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Speaking The Infinite Silence I

By Savitr

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

  “Recognize what is shining forth before your face, and what is hidden will be revealed to you.” 

                                                                                                                    (Gospel of Thomas, logion 5) 

Much of my joy is simply that I experience—more and more, each and every day—everything as fully Divine, fully Sacred.  And this is a major component of the experience that I would love to share with you. But Words have begun to feel hollow, empty, compared to our infinite communion of stillness; they are abstractions about experience, and cannot convey the experience itself.  Then it finally occurred to me that, if someone opened the right doors, and if you walked through them, you could have your own transformative experience with words.  This is, in fact, the purpose of Sacred Language, and the doors it opens are ancient.

Now, most of us are united by a western worldview, and the western language (English or one of its parent tongues) that goes along with it.  We could have a pretty lively debate over whether English should be classed as a Sacred Language—it certainly contains a lot of words with hidden meanings that reference the transcendent—but for most of us it’s not, because we don’t use it that way.  We simply don’t use our language with the focused intent of experiencing the Divine through it.  Psychologists are well aware that our words express our thinking (verbal communication is, essentially, one constant Freudian slip); so if we transform our experience of words, will our worldview (experience of Life) transform as well?

What we’re discussing here, essentially, is the difference between the secular and the Sacred.  In my definition, the secular describes what’s really going on in our everyday life, whereas the Sacred describes what’s Really going on in our Everyday Life.  Like everything else, it’s merely a matter of perspective.

So I propose we take a new look at some words we thought we knew, and see if we can’t find some in-spiration there that we may have overlooked.  If we can rediscover some powerful breath of Spirit in the universe we create with and from our words, then perhaps our silent experience will follow suit.  Ironically, we will be ‘mining’ some extremely old texts for our discoveries—but one hallmark of the Sacred is that it stands outside of time.  To begin, we’ll explore the concept of name. 

          You live by symbols.  You have made up names for everything you see.  Each one becomes a separate entity, identified by its own name.  By this you carve it out of unity. . . .What are these names by which the world becomes a series of discrete events, of things ununified, of bodies kept apart and holding bits of mind as separate awarenesses? . . .It is hard to teach the mind a thousand alien names, and thousands more.  Yet you believe this is what learning means. . . .

          Think not you made the world.  Illusions, yes!  But what is true in earth and Heaven is beyond your naming. . . .God has no name.  And yet His Name becomes the final lesson that all things are one, and at this lesson does all learning end.  All names are unified; all space is filled with truth’s reflection.        

  (A Course In Miracles,  workbook lesson 184)

The Hebrew/Aramaic word that we read as “name” in the Old and New Testaments, is Shem.  There is no comparable word in English; there is, in fact, no single thought that encompasses it. Shem, in the words of Dr. Neil Douglas-Klotz, “points to all wave- and vibration-related reality, the realm of communion that connects us through light, sound, vibration and atmosphere.”  It also means name or word, but in the greatly expanded sense implied, for instance, by Logos, which refers to the totality of the Absolute and the Relative together, the Son of God as all of Creation.

Root-And-Pattern Expansions in Hebrew Words

~v Shem, SHM:

            v Hebrew letter Shin, sound “SH.”  

                ‘A staff, an arrow, a bow; the arms, the instruments of man; every object leading to an end’                        (D’Olivet)  

                ‘Step, Shine, Outer Action.  The ShINing of the candle flame as it spreads out in ever expanding                       shells of radiant energy, light and learning from its Source; also the outer Vessel that holds the                       Flame’ (Tenen).

                      Peacefulness, harmony, completion, rest, wholeness.  The refitting together of all the disparate                       parts, just before the last letter of the alphabet.  (Traditional Midrash)

            ~ Hebrew letter Mem, sound “M”

                 ‘Develops the being in indefinite space, or it comprises, in the same respect, all beings of an                        identical nature.’

                       (D’Olivet)

                       ‘MeM final is the external Unfoldment into the Expanse.’  (Tenen)

   ~v SHM, Shem:  Name, light, sound, vibration, noun, radiation, expression, experience,                                               atmosphere.

                        ‘The circumferential extent, the entire sphere of any being whatsoever, the total space that it                         occupies….The  name of every being, the sign which renders it knowable; that which constitutes it
                   such:  a place, a time, the universe, the  heavens, GOD HIMSELF: glory, eclat, splendour, fame,
 
                virtue; that which rises and shines in space; which is distinguished, sublime, remarkable.’  (D’Olivet)

The first occurrence of SHM in the bible is in Genesis 1:1 – the verse that, according to the Hebrew mystics, contains the entire meaning of the Torah within its 28 letters.  It appears as shamaim, which is usually translated as heaven or heavens.  It occurs in a similar form in the first line of the Aramaic Lord’s PrayerAbwoon d’bwashmaya – translated as Our Father, which art in heaven.

Clearly, what is being referred to here is not some abstract after-death destination spot that’s separate from this creation experienced here-and-now.  It recognizes shamaim as the totality of God’s creative expression flowing into and through the Unmanifest ‘void’ – the mayim, the trans-existent waters of the cosmic ocean – all of which ultimately expresses itself as the physical Universe.  This radiant ‘wave reality’ is the Shem, the  vibration, by which man’s consciousness can ‘name’ God, by which the nameless One is known.  : Shemsh -- The Sun; to be brilliant.

vm,V,h; : Shemesh -- The Sun; to be brilliant.

And as above, so below.  The archetypal, universal principle of Man (adamah) is created ‘in Our image,’ as a full extension and reflection of the radiance of God.  Adamahoccurs before  adamin Genesis 1:25-26, but is not translated.  As seen in the following excerpt from Dr. Douglas-Klotz’ retranslation of verse 26, it ‘means the universal, immortal, and powerful [A] assimilation, collection, and whole aggregation [DM] of primordial creative life [AH]’:

          Let this Universal Assimilation of the whole ground of Being (adam)

          take on the veil or appearance of the Universe itself,

          the shadow of the totality as projected from the Source

          through the experiment of earthiness.

--Desert Wisdom, p. 160

This, then, is the ‘name’ of Man – not a limited reference to gendered embodiment; but the amalgamation of every aspect of Divinity, a projection and condensation of the Universe itself, the Son of God as the Totality of the Expression of God’s Shem.  This is the name by which I am known to God; it is the Truth of who you are, as well.  It is that by which I am connected to the most fundamental ‘ritam value’ of God’s Self-expression and -realization.  It is also that by which I recognize my connection to every other aspect of Creation.

[m;v. : Shem’aHear, hearken, understand, obey, sound, declare.            

`dx'a, hw"hy> Wnyhel{a/ hw"hy> laer'f.yI [m;v. -- Shem’a israel: Adonai elohainu Adonai echad. 

Hear, O Manifestations of God: The Lord our God, the Lord is One!

The concept of name is much, much more than a self-limitation or definition that we answer to at dinnertime – it is the relationship by which we are each connected to the radiance and fullness of All-That-Is.  It is the recognition that Creator, Created, Creation, and the Process of Creating are inseparably interrelated, and expressed through the consciousness that is able to hear, understand, and declare so.  ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’  She who has eyes to see, let her see.  Those who have hearts to understand, let them understand, that they might Return, and become whole.

This also describes both the purpose and the process of Sacred Language.  It is one of the means by which we recognize and declare our Shem, radiate it to others, and reflect it back to Source.  It is one more way in which we experience – and express – the Truth of our existence, transforming illusion into clarity, suffering into joy, limitation into unboundedness.  Like the Ascension Attitudes [an obvious high point of Sacred Language], it is an approach by which we consciously and conscientiously re-cognize ourSelf and our experience as Infinite, Eternal and Loving  Reflection of the Absolute.

Over the next few months, then, we’ll explore a new relationship with words as expressions and impellers of our own awareness.  As in this article, I intend to leave lots of questions unanswered; for if you enjoy the romp as much as I do, you’ll want to use it as a springboard rather than as a coffin lid.  By simply beginning, we create our future ahead of us.

Nethqadash shmakh—

--Hallowed be thy name.

 

 


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