By Flavio Gondin
As you read the title, what may come to mind is the mystic power of supernatural worlds and all of its consequence. You may think of different types of prayers as they appear in many different cultures, and how men and women around the world express their commonalities of hope and faith, fears, supplications and resolutions, through their voices in special words in prayers, songs or even a cry.
Then, your flying imagination may land in any place of your memory, where you may hear the warm melody of your mother’s voice, and suddenly again hear your boss “barbaric yawp” from this morning… (Forgive me, Whitman!) What a longing! You will probably be right – but without noticing, you will already be experiencing the magic that words in headlines did arouse your mind’s sensitive world.
Word is sound in its first support. We know that sound transmits in waves; a vibration transmitted through the atmosphere in a form which our ears are able to perceive and our brains to interpret to make sense and meaning from them. Sound is movement expressed in waves. Many cultures think of sound as a model to the eternal Universe movement – a moving essence. Curiously, In a Tao circle, the yang impulse and the yin rest seem the same shape of a wave form. We usually notice the reality around us through the senses of vision and touch, while sound, as an invisible and untouchable object, aims to another reality ordering: its magic use exactly stays as a link of communication between material and spiritual worlds. Here is the inner magic potential of the words. Thus, when we talk, the words we say carry more than its simple meanings.
Even from this point of view, it is not only what words are on the surface. Everything we say holds a message on a deeper level. This message – called by experts “deep structure” – is a pronouncement, a position we take on a wider scale debated in society. There are always ideas, fears and longings from our age and society in our phrasing and language, because the words express the cultural environment which they are said in.
There could be a little tale that would say: “In some distant place shining in the Universe, somewhere among countless stars, there was at sometime a planet where intelligent animals created the knowledge. It was an amazing minute in the history of the universe, but it was only a fleeting moment. The planet froze and intelligent animals died”. Words are interpreted, which is totally human. Instead of an absolute-truth of the value of words, words are like coins of change between meanings in our relation with each other in society. Its value arises from these relationships. How important it is to carefully choose words! Our words, when said carelessly, may be as stone, when we may have intended to send flowers with our words. Wars begin with words, and so may peace.
The power of intention is placed in words. The power of a sincere dialog: that is the mark of the true humanity, our magic went with words! Or, said by the Brazilian poet Thiago de Mello in his “Statutes of Man and of Woman”:
It is decreed that men will be free from the yoke of lies.
Nevermore will it be necessary to use
the shield of silence
or the armor of words.
Man shall sit at the table
with a clear gaze,
for the truth will be served
It is hereby forbidden
to use the word Freedom,
which will be excised from the dictionaries
and the treacherous swamp of mouths.
From this moment on
freedom will be something alive and transparent,
like fire or a river,
or like a seed of wheat
and its dwelling will forever be
the heart of man.”
* Flavio Gondin, computer programmer and musician, lives in Recife, Brazil, and is Soul Brasil’s translator as well Portuguese proofreader.