We modern people have special difficulties here because we have abandoned the mythic language of earlier traditions, a language that resonated with the deeper mental structures of human beings according to their hereditary conditioning. Our own language is scientific, that is to say, based on sensory experience and abstract generalizations — the latter being a function of the mind, which is relatively the same in all human beings, unconditioned by innate forces of feeling and instinct and therefore unresponsive to the truth and power which these innate forces embody.
So much about this project, for me, comes back to language and translation. How does meaning get expressed in the language we choose to express it in, and what happens as the writing and ideas move from language to language.
Re-reading The Life of Milarepa this morning, the above passage is in the introduction by Lobsang P. Lhalungpha. It brings me back to why I am continually trying to pull many of the concepts in these books back into Sanskrit; this idea that there is a language, and a sound, which inscribes a different pathway to knowledge, and that one needs more than what we have, such as English, in order to arrive at lands unknown.
Of course most of these writings have never been in Sanskrit or Pali or Aramaic, but I find that I want to pull the structures back into what they would have been before they became what they are, to see what the underlying possibilities would have been, in a different time and place.
Is it possible that those writings which most resonate to us have a protolanguage structure, unknown to the author, that would have embodied something mythic and magical, that because of this possible past, it circumvents the mind and travels to the meaning?