The thing about things

September 2015

Only those things that are permanent are truth. (Sri Swami Satchidananda)

What is truth?
There are objective truths – like the fixed points of the compass – and subjective truths – like the exact colour of the sky.
Sutra 3.29 – Dhruve tadgati jnanamMeditating on the North Star reveals how we move. (Matthew Remski)

There are very few things that are absolute and require nothing further than a single noun to conjure their exactitude. When we try to share our experiences we ask a lot of each other – we ask that we share the thingness of things, even of things that are complex and various in their natures..

In metaphor we are able to express the exactness and simultaneous nebulousness of any thing or concept. To say that you see a tree is not enough, you must describe your experience of the tree with enough of that nebulous grace that allows you to let go of exactness, in hope that this knowledge will be commonly shared by those you tell.

It doesn’t matter if they see an ash tree when you see an oak, or a broad oak when yours is a sapling, but the fact of this is important.

The North Star, Polaris, is a fixed-point in the sky. Nothing nebulous there. Only calm poise and a position from which to observe the movements of the universe with certain knowledge that things change.

(Of course, in many hundreds of years, even Polaris will be gone. Everything, everything, changes.)


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