Chandira Hensey | Language and Consciousness

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There is a very good reason why my own spiritual master, Adi Da Samraj, wrote so many, many books—and with not a casual or misplaced word in a single one of them. I think that in spiritual circles language has been vastly overlooked as a means to understanding. We’re all reading the words, trying to get the deeper message, without thought for the words themselves, and the structure, the flow, and the effect they ultimately have. Words aren’t just a vehicle for ideas; they are the ideas, more than we realize.

The structure of language itself is fascinating. To paraphrase Adi Da, the ego “I” is the pole upon which the tent of language is hung. So what if that pole was shifted, towards that which is greater? Studying Adi Da’s very deliberate use of language is truly rewarding. He makes use of capitalization in a unique way, capitalizing all the things of greater import than the ego. Words like “Divine,” “Love-Bliss,” “Happiness,” “Prior-Unity,” “Grace,” are all capped and given their proper respect, while words relating to ego are given the lower case to slink around in. This way of rendering language has a tangible effect on the brain, and a real shift in thinking can, and frequently does, occur after exposure to it. It causes enough cognitive dissonance to be worth paying much more attention to.
Some time ago, I heard a curious thing about where sounds are formed in the brain. Apparently, the harder sounds of consonants come from the left brain and the vowels are centered in the right brain. I’m not sure whether this has been conclusively proven, but it’s an interesting thought. If it is true, it raises all kinds of questions about the development of culture in the East and West, with Western language being more predominantly consonant-based than many Eastern languages, with their soft vowel sounds. Like all the other bits of useless information floating around my brain, I wish I knew where I’d first heard that.

Chandira is a writer who lives in Seattle, Washington. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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