The power of Akira Kurosawa’s great films were in his dramatic gestalt: an intensity of image, combined with minimum dialogue. He took great works like King Lear (Ran) and The Idiot and made them cinematic, by stripping them of babble. Economy, compression, space, maxium impact are the mark of the Samurai (Incidentaly, Kursawa actually decended from a real Samurai family.)
Finding the right words—or ‘les mot justes’ as they say in French—is all the more important in this world of language and image saturation. The tower of babble is a space where people simply babble: on one hand, there is casual drivel and on the other hyper-intellectualism. Everybody talks but nobody actually speaks — there is a lot of disembodied theory, but the authors are not present. The 10, 000 tongues of babel have forgotten how to speak from the heart — they all speak a different cultic language associated with their ideological bubble.
Does speaking with the heart mean to be ‘irrational’ and ‘emotional’? Nothing is further from the truth. The heart is intelligence. Feeling is intelligence, it is not merely ‘emotional’. In some esoteric traditions, the mind is actually located in the heart and is represented as a jewel surrounded by fire. The jewel is the clarity and the fire gives warmth and burns away the dross. This is not a scientific truth obviously, but a poetic one. The point is that there is no intelligent communication, without deep intuitive feeling — without the heart being central.
Anyway, there are some right-brain oriented people who believe that scientific, rational truth is king, and that the world is entirely composed of objects. And yet people lived and prospered for thousand of years without having a sense of objects at all, in the way we think of them — many original languages were made entirely of verbs, for instance. Objects were embedded in life experience, and to remove them from that would not only be nonesencial, it would kill their spiritual essence. To be ‘rational’ in terms of etymology means: to ‘ration’, or to divide the world into fragments of reality, and to consequently destroy the whole. Yes, objectivity is an integral part of intelligence, but it is not the whole of it by any means.
Romantics, on the other hand, would like to destroy everything that the empirical world has given us, including toilets and restaurants, and to return to some kind of natural state. But real paradise is not raw nature, which is filled with flesh eating predators: it is a splace that is both protected and wild—a realm of consciousness and mystery. The reductive part of the brain, associated with the left hemispheres, brings order to a reality that is too overwhelmingly bright for the human body to contain, whereas the right hemisphere connects us to the living body of reality.
We have to balance space and representation, the known and the unknown. The unknown space, however, actually rules the known and circumscribed. It is life and potential, whereas when something is known it has already entered the world of death and begun its entropy. An object, divorced from spirit, is dead — a corpse.
We use words to point to things which are inexpressible, compressed articulation to point to a mysterious living world which cannot be encapsulated—the grandmothers finger pointing to the moon. The rightly placed word can undermine the whole tower of babble, and restore us to silence and wonder.