just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

How We Language the Ultimate

Published on 31/10/12
by randy

Our reasoning minds want answers. Language gives us the illusion of ‘knowing’. It certainly helps point us in the right or wrong direction as we travel our spiritual journey, our opportunity to ‘be’. So how does language play into this?

By it’s very nature, language is dualistic. If functions from a subject vs. object orientation that counters much spiritual wisdom claiming that separation is an illusion. So what happens when we eliminate the ‘object’, the notion of ‘me here and you there’? This seems to be the essence of our great spiritual teachers as they direct us to love others as ourselves, to respect the All in the all. I’ve struggled with this concept for many years, finding it difficult to break the dualism ‘me here, Divine there’. When we understand that meaning is in the person, that language triggers semantic reaction, whenever and whatever we name will somehow infect our experience of whatever we call it (i.e. God, Divine, Ultimate, Enlightenment, buddha nature, Awareness, Allah, Nature, etc.). Worse yet, our reactive minds are hard to still when another fails to hold reverence to these words.

Could it be that we can only use language to point to that which is too big to label? The command to ‘be still’ and experience the matrix, the interconnected fabric of all things beyond notions of time and space, seems quite universal in many spiritual traditions. To get to this place of the ‘preverbal’ or ‘empty mind’, I’ve found it helpful to not only abandon the ‘subject/object’ linguistic concept, but to also move from Divine as noun to verb.

I’ve always appreciated the phrasing that, “God is love.” Put another way, “If it’s not about love, it’s not about God.” So how do you read the word ‘love’, noun or verb? If you’re spiritual tradition is theistic/dualistic, I’d suspect it’s much easier to read it as a noun. There’s something quite unsettling to the dismissal of some centralized, organized intelligence we’ve tried to capture as a noun. Could this be the real message of ‘God is dead’? It’s not a denial of awareness to nature’s laws of impermanence and interdependence. It’s an invitation to go deeper, beyond the limitations of language. It’s an invite to surrender past our conceptual mind, to ‘feel’ beyond thought and words, and to experience God as verb, as the action of love and kindness.

As we advance as a human species, we deepen in understanding the futility of war. While nuclear disarmament talks seem absent this election cycle, we become more aware of the problems created from greed for power. Our international strategy seems to be moving more and more to diplomacy. Yet, we hold diplomacy hostage when we refuse to sit at the table together unless certain belief systems are conceded to. Diplomacy from such closed minds is seldom successful. Real diplomacy can grow when parties can sit together in silence. When we no longer argue about who has the right label or the right concept, we open to that which is bigger than us. This is where we water the seeds of the Divine as verb. This very process is kindness in action, even when we run the least risk of violence/harm. Today’s problems are huge and our challenge is to actualize the Divine as verb past our notions of huge, touching the very purpose to which we’re here, to love one another as ourselves, to reverently touch the All in the All.

That's it. What Next?

Please leave your comment so we know what you think about this article. Trackback URL: How We Language the Ultimate.