Via Basel: Beyond Words–The irony of it

Drawing by Christopher Al-Aswad

I want you to go deep, to be non-verbal, using no vocabulary or language. Try not to think or have your mind play games with you. Can you go back to a time of your ancestors, 50 or 70,000 years ago, before language and words, simply body-based sensations, feelings and expressions? I doubt you can make that transition easily. Neither can I. A most difficult thing is to unlearn what you have learned. It’s as though we are shackled with an invention that was supposed to help us, protect us, and advance us. Language is what Sapiens are most noted for.

I, myself love words, prose and poetry. Language satisfies my inquisitive mind especially if clear and direct. I enjoy playing with words, making sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and whole stories, giving me so much fun and excitement. Yet words can be misread, misinterpreted, taken out of context, and can confuse others, causing me and them, hardships and heartaches.

Going back to our primitive state at least once in a while, feeling and experiencing without the influence and burden of language and words, I believe would be liberating and more reflective of our inner nature. In other words authentic and truthful. Alas, other than mystics, long time meditators, and few lucky ones, most  are unable to tap into this well.

The irony is that I am using the very medium, words, to describe what is beyond them.

For Thanksgiving  and the holiday season I have one word. Grateful.


Basel Al-Aswad, father of EIL founder Christopher Al-Aswad, is a yogi trapped in an Orthopedic Surgeon’s body. His loves in life include reading, writing, hiking, enjoying nature, meditation, and spending time with his large Iraqi family, and now, semi-retired, he is exploring new avenues in medicine, education, public speaking, and social engagement.


One response to “Via Basel: Beyond Words–The irony of it”

  1. jamil A. kirdar says:

    Thank you Dear Basel……appreciated as always receiving your thought provoking thoughts and reflections. It is true that with all your profound feelings and memories, Christopher’s soul and spirit lives on through the enormous memories and thoughts stimulated over a long course of time.

    With love and warmest regards,


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