Charles Einstein’s The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible, was really fascinating to me. I was particularly taken with and drawn to the chapter about truth. This chapter attempts to answer the question, “what story shall I stand in.” He describes how just as we cannot achieve infinity by counting, we cannot reach a “territory behind the map,” with conceptual thinking. And in terms of truth, we will not find truth with our current ways of viewing or conceptualizing our world. Thus, we must change our methods of perception in order to see or find “truth” itself.
Einstein goes on to say that we as humans are storytellers and mapmakers. Everything is a story inside of a story. By using this tendency and skill of storytelling we are constantly striving to make meaning. Einstein believes that the new story humanity is slowly beginning will allow for “room to reconnect with what is prior to story, to draw power from the void that lies prior to meaning, where things just are. A story can carry truth, but it is not truth.” In other words, by telling stories, we are separating ourselves from actual truth. Einstein states that we find truth in the woods, water, and soil, and in music, dance and poetry where we are all truly connected.
This reminds me of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s defense of poetry that I read about for an English class last semester. In this justification he writes that, “language is fossil poetry.” By this he meant that a word is, on its own, lifeless. It is an empty representation of a moment already passed, as a fossil is a preserved impression of an organism that previously lived. What was once vibrant becomes vacant as time elapses. Thus, in poetry, we use metaphor to juxtapose two prosaic words that have previously separated from their poetic etymology and create original, unexpected beauty. This is why poetry resonates with every reader. It has an unmatched ability to manipulate language and bring it back to its state of original brilliance that unifies humanity. Language and storytelling tend to dance over meaning. This is why Einstein is imploring us to find the “sacred space” between stories where truth really lies.