Chapter 4: Via Confusiva
Don’t take my answers as answers. I am not a schoolteacher. I have no answers to give you. That which I have to give you is the sense for the mysterious and the miraculous.
But I understand. It is difficult - I speak one language, you speak another language. When I say “language” I don’t mean English, German or French. I mean.my language comes from my being, your language comes from your being. We may be speaking the same language on the surface, but deep down it is almost untranslatable, what I am saying to you. It is impossible to translate it into your language. Then why am I saying it at all?
I am just crazy. I cannot resist. It is overflowing. There is no way to prevent it. I have to say it - just like a cloud is burdened with rainwater and it has to rain! Whether you are able to soak it in or not, that is not the point. Rocks may not be able to soak it in. Or, some soil may be able to soak it in and will be full of greenery and beauty will arise. But that is all undecided. It is an open thing. It may happen, it may not happen. It depends how you let me in.
I have heard a beautiful story:
A few years ago in France, an extraordinary meeting took place. Some leading philosophers from England and America had been invited to meet with their continental counterparts. They were to exchange ideas, share experiences, and discover the extent of possible “communication” among them. In a very congenial atmosphere, meetings were held, discussions took place, and speeches were made. Many friendships must have been established and no little quantity of wine consumed, but apparently no philosophic communication took place.
For instance, Gabriel Marcel was trying to explain his ideas about God, grace and transcendence. He continually met resistance from the audience, from other philosophers: “But what do you mean by that? But surely you don’t mean this? How is it possible that.? Isn’t it true that.? etc, etc..”
After a while Marcel became exasperated, and the audience as a whole restless. Finally, someone in the audience asked Marcel why he did not simply say what he meant. Since he had been trying to do just this for some time, he merely replied, “Perhaps I can’t explain this to you, but if I had a piano here I could play it.”
And because there was no piano, no communication was possible.
But I am suspicious: even with a piano it may not have happened - because the other may not understand the language of music either.