Friday, 17 July 2009


Esoteric is something private, understood by a select group. "Understanding" over here carries different meaning by the same virtue. Why is something esoteric something relevant, something revered though not understood. I don't understand Shakespeare, Plato,Aristotle, but I revere them , I consider them esoteric,however, I do so because I know that my incapacity to understand them, doesn't make it banal. Nevertheless, at the same time we know that we don't understand it and thus caught up with this perennial paradox , "obliging deference to an object we don't understand".

I guess the answer lies in the question itself. To "understand" that everything is not to be "understood" the same way , is too very difficult to "understand". By our instinct, we tend to view things in a simplified format, whereas whatever lies in front is not always expressible in the same ink. By trying to define things in concrete form we try to have a reductionist effect on the idea itself and therein lies the difficulty. These ideas are just "ideas", non- reducible to concretes, and an "esoteric" group "understands" that.

An example would help me clarify. Consider these two definitions:

Truth- Any act or behavior that conforms to available evidence.

Truth- Central idea behind existence, rather existence itself. Something that keeps changing, striving for itself, and never alone but always dual.

Former tends to reduce "Truth" to a very small dimension of understanding , whereas latter begets thought and thus paves way for understanding , thereby never reducing it. Thus , I find , to understand things that are esoteric we need to avoid reductionism and which answers my question as well, this paradox of "understanding" something which is not really understood is perennial, simply because it cannot be reduced to a set of words.

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