Friday, November 24, 2017


Every word is endowed with a spirit, therefore the speaker or expounder should carefully deliver his words at the appropriate time and place, for the impression which each word maketh is clearly evident and perceptible. The Great Being saith: One word may be likened unto fire, another unto light, and the influence which both exert is manifest in the world. Therefore an enlightened man of wisdom should primarily speak with words as mild as milk, that the children of men may be nurtured and edified thereby and may attain the ultimate goal of human existence which is the station of true understanding and nobility. And likewise He saith: One word is like unto springtime causing the tender saplings of the rose-garden of knowledge to become verdant and flourishing, while another word is even as a deadly poison. It behoveth a prudent man of wisdom to speak with utmost leniency and forbearance so that the sweetness of his words may induce everyone to attain that which befitteth man's station.

This quote, from Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, is a very interesting one. Which, given that it is from the Pen of Baha'u'llah, is not surprise. I mean, it's kind of like when someone asks me to read a "good prayer". Well, it's kind of difficult not to. So, yeah, this is an interesting quote from the Blessed Beauty.

To start, "Every word..." Not just one or two, a few or even a lot, but all of them. "Every word is endowed with a spirit..."

But what does that mean, to be endowed with a spirit? Well, to be endowed means to be given or to have a quality or ability. In one sense, it could mean that every word has a particular quality to it. The best explanation I ever heard for that was from Edgar Allen Poe, in his essay on how to write a short story. He mentioned the idea of looking at synonyms and finding the one that had the write sound, the tone you wanted in the story. To me, that speaks of the spirit of the word, beyond its definition. For example, "majestic" just sounds much grander than "awesome", even though they are very similar in definition.

Now, beyond the sound of the word, there is also the mystical side of it, in which every word actually has a meaning in the spiritual realms. It is as if they are alive, in some sense. This strikes me in the same way as when Baha'u'llah is addressing, for example, Mount Carmel in the Tablet of Carmel. He talks to it as if it were a living entity. And perhaps, in the realms of the spirit, it is. Who am I to question this?

Here, in this passage, Baha'u'llah seems to imply that there is far more to our words than we imagine.

I mean, we could easily read this passage as simple guidance to choose our words carefully, or we can see a deeper meaning in it. I feel that the choice is ours. We can read this to whatever degree of mysticism we desire.

And that, to me, is a beautiful thing. It makes me feel even more like these little articles I write are like little children put out into the world.

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