Then what is the use of expressions and words?

Someone asked: “Then what is the use of expressions and words?”

Rumi answered: Words set you searching. They are not the objects of your quest. If that were the case, there would be no need for all this spiritual struggle and self-sacrifice. Words are like glimpsing something far away. You follow in its trail to see it better, but this does not mean the trail is what you are seeking. Speech is inwardly the same – it excites you to seek the meaning, even though the words are never the reality.