Can a Single Word Contain the Universe?

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The short-story has seemingly lost its provenance. The novel as a literary art form seems to wash out everything else in its surge. This is the basic premise of an essay on the New York Times and a brilliant one at that and filled with acute insights as an essay should be.

What made it interesting enough for me to share it with you? Well read on. First the key quote:

Its(The short story’s) method is revelation. Its littleness is the agency of its power. The ponderous mass of the novel strikes it as the laughable image of weakness. It exults in its shortness. It wants to be shorter still.

It was here that my mind slowed down, to mull in delicious anticipation on where this line of thought could lead to. And then came this..

It wants to be a single word. If it could find that word, if it could utter that syllable, the entire universe would blaze up out of it with a roar.

Oh boy! My mind stood stunned at this. How can an essay on the short-story as an art form lead to such a conclusion?! And I thought about Om..

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Om, was the word the Rishi confronted when he plumbing the depths of consciousness. At the very heart of things, when rolling back time and creation, there stood this word in isolation. Om it was, the pranava.

What amazes me above all is the connectedness of things. I have heard that the degree of separation between each individual on earth is 6. By that measure what would be the degree of separation between everything and the Creator/Unknowable/Divine/Father etc.?

I found this story via a post on Kottke. Head there right now, if you want to stumble upon interesting stuff! 

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