“Il n’y a pas de hors-texte” – Derrida
Are all of our thoughts and experiences verbal? Expressed in language, investigated by language, projected through language? Is it language that differentiates me from my environment? Without it, would I coincide with my experience, and would the distinction inside-outside disappear? That would mean that I cease to be a subject, and whatever happens is without personal meaning, because meaning is a concept.
This doesn’t deny a reality that goes beyond language. It denies a subjective perception of that pre-conceptual reality. If all subjective perception is conceptual, it is therefore linguistic in nature. The nature of our subjectivity and identity is rooted in networks of words that are mutually supportive, but there is no absolute beginning or ending of that chain. Like a net of interconnected balloons that float on the water, but none of them touches the bottom.
In search of a pre-conceptual, non-symbolic experience of reality, I have to let go of language. Nothing that makes reference to me can be part of it, because my subjectivity is purely linguistic. Without language, I am not there, and my experience becomes a fullness of sensorial intensity, with movement and direction, but without meaning or purpose. In fact, the quest for meaning itself is a linguistic fallacy: without language the question melts away in an annihilating bath of immediate experience.
On the spiritual path this has a radical implication: nothing that is verbal is “true”. Every thought, meaning, insight, conclusion, self-understanding: all empty. They are part of a virtual reality that our mind sustains to feel safe. Like balloons, they are nothing but air surrounded by a thin layer of conceptual magic, making emptiness form and form emptiness.