Tuesday, October 18, 2011


This beautiful image sourced from:  http://love1008.deviantart.com/art/Light-Symphonia-13-104283312

As a writer, I find that my words are most powerful when they are most "from the heart".  When I'm no longer just telling a story, or talking "about" something, but expressing who I truly am on the inside.  I love it when meaning glows, and the craft of writing fades invisibly behind it!

Words, ideas, concepts, philosophies; all fascinate me.  I studied a bit of linguistics at uni, and loved it! Examining the way sound waves, phoneme concepts, language conventions are all somehow used to convey meaning from one person to another was endlessly intriguing.  Communication is incredibly complex!!   No matter what the message or how it is conveyed, the concepts and ideas in the mind of the sender are NEVER quite the same as those in the mind of the receiver.  Sometimes
the message is still clear;  often, the receiver can form a completely different idea to the one intended.

Some humorous examples of this can be found in misheard song lyrics;  For example, when I was a kid, I thought the words of "Fun, fun, fun on the autobahn" were "fart, fart, fart, Jehosophat" (You can tell I had a religious upbringing, can't you!!) 

A less funny but fascinating illustration of the disjoint between "words" and the concepts we have of them in our heads is found in translations between languages.  The word "hand" in English, is translated "mano" in Spanish.  But did you know that the two words don't refer to exactly the same body part?  Our English concept of hand, goes from the wrist to the fingers.  In Spanish, it includes more of the arm.  (I hope I've remembered that correctly - searching through the dusty archives in my brain, it could be Fijian that divides the body this way... but the point is the same).  Did you know that colour concepts differ from culture to culture?  The word for "red" in one language will almost always refer to a somewhat different section of the colour spectrum in another.  Even within the same language, concepts of word meanings vary from person to person.  Makes it a challenge to communicate, doesn't it?

Something I'm realising about this God-journey thing, is that it isn't about words.  It's about being.  Not about subscribing to a philosophy, or code of conduct - but about stepping into reality.  I love that when Moses asked God who he was, God answered with I AM.  And I love that when we couldn't figure out what he was like, he put on skin and really connected with us.  He didn't talk rules or philosophies;  he embodied Himself.

There's a profound statement in the beginning of John:  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."  Reading this, I envisage a place where there is no disjoint between communication and reality.  A being who IS who he says, and SAYS with his very being, who he truly and absolutely IS.

The thing is, there's a place for examining words and philosophies and ideas.  It's been and continues to be a huge part of my spiritual search - but the object of the search is to find the real.  To touch the "I AM" and to enter into that reality.  

I think we all know when we are encountering something eternal and deep and real.  If you cast your mind back, were there times when you experienced this?  (and I'm not talking about church services or particularly religious experiences, although I guess they might sometimes be included)  We know it.  And he has revealed this to us, so that we can connect with this incredible reality, and become a part of it so that the "message" of reality is not confused by words;  it is who we are!

1 comment:

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