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Reply To: Seeking Answers


Thank you dear Mars. My misunderstood event was definitely related to a mundane thought. Even my dream hinted at that. But my question was to get some clarity on Joe’s words, that is, ” the best things can’t be told—they are transcendent, inexpressible truths. The second-best are misunderstood: . . . metaphoric attempts to point the way toward the first. And the third-best have to do with history, science, biography, and so on. The only kind of talking that can be understood is this last kind.”  The second best are attempts to point the way to the first…so they are definitely linked to mystery and the inexpressible.

Here is a funny story that is similar to my misunderstood event:

Scene: One of my childhood homes. There’s a knock at the door. My brother opens the door, and then quickly runs back in, asking my mother  to get some food for the beggar man outside. “Huh? a beggar at this time?”, asks  my mother. My mother, a bit confused,  rushes to the door.

Mother: “Uh Uh, it’s you, Yosef! Sorry, my son didn’t recognize you.” My mother, thoroughly embarrassed welcomed Yousef and asked him to step in.

What happened was this. Yousef (an elderly man, from old school) on seeing my brother ( a young 10 year old boy) bowed his head, and raised his palm to his forehead, a gesture known as “ADAB” in old Muslim culture. “Adab (gesture) – Wikipedia
Adab from the Arabic word Aadaab (آداب), meaning respect and politeness, is a hand gesture used in the Indian subcontinent, by the Urdu-speaking and …

My brother had not until then encountered such a gesture, and mistook that as a gesture for begging in the Indian sub continent, which involves taking the palm to the mouth and not to the forehead.

So, that’s two different perceptions, similar gestures. My brother  could not even imagine that an old man would bow and greet him with such respect, hence the rush to get some food for him, whereas, Yousef had no idea that his gesture of respect and politeness, was taken for a plea for food.

Anyway, in that example the misunderstanding was immediately corrected,  but in my case I lived the misunderstanding. It could be like giving Yousef a hearty meal for 50 years, each time he bent and bowed. Lol!

Shaahayda (with thanks)