Words and Understanding

“Between what is said and not meant, and meant and not said, most of love is lost.”
-Khalil Gibran

The simplicity of the words of the poet Khalil Gibran speaks to me.  I want to remember to try to share meaning often – in speaking and hearing. Thich Nhat Hanh points out that love is understanding.

So to understand and to be understood, that is where most “love” is lost.

Indeed, is it not so that misunderstanding is the normal situation in our daily communication?
How often am I speaking without actually knowing what it is, that I want?
And how often do I hear what I want, instead of that which is asked to be heard?

On a recording of an International Intensive Training Marshall Rosenberg refers to the danger of words – that we tend to believe words on the surface, losing the deeper meaning they are carrying in real life. To bring across the difference between word and meaning, Marshall cites Alfred Korzybski, who used an analogy from the field of geography: “A map is not the territory” to point out the phenomenon, that a word is not what it refers to, but it points to something. The signifier (word or other sign) is not the signified (meaning, object).

The artist Rene Margueritte drew a pipe and subtitled it with “This is not a pipe.” 

What is going inside of you, when you see the picture and read the phrase?

This is not a pipe.

I enjoy his playful way of approaching the topic of form and content.

Hope you enjoyed these little gems too!