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Alan Watts, J. Krishnamurti , Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, Thomas Carlyle, symbols, words, and reality

excerpted from THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves, by Jack Haas




“The intellectual attitude of our own time, so preponderantly antimythological, expresses our fear of the marvelous, for we have been trying to persuade ourselves that the universe is not a mystery, but a somewhat stupid machine.”

Alan Watts



             There are no symbols adequate for what we attempt to symbolize; the more we describe the more we obscure. This is simply confusion gone mad.

            “You know,” declared J. Krishnamurti , “words are dangerous things because they are symbols, and symbols are not real.”

           Words are unreal, because they are merely labels for the unknown; the kun byed rgyal po’i mdo explains: “...truth becomes evasive when its meaning should be expressed in words, and the mind’s thinking is a total obstruction to truth. …[Thus] if the nature of not proclaimed with words and letters, the sentient beings with a capable mind will understand it, and thereby the nature of suchness will appear unveiled.”

And Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, speaking from an equally rarified, metaphysical position, exclaimed, “Words are the mind and the mind obscures and distorts. Hence the absolute need to go beyond words. …It is useless to struggle with words to express what is beyond words.”

Reality lies in the intimate experience of the mystery of existence, not in separation from the mystery, and yet separation arises inherently from the labeling of aspects of the one mystery.

As such, Thomas Carlyle argued: “What are your Axioms, and Categories, and Systems, and Aphorisms?  Words, words. High Air-Castles are cunningly built of Words, the Words well bedded also in good Logic-mortar, wherein, however, no knowledge will come to lodge.”

             Indeed, it is not our ideas, interpretations, or judgments about ‘suchness’ which is the Reality, it is suchness itself, seen as it is, which is only possible by the naked mind.

            Words are not ‘suchness’, or ‘what is’; and thus words are dangerous because if that for which we have no clue we proceed to call ‘this’ or ‘that’, we forget that we have no clue. We have labeled the enigma and thus destroyed it.


excerpted from:


way of wonder, sacred geometry, sri yantra



THE WAY OF WONDER: a return to the mystery of ourselves

by Jack Haas

author Jack Haas, Canadian, American writer, artist, photographer














Mystical books, visionary art, and fine art photography by Jack Haas




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