Words are but the shadows of thought and feelings.
Bowl of Saki, June 2, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Commentary by Hazrat Inayat Khan:
Although the elements may be called earth, water, fire, air and ether, this must not be taken literally. Their nature and character, according to the mystics, are different. But, as words are few, one cannot give other names to these elements, although in Sanskrit we have distinctive words for them. ‘Ether’ is not ether in the scientific sense; it is capacity. ‘Water’ is not water as we understand it in everyday language; it is liquidity. ‘Fire’ is understood differently; it means glow or heat, dryness, radiance, all that is living. All of these words suggest something more than is ordinarily meant by them. … Every activity of the outer world is a kind of reaction. In other words, a shadow of the activity which is behind it and which we do not see.
A world of idea is hidden in a word. Think, therefore, how interesting life must become for the one who can see behind every word that is spoken to him its length, breadth, height, and depth. He is an engineer of the human mind. He then does not know only what is spoken to him, but he knows what is meant by it. By knowing words you do not know the language; what you know is the outside language, the inner language is known by knowing the language of ideas. So the language of ideas cannot be heard by the ears alone, the hearing of the heart must be open for it.
~~~ Words are but the shadows of thought and feelings.