Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Language Has a Life of Its Own

The Native People didn't rely on paper, books, publicists or even remarkably, speechwriters. They had an Oral Tradition. I take back this word had, once said it made me cringe. One hopes and prays that this tradition will not only not be lost but will encompass the way we of the Western World communicate.

Russell Bohan, Chippewa wrote the following poem:

The spoken word
is creation renewed.
Conceived in the mind
and born with the breath of life,
What I say to you
is sacred.
These words are my creation,
but always they are
My responsibility.
I choose not beauty nor anger,
but truth.

Words, communication, have a life of their own. Words ride on the wave of communication, it is exhaled from the consciousness of the one into the collective pool which is us. We as living beings navigate the air surrounding us and either enrich or pollute this invisible sea with our words.

It begins with our breath, our breath articulates words that possess a spiritual energy which reflects our visions of reality. Words have the virtue to defeat or empower, to kill or to heal, to delude or enlighten. Words are born, they take a life within those that accept them - consume them - and there they grow and take roots.

The spoken word is a sacred principle. When spoken truly they resound and interact in a beautiful dance that can only be felt in the heart. What makes it "truly"? I believe it's when the words we speak reflect the way we are - they resonate from within the other - nurturing, enlightening, enriching, invigorating. It means understanding and expressing our perspective with the correct relationship with our self and our environment.

Simon Ortiz explains, "Our language is the way we create the world...Man exists because of language, consciousness comes about through language, or the world comes about through language. Life - language. Language is life then."

Well, so much for "speaking with a forked-tongue"! When I first heard this remark in some old western, I wondered what it had meant? I thought of a snake, who was sneaky and devious and possibly lethal. As I grew I thought it was about double standards, two faced, hypocritical liars. We need to join and become as one, thereby no longer will there be an other to deceive.

The circle becomes complete with the listener. The one who listens also has a responsibility. Listening is a privilege that is awarded to the one who respects , values and appreciates other peoples differences. Listening is an opportunity to learn a different perspective. Listening without judging, without reacting - it's an act of observance. The words that are offered to the listener needs to observed with eyes that can see into the soul of the other. Then begins the play and the dance. The words of the speaker can be transformed into the enlightened perception of the listener.

4 comments:

  1. Antoinette WellsMay 7, 2009 at 2:07 PM

    This is to me a very beautiful description of what the therapeutic relationship means to me as a therapist: the healing word!

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  2. I was very inspired by the title "Language has a life of its own", because it gave me an opportunity to reflect also that "language is the voice of emotions", although emotions in language can be expressed in innumerous ways:
    The voice has the means of not only transmitting words of what is felt it also enriches by the choice of words, toned by emotions, and even feelings of power, fear, concern…. can all be transmitted most effectively in the language. When a language is spoken it identifies nationality, gender, race, and age. All this is a very human approach to the word.
    We still have a much larger extent of languages to acknowledge. Think of the language of "nature" in all its different emotional expressions:
    The Wind it whistles whispers, thunders and roars…; the Water (waterfalls, streams, rivers, lakes and the seas), each has an emotional language of its own, and always transmitting emotional expressions.
    The Rocks, Stones, Pebbles, Sand and Gravel also have a way of voicing their emotional language.
    The most diversified of all is the language of the animals, insects, birds and fishes. The language of nature, and animals do not need words to interpret them, they stand on their own. They have an innocent, transparent emotional and natural way of transmitting their messages.
    In general, all creation has a very expressive emotional voice language through which this great diversity joins harmoniously in this infinite universe in unison with the one and only universal essence of all being – The Divine Creator.Gallina Binelli

    ReplyDelete
  3. I was very inspired by the title "Language has a life of its own", because it gave me an opportunity to reflect also that "language is the voice of emotions", although emotions in language can be expressed in innumerous ways:
    The voice has the means of not only transmitting words of what is felt it also enriches by the choice of words, toned by emotions, and even feelings of power, fear, concern…. can all be transmitted most effectively in the language. When a language is spoken it identifies nationality, gender, race, and age. All this is a very human approach to the word.
    We still have a much larger extent of languages to acknowledge. Think of the language of "nature" in all its different emotional expressions:
    The Wind it whistles whispers, thunders and roars…; the Water (waterfalls, streams, rivers, lakes and the seas), each has an emotional language of its own, and always transmitting emotional expressions.
    The Rocks, Stones, Pebbles, Sand and Gravel also have a way of voicing their emotional language.
    The most diversified of all is the language of the animals, insects, birds and fishes. The language of nature, and animals do not need words to interpret them, they stand on their own. They have an innocent, transparent emotional and natural way of transmitting their messages.
    In general, all creation has a very expressive emotional voice language through which this great diversity joins harmoniously in this infinite universe in unison with the one and only universal essence of all being – The Divine Creator.

    ReplyDelete

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