Put simply

I agree with Einstein that if you cannot explain something clearly, you don't understand it well enough. You may need to use words or formulas that are outside the household vocabulary in order to state exactly what you mean but this does not remove the need to keep it clear and simple and translate those terms when that is possible.

If I want to take you into the mindset of the Hellenic world, I may speak to you of miasma or eudaimonia. If I am taking you into the dreamways of the Iroquoian peoples, you may hear me speak the old word ondinnonk. It first came to me in one of those dreams that set detective assignments; I tracked it to a report preserved in the Jesuit Relations, from a blackrobe missionary writing from Huron country during the bitter winter of 1647-8.
I avoid talking down to people. I decline to shut them out or strut my stuff by using $10 words when smaller denominations will do fine. Using thorny exclusionary jargon to keep people out of important conversation has been one of the black arts of clerisies for as far back as humans have tried to turn knowledge into privilege and power. At the same time, I refuse to dumb things down. I detest how I see this done in a certain type of self-help book. We don't grow by being spoon fed sugary baby food and plastic affirmations. What we most need to know is simple. However, in the midst of adult life, awash with half-digested knowledge from all over, and yet clogged by self-limiting beliefs, we may have to pay a price for the simplicity that is now required.

There are questions that cannot be answered they must be lived. A true teacher will take us to a certain point and leave us, to find our own way, which is likely to be inward and upward. I learned from an inner teacher when I was very young that the essential things we need to know come to us through anamnesis: remembering the knowledge that belonged to us, on the level of nous or spirit, before we came here.

Sometimes poetic speech rather than prose is required because poetry can lift us to a higher state of consciousness, to where we can see a droplet of water or the purple sheen on a raven feather or how a body can change into a tree or a swan as we never saw it before. And how life rhymes. Still, the need is simple: to stir the inner senses, to open the heart and give the spirit wings.

Image: Inspire View, the villa near Bran in Romania where I have been leading retreats for many year. Photo by Ana Maria Stefanescu.