeling the truth of a thing via direct observation provides a more real and lasting form of wisdom that can be shared with others.