Thursday, April 28, 2005

'Meta' is a dangerous word

I have two reasons for coming to this conclusion; the first one frivolous, the second a bit more serious:
  1. When used to denote higher levels of abstraction, it causes confusion and a lot of hair-pulling.

  2. There seems to be a link between this mode of thinking and the subject-object dichotomy that the mystics are forever asking us to step out of. This dichotomy arises because we think about something ('about' being the operative word here), rather than experiencing reality as it is. Come to think of it, isn't 'meta' the opposite of tathata, Sanskrit for suchness?