When we truly understand the power of words, we learn to discern anything that has the potential to bring us down. If we don’t understand the power of words, then words will control and manipulate us in unimaginable ways.
The power of suggestion, brainwashing, propaganda, and advertising all rely on this power. An entire society can be controlled and manipulated simply by determining which words will be seen and heard. Do we have any idea where all the words we hear actually come from and what the motivations are behind them? We must transcend the power of words in order to be established in our own inner state.
By their nature, words label differences. Black. White. Male. Female. And all too often in the language of social action, words like “victim’, “oppressor”, or “targeted group” can feel like an assault, polarizing “us” against “them”. I am convinced, though, that language has the power not only to polarize but also to help us to remember our underlying connectedness.
May we look for words which loosen our tightly-cadenced fears of one another and listen to the silences between the words. May we look for images drawn from life, images which shock us out of our old habits of thinking and living, tapping into hidden reservoirs of tenderness.
Together we may be able to create a safe place where we can be vulnerable enough to see beyond our deeply-conditioned ideas and fears, vulnerable enough to see our true selves in one another. In doing so, we see a consciousness in you and a consciousness in me, apparently two, but really one, that seeks its unity in the expression of words.