A while ago, I read the book called Finding Your Way in a Wild New World, by Martha Beck (affiliatelink). I tend to forget most of what I read in those self-help books, but this was different. She presented to me a whole new concept that kind of stuck with me.
I’m getting more and more reminded of that now that I’m
up to my armpits scalp completely submersed with studies and reading and words. I am, as you probably know, a student of literature and language, who has proceeded to starting a master’s in cultural studies as well. Plus, I have some major quandaries to solve in my personal life, too, so there are more than enough words in my head at the moment, getting me nowhere, fast.
The plan was, initially, that I could spend all day in the reading room and then go home, make dinner and spend the night blogging my heart out. That plan was great. But by the time I got home, my brain just couldn’t produce texts anymore.
And then I remembered wordlessness.
I need me some wordlessness.
Here are a few quotes from the book:
Wordlessness allows us to see our true nature, and to heal from the violence of a thought system that cuts us apart, destroying our compassion for ourselves and others.
To navigate the wild world, you need to move your basic perceptual and analytical thinking out of your head and into the whole inner space of the body.
Caught in a world of language, with its absolute dualities, we’re always vulnerable to mental suffering, to sorrow, rage, and dread.
The sharp focus you were told to sustain is actually a limiting, stressful, narrow attention field—something animals only use in the moment of “fight or flight.”
Yesterday, I spent the whole day in the reading room, reading a text about how language is pretty much useless as it’s only representative, at best. And I went home, trying to figure All the Things out, while my brain was spinning and just creating meaningless words, going around itself in circles, not getting anywhere with anything.
The concept of wordlessness is starting to sound pretty good to me.
This beautiful state where you just remain in the now. If you have no words, you have no past and no future, as those are constructs of language. You can get glimpses of memories for sure, like when you smell a scent from your childhood – but without words to describe it, you cannot hold it fast. And likewise, you cannot imagine the future without describing it.
You find peace. Here, now.
So tomorrow, if the weather holds, I’ll go up to my favorite healing place in the woods and just shut my brain up for a moment. I find it’s easier to do that out in nature than at home, for some reason.
How about you?
Have you ever gone into wordlessness?