“…profound to me that the only two things that aren’t divisible are silence and God.
This comment was posted in respond to a recent essay. I simply love the idea that our ideas, as cooperative ventures, can always be improved upon. At least I seem to find that to be true of anything that I do with language. I suspect I would feel very different if some one were to arbitrarily pick up a paint brush and begin to swat at my paintings with colors and line of their choosing.
Have you ever had the experience of sitting with someone over dinner and suddenly you are moved to a feeling of dread as you watch that person, slowly and deliberately, reach across the table with their folk pointed at your place. In horror you watch as the folk descends right for that luscious hunk of roasted zucchini in the corner of your plate. That is what it would feel like to me if someone pointed a paint brush at one of my paintings.
But with language when someone adds something to what i have said it feels like I have been increased, my thought has been expanded and like the ever expanding universe, i believe that my thoughts take on a life of her own, and I love to see them become their own thing in the literary universe….
Language has to be one of the most beautiful and versatile gifts from the universe to the human condition. Language holds all of our dreams, it speaks to us of love, it renders itself as a message from our own body and it registers itself in our minds. Language is a human competence that is born into us as is our ability. It is an organ of the human body that works as a system of symbols. It is the connecting tissue of the human race. Nearly all that we do for ourselves and for each other is constructed with language, or in the very least is reported in language.
The ego goes through many seasons of reason, and some reasons we do not understand–it is profoundly true that the heart has its reasons that the reason can not know. But as we clamor for conscious understanding, we do so with the cognitive capacity of language. In our spiritual understandings we say that, “god has spoken to me,” or “god speaks to man in mysterious ways.”
We speak of our computers having a language, we watch as people talk to each other on a stage, creating word by word a stage production that is essentially a new grouping of words that build the events of a person’s life into sound and fury. Stephanie Brown, just days after having spent six days on the roof of her house in New Orleans during the Great Flood, sings the words, “here’s to life,” an anthem of poetic justice and poetic beauty..
In the beginning there was THE WORD. The majuscules giving the written word their authority in the realm of truth. T.S. Eliot, “in the room, women come and go, speaking of Michaelangelo.” Robinson Jeffers criers out against, “man’s inhumanity to man.” A pope gives a dictum and millions of souls are condemned to the fires of hell for eating meat on Friday. A supreme court justice hands down a majority argument that gives a corporation all of the rights that a person has, turning a democracy of the people by the people & for the people into business proposition where he who owns the most toys wins the controlling shares.
Language for good or for bad is the vehicle that we have to bring our specie to a heightened consciousness. What we do with that consciousness supports life or promotes death. It is that big a deal that we have linguistic capacity, that born into the organism condition of the egoic mind that not only allows for communication, but in fact demands and promotes it in the very fiber of our D N A.
Language and images seem to dominate my creative life. I feel blessed by the voices that I hear that provide the chatter for these blogs and I am grateful to pen & inking and watercolors that allow me to concentrate, indeed, meditate on a singular aspect of my world. As I focus, as I intentionally eliminate much stimuli and demand of myself to be with one small aspect of the world, I can identify with that wonderful Little Prince given to us by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. He is excited to revisit “his” little rose, because it is not that there are billions of roses in the universe, the importance to him is that one of them he has a special relationship to.
I am grateful to my special relationship with language. I am honored that the universe has chosen me to give dictation to at this time in my life. As I ponder the gifts that have come my way, I realize that I have so many wisdom-givers to give thanks to. I am grateful that I have found the value of gratitude & that that too is a sensation that readily transforms itself through language.
Finally, I want to say just one last thing in this essay about language. Language provides a way out of the maze that chaos often spins us into. I find there to be a substantial difference between the language that I hear as the perpetual voice that runs in the back of my mind and the language that emerges out of the stillness that is discovered just outside the purview of the ego.
Exactly what that difference is is still a mystery to me. I am perplexed because in characteristics like sound and cadence and word order, it is clearly the same english speaking language. The difference lies in the fact that nothing ever spoken to me out of the stillness ever employs a sense of urgency. Perhaps the answer to the question, “does my mindfulness use the same language as does my ego,” might lie in the simplicity that emerges when urgency is not present. But, I am not finished with that question & I see that its cause might be taken up under the larger question about the distinction between the entire mind field and its differences from the egoic mind.
Thanks, again & more to come. Please feel free to add comments or even a separate thread in the comment section, it often jolts a dialogue…..