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Show Notes: What is "Real" | Chris Stedman

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A-Thesaurus additions:

Negative Capability: "when a [person] is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason." — John Keats

Origin: "a phrase first used by Romantic poet John Keats in 1817 to characterize the capacity of the greatest writers (particularly Shakespeare) to pursue a vision of artistic beauty even when it leads them into intellectual confusion and uncertainty, as opposed to a preference for philosophical certainty over artistic beauty." — Wikipedia

Yūgen: a word related to Japanese aesthetics. It suggests "that which is beyond what can be said, but it is not an allusion to another world. It is about this world, this experience." – Wikipedia

A poem by Zeami Motokiyo exemplifies instances of yūgen:

To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill.

To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return.

To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands.

To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds.

And, subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo.

If you have words you’d like to contribute to the growing list, send me an email at

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