Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;William Wordsworth, The Tables Turned
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:
We murder to dissect.
One of the most prominent ways that language fails us is in the propensity of people to categorize things. In the west, Aristotle really started this ball rolling – he created categories for everything. His life’s work was to put everything in its place, so to speak. While this type of classification allowed many of the advances in science and technology, it also has an effect on the way we perceive the world.
The mind can see only what it is prepared to see. The brain has to use existing patterns and catchments. When we believe that we are analyzing data we are really only trying out our stock of existing ideas to see which one might fit.”Edward deBono, Lateral Thinking
Science is the main culprit of our categorization efforts. The Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman once stated that when physicists categorize things, “it’s not because Nature is really similar; it’s because the physicists have only been able to think of the same damn thing, over and over again.”
But scientists throughout history have seen that dissection can only take one so far. Thinkers like Newton and Einstein are considered great because they brought the choppy and chaotic state of their sciences into a new paradigm – a cohesive whole which accounted for but did not dwell on the parts.
Once the whole is divided, the parts need names.The Tao Te Ching, Feng & English (trans)
There are already enough names,.
One must know when to stop.
In this same way, people have tried to categorize God: Father, Son, Holy Spirit, God of the Old Testament, Wrathful God, Loving God, God of the Hebrews…
“The most important commandment,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.'”Gospel of Mark 12:29
God is just God. Stop already.
IMAGE SOURCE: commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Categorization_icon_(science).svg ATTRIBUTION: Original: RTCNCA Derivative work: Sławek Borewicz [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]