Word and Silence

Word and Silence are not opposites. Together they co-nourish creation.

The womb of the Untold ululates in fluctuations of the vacuum. She is the mother of physics, Genesis 1, a feathery hen of breath ruffling darkness into waves of fire, oceanic night-singer of infinite possibility. She was here before God said, "Let there be light," and is still here, beneath all that we can say, the resonant field of eternal Silence, where Words of creation are conceived.
We used to savor the Logos on our own tongues. We could talk the elements into doing anything, inspire the wind, instruct the waters, still the storm, ignite a garden with song, move colossal stones with a whisper. Our language vibrated with mantras, Godspells, healing shamanic gutterals. Even our Hum was an unstruck gong in the heart.

We named each other. And respecting the power of names, we were creators.
But we lost the science of magical speech when we dissipated Word-energy through gossip, vulgarity, and derision. We allowed talking heads and technocrats, politicians and the media, to infect our language with the virus of babble. Now, instead of empowering us, language exhausts us. Our minds are full of chatter we hardly understand, because it is not our true name...

How shall we speak Truth again? How shall we recover the Godspell? How shall we awaken from ancient sleep the inner Bard? And how root down in Divine Silence, to tap our Words of Creation?

"En archai æn ho Logos: In the beginning was the Word." ~John 1:1

"Adau Bhagavan shabdha rasahih: In the beginning, the Lord created the universe through a stream of Sound." ~Rig Veda

"Speech has power. Words do not fade. What starts as a sound, ends in a deed." ~Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Don't ever diminish the power of words. Words move hearts and hearts move limbs." ~Hamza Yusuf

"Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds." ~Eli Wiesel

"Words are also actions." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"But our words from loose using have lost their edge." ~Ernest Hemingway

"The limits of my language are the limits of my world." ~Ludwig Wittgenstein

"Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace." ~Gautama Buddha

Picture: Tibetan mantra wheel. In the ancient traditions, mandalas that mapped the cosmos were made of letters and their sounds.

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