Experiencing Yūgen Is Too Much For Words

Experiencing Yūgen Is Too Much For Words

There are many ways to define this word; the translation of the Japanese word yūgen depends on the context. In the early Chinese philosophical texts from where the term was likely taken, yūgen meant "dim," "deep," or "mysterious." Yūgen is an important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics, and was also considered a primary concern of the Japanese poetry of the 1200s.

04:42

from It's Okay To Be Smart

Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    It would take three full lifetimes to count the number of people on Earth—7.2 billion. (0:24)

  • 2

    At the magnitude of meatspace, we sit nearly equidistant between the largest and smallest things that we know of. (1:16)

  • 3

    The Japanese word yūgen is an awareness of the universe that triggers emotional responses too powerful for words. (3:21)

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