No Meaning by Shinkichi Takahashi
Words are the last things we need.
We were better off without language in our lives.
We cannot find any better words to add to the first.
Yet those who know nothing of words are using them,
Giving them meanings of their own making.
Is there any meaning, after all, in a gun?
There is no meaning in killing our fellow men.
You may say it is a fact of life, but
Just because it is a fact does not invest it with meaning.
A fact is what actually exists, like
That blue flame on the charcoal before my eyes.
A fact means it existed, but no more.
Is there any meaning in what is no more?
There seems to be no greater nonsense
Than to concern oneself with things that are no more.
What does a horse live for?
Is there any meaning in her bearing a colt?
You may say that it is all a matter of relativity,
That everything is an accident.
You would be right.
And that is why you cannot express it in words.
There is nothing relative between what you express
And what you call a fact.
It is nothing but an accident; everything is an accident.
It is just as absurd to give a fact meaning as to give a word meaning.
What meaning is there in the fact that night continues dark?
What meaning is there in the fact that people die?
What meaning is there in the fact that snow falls?
What meaning is there in the fact that flowers are beautiful?
What meaning in my saying these things?
Yet they are all facts.
What on earth can be otherwise than facts? Everything is
A fact. And that is why everything has no meaning.
No meaning in cocks’ crowing.
No meaning in the setting of eggs.
No meaning in flying in a plane.
No meaning in listening to the radio.
No meaning in reforming the government.
The dead have no meaning here.
Do the living have any meaning here?
No, every fact has no meaning.
Living, too, has no meaning.
You may say it is of some interest, but it is of no meaning.
It may be a fact. But
Every fact has no meaning.