The nagual Elias used to tell me that the whole of humanity has moved away from the abstract, although at one time we must have been close to it. It must have been our sustaining force. And then something happened and pulled us away from the abstract. Now we can’t get back to it. He used to say that it takes years for an apprentice to be able to go back to the abstract, that is, to know that knowledge and language can exist independent of each other. ~ Don Juan, The Power of Silence
Don Juan goes on to tell Carlos, knowledge and language are separate; for a sorcerer an abstract is something with no parallel in the human condition. Sorcerers meet the abstract without thinking about it or seeing it or touching it or feeling its presence.