A mystery wrapped in a… Towel?
Writing is a mystical act, concealed today by its omnipresence. Forlorn cultures, who still remembered a time before writing, invariably explains the advent of writing as some kind of divine intervention. Indeed, the Norse patriarch Oden paid a terrible price for knowledge of the Runes, who were both a means of divination, and a system of writing. That is to say, even the gods venerate the art of writing.
Powerful as it may be, writing comes at a price, however… Another great patriarch – Plato – lived to see his society transformed by the spread of writing, and he complained passionately of its detrimental affect on the human psyche;
[writing] is a recipe not for memory, but for reminder
This view is reflected by the native jungle peoples of New Guinea who, after hosting a literate explorer among them for some time, concluded that he had no memory because he had to make notes of everything, which is clearly superfluous for anyone with an intact psyche!
Most essential of all is that writing gives us access to knowledge which we may not yet be able to comprehend, on the level of soul, feeling or thought. The reason for this is embedded in the nature of language and is universally understood by all oral traditions; just as an image of a person is not that person, neither should a word be mistaken for the ineffable reality which it refers to… What “reality” we do find behind the curtains of words, is ever changing, and is as much a mirror of the reader, as the writer.
These days we employ the power of writing with no thought of its effect. Is writing, and reading, even desireable? Future generations will pass that judgement. Today, let us thus conclude this; the times we inhabit lack precedent.. Ready or not, we simply must assume leadership in our own lives, in our communities and nations because the earth, and our species, depend on it. The careful, directed and enclosed transfer of knowledge thus belong to an age passed. In this age, we share all relevant knowledge that we encounter, refine it within our own being and offer it freely to the world.
We honour our words by imbuing them with a prayer that – like fiery arrows released in faith – they will find and ignite hearts into powerful and empatic action