The Theosophical Forum – November 1947

THE ESOTERIC CONTENT OF WORDS — Alexandra McLean

To pronounce a word is to evoke a thought, and make it present: the magnetic potency of the human speech is the commencement of every manifestation in the Occult World. . . . The Word (Verbum) or the speech of every man is, quite unconsciously to himself, a BLESSING or a CURSE. . . . Yes, names (and words) are either BENEFICENT or MALEFICENT. — P. Christian

There is magic in words, it may be black or white. There is a mystery and wonder, there is an inner content — of which we are are seldom aware. In the last dialogue of Socrates as recorded by Plato in Phaedo, we have these words by Socrates — "For you must know, my dearest Crito, that wrong words are not only a fault in themselves, but insinuate evil into the soul" (italics ours). This is worth serious consideration and if it be true, its opposite is also true: that words conveying truth, beauty, nobility, majesty and compassion, will create vibrations of power and harmony in our environment, causing joy to the soul.

In The Secret Doctrine, II, 198-199, we have a resume of the development of Speech. The First Race was, in a sense speechless, as it was devoid of mind on our plane. The Second Race had a type of sound language, chant-like, composed of vowels alone. The Third Race made a beginning of a language based on the various sounds of Nature. In the second half of the Third Race, when the creative gods, compelled by Karmic law, incarnated in mindless men, then was speech developed (monosyllabic). Then came the agglutinative languages, spoken by some Atlanteans. The Fourth Race continued in evolution and left to the Fifth Race (Aryan) the inflectional, highly developed languages. "The inflectional speech — the root of the Sanskrit . . . was the first language (now the mystery tongue of the Initiates, of the Fifth Race)." — p. 200

At the present time there are relatively few in Europe or America, who read, write or understand Sanskrit, which H. P. B. declared was the only language in any way adequate to convey with accuracy high spiritual teachings. Very few Theosophical students (to our own great detriment) know much of this lofty language. Language, an expression of ideas and ideals is, as all else, subject to cycles and Karman. It grows, matures and declines — "dies," but in truth it is not dead, and will in cyclic time again manifest with fewer limitations, enriched and more vital. W. Q. Judge in The Path (May, 1886, p. 58), said "The Sanscrit language will one day be again the language used by man upon this earth, first in science and in metaphysics, and later on in common life." According to H. P. Blavatsky this cyclic law will also bring Greek and Latin out of their rest into new activity.

In the language of our day, there are many noble words with a depth of meaning, of esoteric content that we seldom realize. There is the "still small voice," the magic in a word. We may invoke it by thinking, feeling and speaking the word. According to its inner content, the hidden influence, dissonance or harmony, will come forth to curse or bless us. There is more truth than poetry in the admonition found in the Bible (Matthew 12: 36, 37): "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Words, as surely as man, planet, sun or galaxy, are sevenfold, having their outer form and their inner heart. It is this heart, inner, esoteric, that is the truth and the life of the word. The outer form varies, for Love written in Sanskrit, Greek, Chinese, German and English looks different, but its TRUTH is the same in any language. It is an ideal, humanity's highest concept of benevolence, compassion and adoration.

If we look up references in The Secret Doctrine regarding Kwan Yin and Kwan-Yin-Tien we find the latter means "the "melodious heaven of Sound," the abode of Kwan-Yin, or the "Divine Voice" literally." And we are told that Kwan-Yin stands for the "magic potency of Occult sound in Nature and Ether," which "Voice" calls forth "the illusive form of the Universe out of Chaos and the seven Elements." — I, 137

And so with words — written, spoken or sung. They are the transmitters of lofty ideas, and ideals of beauty and wisdom. They are opportunities for a meeting of minds, that from the "Melodious Heaven of Sound" harmony may be born on earth. To be careless and indiscriminate in our choice and use of words is something we should overcome, for in our present stage of evolution we depend upon words and language to carry on our normal living. Without them, we would be quite at a loss. The time will probably come, long ages hence, as humanity follows the path upward-inward, that we will no longer depend on the spoken word, but will have a highly evolved method of thought-transference. Be that as it may, at present words are worthy messengers.

We will not try to define great words, for that is a limitation of their inner reality. It is for us to become aware, of the truth, to grow, evolve, unfold our consciousness into our highest concept of the "heart" of the word.

Some of our wise men have left us sage advice as to speech:

Speech is the index of the mind. — Seneca

Pleasant words are as honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. — Bible

Every word is vain that is not completed by deed. — From the Greek

Like a beautiful flower full of color, but without scent, are the fine words of him who does not act accordingly. — Buddha

Speech is but broken light upon the depth of the unspoken. — George Eliot

The flowering moments of the mind drop half their petals in our speech. — Oliver W. Holmes

The idea is the Flame and the words are sparks ready to kindle many flames within the darkness of a receptive consciousness.

Therefore — let us employ noble words as worthy messengers bringing joy and blessing to others. Indeed, these excellent words are magic companions, for in their inmost, they are a synthesis of all we may invoke by our sevenfold comprehension. They are a part of the Wisdom of the great SILENCE.


The Theosophical Forum

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