Quotations on Sound in Words

Quotations on Sound, the Name and the Word

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· Arthur Adamov: "Words, those guardians of meaning, are not immortal, are not unvulnerable. Like men, words suffer. Some can survive; others are incurable."

· Henry Adams (Mont Saint Michel and Chartres): "One’s translation is sure to be full of gross blunders, but the supreme blunder is that of translating at all when one is trying to catch not a fact, but a feeling."

· Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound (Plumptre, 1868):
"What other hand than mine.
Gave these young Gods in fulness all their gifts
...Like forms
Of phantom-dreams, throughout their life's whole length
They muddled all at random, did not know
Houses of brick that catch the sunlight's warmth,
Nor yet the works of carpentry. They dwelt
In hollowed holes like swarms of tiny ants
In sunless depths of caverns; and they had
No certain signs of winter nor of spring
Flower-laden, nor of summer with her fruits
Until I showed the rising of the stars,
And settings hard to recognize. And I
Found number for them, chief devise of all,
Groupings of letters, Memory's handmaid that,
And mother of the Muses. And I first
Bound in the yoke wild steeds, submissive mode
To the collar or men's limbs, that so
They might in man's place bear its greatest toils..."

· Agni Yoga: "There are people who aver that they never pray, and yet they preserve an exalted state of mind. The causes are many. It may be that they commune with the Higher World while at work without being aware of this fact. Perhaps their consciousness preserves in the depths of the heart flaming invocations, inaudible to man. It may be that from former lives hieroglyphics in strange languages have been carried over in secret memory. Thus, people often begin to repeat an unknown word which has a meaning in an unexpected dialect. Many sacred remembrances are preserved in the consciousness. Many of the worthiest actions are impelled by causes from former lives. One need not bind oneself by affirmations which have causes deriving from deep experiences."

· Anna Akhmatova - White Flock: "Oh, there are words which should not be repeated. And he who speaks them is a spendthrift."

· Maya Angelou - Wouldn't Take Nothin' for my Journey Now -- Style: "Content is of great importance, but we must not underrate the value of style. That is, we must not only pay attention to what is said, but to how it is said..."

· Thomas Aquinas - "In respect of any name we have to consider two things, namely that FROM WHICH the name is imposed, what is called the quality of the name, and that ON WHICH the name is imposed, what is called the substance of the name. And the name, properly speaking, is said to signify the form or quality, FROM WHICH the name is imposed, and is said to supposit FOR THE THING on which it is imposed."

· Aristotle - Interpretatione: "Words spoken are symbols or signs of affections or impressions of the soul."

· W.H. Auden, Preface to Owen Barfield's History of English Words: "Many who write about 'linguistics' go astray, because they overlook the fundamental fact that we use words for two quite different purposes; as a code of communication whereby, as individual members of the human race, we can request and supply information necessary to life, and as Speech in the true sense... Though no human utterance is either a pure code statement or a pure personal act, the difference is obvious when we compare a phrase book for tourists travelling abroad with a poem... A poet, one might say, is someone who tries to give an experience its Proper Name, and it is a characteristic of Proper Names that they cannot be translated, only transliterated. Furthermore, since poetry is a gratuitous act, in it, as Valéry observed, "everyting whichmust be said is almost impossible to say well.

Whereas most code statements can be verifiable or disprovable, most personal utterances are neither... In human language, personal speech is its primary function, to which its use as code is subordinate. If this were not so, then... we should only have one language. Linguistic analysts... seem to believe that by a process of 'demythologizing' and disinfecting, it should be possible to create a language in which, as in algrbra, meanings would be unequivocal and misunderstandings impossible. But human language is mythological and metaphorical in nature... We can only cope with language if we recognize that language is by nature magical and therefore highly dangerous. It will always be possible to use language as... Black Magic. How can the man-in-the street be expected to resist the black magic of propagandists, commercial and political? Formerly philology could remain a study for specialists. Today it must be made required reading in all schools.

· W.H. Auden, Natural Linguistics: "Every created thing has ways of pronouncing its ownhood."

· W.H. Auden, Notes on the Comic:

"A sentence uttered makes a world appear
Where all things happen as it says they do;
We doubt the speaker, not the tongue we hear:
Words have no words for words that are not true."

· Jane Austin, Sense and Sensibility: "The letter F had been likewise invariably brought forward and found productive of such countless jokes that its character as the wittiest letter in the alphabet had been long established with Eleanor."

· Baal Shem Tov, " The name of man's secret is God, and the name of God's secret is none other than the one invented by man; love."

· Gaston Bachelard: "But do we know how to welcome into our mother tongue the distant echoes that reverberate in the hollow centers of words? When reading words, we see them and no longer hear them."

(Air and Dreams): "If we pronounce the word âme (soul) in its aerial plentitude and with a belief in the imaginary, at just the right moment, when word and breath are one, then we realize that it takes on its exact value only at the end of our breath. In order to express the word âme from within the depths of the imagination our last reserves of air must be expended. It is one of those rare words that ends as our breath ends. A purely aerial imagination would always prefer that this word come at the end of a sentence. In the imaginary life of the breath, our soul is always our last sigh. A little bit of our soul is reunited with a universal soul."

(Poetics of Reverie): "I am a dreamer of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the word begin to move around. Stressed accents begin to invert. The word abandons its meaning like an overload which is too heavy and prevents dreaming. The words take on meanings as if they had the right to be young. And the words wander away, looking in the nooks and crannies of vocabulary for new company, bad company. What a lot of minor conflicts we must resolve upon returning from vagabond reverie to reasonable vocabulary! And it is worse when, instead of reading, I begin to write. Under the pen, the anatomy of syllables slowly unfolds. The word lives syllable by syllable, in danger of internal reveries. The problem remains how to maintain the word intact, constricting it to its habitual servitude in the projected sentence, a sentence which will perhaps be crossed off in the manuscript. Doesn't reverie ramify the sentence which has been begun? A word is a bug attempting to become a twig. How can one not dream while writing? It is the pen which dreams."

(Poetics of Reverie): "Words in their distant past were the past of my reveries. For a dreamer, a dreamer of words, they are all swollen with insanities. Besides, let anyone dream, and incubate a very familiar word for awhile. Then the most unexpected, rare things hatch out of the word which is sleeping in its inert meaning, like a fossil of meaning. Yes, words really do dream."

(Poetics of Reverie): "Words, in our scholaraly cultures, have so often been defined, redefined and pigeonholed with so much precision in our dictionaries, that they have trule become instruments of thought. They have lost their power for internal reverie. In order to return to this reverie which is related to nouns, it would be necessary to make an inquiry into nouns which still dream, nouns which are 'children of the night'."

(Poetics of Reverie): "With meanings that evolve from the human to the divine, from tangilble facts to dreams, words take on a certain thickness of meaning."

(Poetics of Reverie): "I look for refuge in a word which I begin to love for itself. Resting in the heart of words, seeing clearly into the cell of a word, feeling that the word is the seed of a life, a growing dawn."

(Poetics of Reverie): "Reverie, slow reverie discovers the depths in the immobility of a word. We believe that through reverie, we can discover within a word the act which names."

(Poetics of Reverie): "We ask our reader not to reject the notion of the poetic harmony of archetypes without close scrutiny. We should so much like to be able to demonstrate that poetry is a synthesizing force of human existence!"

(Poetics of Reverie): "But can't those times of the speaking world be reborn? Whoever goes to the bottom of revierie discovers natural reverie, a reverie of the original cosmos and the original dreamer. The world is no longer mute. Poetic reverie revives the world of original words. All the beings of the world begin to speak by the name they bear. The names are so well chosen that they seem to have named themselves. One word leads to another. The words of the world want to make sentences. The dreamer knows it well, that dreamer who makes an avalanche of words issue from a word that he dreams. The water which 'is sleeping' all black in the pond, the fire which 'is sleeping' beneath the ashes, all the air of the world which 'is sleeping' in a fragrance -- all these sleeping beings bear witness, by sleeping so well, to an interminable dream. In the cosmic reverie, nothing is inert, neither the world, nor the dreamer; everything lives with a secret life, so everything speaks sincerely."

· Balzac: "Quel beau livre ne composerait-on pas en racontant la vie et les aventures d'un mot? Sans doute il a reçu diverses impressions des événements auxquels il a servi; selon les lieux, il a réveillé des idées différentes... Tous sont empreints d'un vivant pouvoir qu'ils tiennens de l'âme, et qu'ils lui resstituent par les mystères d'une action et d'une réaction merveilleuse entre la parole et la pensée... Par leur seule physionomie, les mots raniments dans notre cerveau les créatures auxquelles ils servent de vêtement... Mais ce sujet comporte peut-être une science tout entière!"

· Barddas, (ancient Welsh text): "When God pronounced his name, with the Word sprang the light and the life, for previously, there was no life but God himself. And the way it was spoken was of God's direction. His name was pronounced, and with the utterance was the springing of light and vitality, and man and every other living thing; that is to say, each and all sprang together."

"Menw the Aged, son of Menwyd beheld the springing of the light, and its form and appearance... in three columns; and in the rays of light, the vocalization - for one were the hearing and seeing, one in unison with the form and sound of life, and one unitedly with these three was power, which power was God the father. And by seeing the form, and in it hearing the voice - not otherwise - he knew what form and appearance voice should have... And it was on hearing the sound of the voice, which had in it the kind and utterance of three notes, that he obtained the three letters, and knew the sign that was suitable to one and other of them. Thus he made in form and sign the Name of God, after the semblance of rays of light, and perceived that they were the figure and form and sign of life... It was from the understanding thus obtained in respect of this voice, that he was able to assimilate mutually every other voice as to kind, quality and reason, and could make a letter suitable to the utterance of every sound and voice. Thus were obtained the Cymraeg and every other language."

"It is considered presumptuous to utter this name in the hearing of any man in the world. Nevertheless, everything calls Him inwardly by this name -- the sea and land, earth and air, and all the visibles and invisibles of the world, whether on the earth or in the sky -- all the worlds of all the celestials and the terrestrials -- every intellectual being and existence..."

· Owen Barfield, History in English Words: "It has only begun to down on us that in our own language alone, not to speak of its many companions, the past history of humanity is spread out in an imperishable map, just as the history of th emineral earth lies embedded in the layers of its outer crust. But there is this difference between the record of the rocks and the secrets which are hidden in language: where as the former can only give us knowledge of outward, dead things, ...language has preserved for us the inner, living history of man's soul. It reveals the evolution of consciousness. In the common words we use every day, souls of past races, the thoughts and feelings of individual men stand around us, not dead, but frozen into their attitudes like the couriers in the garden of the Sleeping Beauty. The more common a word is and the simpler its meaning, the bolder very likely is the original thought which it contains and the more intense the intellectual or poetic effort which went into its making. Thus the word quality is used by most educated people every day of their lives, yet in order that we should have this simple word, Plato had to make the tremendous effort of turning a vague feeling into a clear thought. He invented the new word 'poiotes', 'what-ness', as we might say or 'of-what-kind-ness', and Cicero translated it by the Latin 'qualitas', from 'qualis'. Language becomes a different thing for us altogether if we can make ourselves realize, can even make ourselves feel how every time the word quality is used, say upon a label in a shop window, that creative effort made by Plato comes into play again. Nor is the acquisition of such a feeling a waste of time; for once we have made it our own, it circulates like blood through the whole of literature and life about us. It is the kiss which brings the sleeping coutiers to life."

"'Cereal' comes from Ceres, a Roman goddess of corn and flowers and 'panic' comes from Pan, a Greek Nature-God. But here the resemblance ends, for not only is one Latin and the other Greek, but one is the name of an object which we can touch and see, while the other relates to that inner world of human consciosness which cannot be grasped with hands. Now it is important to notice that the word is much more closely related to the thing in the case of panic than in the case of cereal... We feel, in fact, that reflection on the word cereal will tell us something about Rome, but very little about corn or about ourselves. With panic it is different. In that intangible inner world words are themselves, as it were, the solid materials. Yet they are not the materials as stones are, but rather as human faces, which sometimes change their form as the inner man changes, and sometimes, remaining practically unaltered, express with the same configuration a developed personality... There was a time when no such word as panic existed, just as therre was a time when no such word as electric existed, and in this case, as in the other, before the word first sprang into life in somebody's imagination, humanity's whole awareness of the phenomenon which we describe as 'panic' must have been a different thing. The word marks a discovery in the inner world of consciosness... Its derivation enables us to realize that the early Greeks could become conscious of this phenomenon, and thus name it, because they felt the presence of an invisible being who swayed the emotions of flocks and herds. And it also reveals how this kind of outlook changed slowly into the abstract idea which the modern individual strives to express when he uses the word panic... It would be impossible for us to think, feel, or say such things as 'crowd-psychology' or 'herd instinct' if the Greeks had not thought, felt, said 'Pan' - as impossible as it would be to have the leaf of a plant without having a seed first tucked into the warm earth. As to the number of words which are indirectly descended from historical religious feeling, it's not possible to count them. We can only say that the farther back language as a whole is traced, the more poetical and animated do its sources appear, until it seems at last to dissolve into a kind of mist of myth... Words themselves are felt to be alive and to exert a magical influence... In a word here and a word there we trace but the final stages of a vast, age-long metamorphosis from the kind of outlook which we loosely describe as 'mythological' to the kind that we may describe equally loosely as 'intellectual thought'."

"The influence of such a mind (as Shakespeare's) on the language in which it expresses itself can only be compared to the effect of high temperatures on solid matter. As imaginations bodies forth the forms of things unknown, each molecult of suggestiveness contained in each word gains a mysterious freedom from its neighbours; the old images move to and fro distinctly in the listener's fancy, and when the sound has died away, not merely the shape, but what seemed to be the very substance of the word has been readjusted."

· Graeme Base The Worst Band in the Universe:

"A flood of music met his ears, so rich and warm and deep,
The likes of which he'd never heard beyond the realm of sleep.
He felt himself enveloped in its magical embrace,
A smile that spoke of utter joy upon his upturned face.

The stranger led him thorugh the hubbub toward a corner seat,
Where sat a massive CrustoPod she wanted him to meet.
'This lump is known as Stickman.' (Stickman grinned a toothless grin.)
'And I, my friend, am Breather. Welcome to the world within!'

...When Skat had gone, a Button Pusher waddled from the crowd.
'Er hi,' he mumbled, 'Look, I wouldn't dare say this aloud,
But well, I have this theory -- though of course I may be wrong...'
He handed Sprocc a drawing. 'It's a ship that sails on song.'

'A music powered spacecraft?' Breather froobled through her snouts.
'It's possible, I guess,' she shrugged. 'And yet I have my doubts...'
'Skat says that it will never fly,' the little guy confided.
'We'll try it!' Sprocc declared at once. 'The matter is decided!'

...At last the ship was finished. Sprocc called everyone around.
'All right,' said Sprocc, 'I'll count you in, then you guys make some sound!'
They climbed aboard and set the sails to capture every note --
A gallant bid for freedom in a tiny homemade boat.

'Let's mesh!' cried Sprocc. The music flowed, the sails began to fill,
But from the jungle swarmed the Gulpers, closing for the kill.
'We need more power!' Breather yelled. 'The EQ's going to blow:
The treble's overloading and the bass is way too low!'

...On Sprocc's home planet, a year had passed...

'I exercize my Ancient Right, in keeping with tradition --
The Ruler of the Universe must face some competition!'
The Musical Inquisitor rocked backwards on the stage.
'You dare to challenge me?' he shrieked, in shock as much as rage.

...'Go on and laugh!' he snarled at them. 'Go on and have your fun.
For soon you'll know the sound of fear. This show has just begun!
You've made a fatal error Sprocc,. You've got me all annoyed.
If I can't rule the Tuneful Worlds, then they shall be destroyed!'

...The people staggered in the aisles, some fell upon the ground,
So mindless was the music, so monotonous the sound.
Sprocc tried to play his Splingtwanger, but soon was overcome.
He slumped against the speaker stacks, his mind and fingers numb."

· Gregory Bateson (audio tape): "This is a very serious matter... that the way that human beings think, certainly the way that I think, is in terms of stories... Now what is a story? A story, if it so please you, is a metaphor... If you look at these two plants, you will see that they are essentially metaphors, one of the other, that metaphor is right at the bottom of being alive...

These are stories, a story being an aggragate of formal relations scattered in time... It has a certain sort of minuet or formal dance to it. It gets more complicated, because this is where we live. And the funny thing about living there is that we care about it intensely. And when the metaphors get jangled by unfortunate events... we get very upset. You see, the idea that there is any mental process going on that isn't metaphoric is a very late, school-marmish idea. What they were killing each other over in the 14th Century was metaphor. Is the bread and wine the body and blood of Christ. The Catholics said yes. The Protestants said no; it stands for body and blood. And they felt that this was worth burning for. No one would ever think that now. (Margaret: unless you're a linguist :-) )

The set of mental processes - aesthetics, feeling, poetry perhaps - is precisely where dream is made... And the Protestant view of the sacrament was a policy decision to exclude from the church that part of the mind which is concerned with poetry, feeling, fantasy, metaphor, stories

· Baudelaire, Correspondances: "L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles, Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers."

· Samuel Beckett: "I take no sides. I am interested in the shape of ideas. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine" 'Do not dispair; one of the thieves was saved. Do not presume; one of the thieves was damned.' That sentence has a wonderful shape. It's the shape that matters."

· Bee Season: "My father told me once that words and letters hold all the secrets of the universe, that in their shapes and sounds I could find everything and see beyond myself to something special, perfect. My father told me once that I could reach the ear of God."

Isn’t God in the words? God is the words.

There are people who believe that letters are an expression of a very special primal energy, and when they combine to make words, they hold all the secrets of the universe.

What happens when you when you close your eyes? When you spell the word? I start out hearing it in my head. And the voice of whoever said it Then the voice changes into something else, the word’s voice. Then I can see it. See what? The word. I can see the word.

Open your mind to the letters. Let them flow through your mind to the pen. It’s not what they look like. It’s what they feel like. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and now I want you to open your mind to all the words in the universe that contain the letter E. I want to think about something beyond just spelling, beyond words. Abraham Abalafia. Abalafia believed that by concentrating on letters, the mind could be opened up and reach what he called shefra, the most special way of being together with God. The steps to getting there are in these books. Exercises with words and letters. Like what we’ve been doing.

· Bhatrihari Bakya-padia Brahmakandra, 1,2: "The infinite eternal Brahman is the essence of the Word, which is indestructible; Out from it comes the unfolding of the world by the nature of things. Although he is known in the holy tradition as a Unity, he contains within himself various potentials. And although they are not separate from him, the appear separate."

· William Blake: "Poetry admits not a Letter that is insignificant."

· Madam Blavatsky: "A symbol is ever, to him who has eyes for it, some dimmer or clearer revelation of the God-like."

· Madam Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine: "Sound, for one thing, is a tremendous occult power... Sound may be produced of such a nature that the pyramids of Cheops would be raised in the air."

· Madam Blavatsky, Secret Doctrine: ""The Magic of the ancient priests consisted, in those days, in addressingthe Gods in their own language. The speech of the men of the Earth cannotreach the Lords. Each must be addressed in the language of his respectiveelements... It is composed of SOUNDS, not words; of sounds, numbers andfigures... Thus this 'language' is that of incantations or of MANTRAS, asthey are called in India; sound being the most potent and effectual magic agent, etc."."

Leonard Bloomfield: "We have seen how an old ablaut base ­ a strong verb IE. *sleng- Germanic *slinken E. slink, let us say ­ has given rise to a number of words ­ as E. slink (strong verb): dial. slank (weak verb): dial. slunk (weak verb)... But it is natural, if not inevitable that such words should become semasiologically differentiated. E. slink 'sneak': dial. slank 'go about in a listless fashion': dial. slunk 'wade through a mire' are examples. What has determined the direction of this differentiation in meaning? In many cases, the old laws of derivation must have been decisive... But one cannot so explain the meanings of slink : slank : slunk, nor indeed the great majority of such modern Germanic word groups: another force has been at work. This force is the old inherent Germanic sense for vowel pitch... If a word containing some sound or noise contains a high pitched vowel like i, it strikes us as implying a high pitch in the sound or noise spoken of.; a word with a low vowel like u implies low pitch in what it stands for... Its far reaching effects on our vocabulary are surprising. It has affected words not only descriptive of sound like E screech, boom... but also their more remote connotative effects. A high tone implies not only shrillness, but also fineness, sharpness, keenness; a low tone not only rumbling noise, but also bluntness, dulness, clumsiness; a full open sound like a, not only loudness, but also largeness, openness, fulness...

Nor must the subjective importance of the various mouth positions that created the various vowel sounds be forgotten: the narrow contraction of i, the wide opening of a, the back of the mouth tongue position of u are as important as the effect of these vowels on the ear of the hearer."

"Since in human speech, different sounds have different meaning, to study the coordination of certain sounds with certain meanings is to study language."

· Maurice Bloomfield: "Every word, in so far as it is semantically expressive, may establish, by haphazard favoritism, a union between its meaning and any of its sounds, and then send forth this sound (or sounds) upon predatory expeditions into domains where the sound is a first a stranger and parasite. A slight emphasis punctures the placid function of a certain sound element, and the ripple extends, no one can say how far... No word may consider itself permanently exempt from the call to pay tribute to some congeneric expression, no matter how distant the semasiological cousinship; no obscure sound-element, eking out its dim life in a single obscure spot, may not at any moment find itself infused with the elixir of life until it bursts its confinement and spreads through the vocabulary a lusty brood of descendents... The signification of any word is arbitrarily attached to some sound element contained in it, and then cogeneric names are created by means of this infused, or we might say, irradiated, or inspired element."

· Robert Bly, Iron John: "Poetry is a form of display. The poet bird repeats vowels and consonants in order to widen his tail. Meter and counted syllables make up a peacoack tail. The poem is a dance done for some being in the other world. How sweet to weigh the line with all the vowels. Body Thomas the codfish psalm. The gaiety of form lies in the lies in the labor of its playfulness. The sound counted recounted nourishes someone. The delight of form, then moves one away from the old duality of hero and enemy, right and wrong, male adversary and female adversary. When a man or a woman enters ritual space, each takes actions meant to be seen. And the joy of display helps pull energy away that would otherwise be invested in conflict."

· Jacob Boehme, The Supersensual Life:
Disciple: Is that Place where no Creature dwelleth near at Hand; or is it afar off?
Master: It is IN THEE. And if thou canst, my Son, for a while but cease from all thy OWN Thinking and Willing, then thou shalt hear the unspeakable Words of God.

Aurora, 4:35-39 -- The second form or property of heaven in the divine pomp or state is Mercurius or the sound, as in the Salitter of the earth there is the sound whence there groweth gold, silver, copper and the like... There is likewise a sound in all the creatures upon the earth, else all would be in stillness and silence. By that sound, all powers are moved in heaven, so that all things grow joyfully and generate very beautifully: And as the divine powers is manifold, so also the sound or Mercurius is manifold and various. For when the powers sprung up in God, they touch and stir one another and move in one another, and so there is a constant harmony, mixing or concert from whence go forth all manner of colours. In these colours grow all manner of fruits, which rise up and spring in the Salitter, and the Mercurius or sound mingleth itself therewith, and riseth up in all the powers of the Father, and then sounding and tunes rise up in the heavenly joyfulness.

5:21 -- There are two things to be observed in God; the first is the Salitter or the divine powers out of which is the body or corporeity; and the second is the Mercurius, tone, tune or sound: thus it is also in like manner and form in an angel. First there is the power and in the power is the tone or tune, which, in the spirit, riseth up into the head, into the mind, as in man in the brain; and in the mind it [the tone] hath its open doors or gates; but in the heart it hath its seat and origin, where it springeth [or ariseth] from all the powers.

6:5-18 -- From all qualities the whole divine power of the Father speaketh forth the WORD, that is, the Son of God. Now that voice or that WORD which the Father speaketh goeth forth from the Father's Salitter or powers, and from the Father's Mercurius, sound or tune: This the Father speaketh forth in himself, and that WORD is the very splendour or glance proceeding from all his powers. But when it is spoken forth, it stayeth or sticketh no more in the powers of the Father, but soundeth and tuneth back again in the whole Father in all powers. Now that word which the Father pronounceth or speaketh forth hath such a sharpness, that the tone of the word goeth swiftly in a moment through the whole deep of the Father and that sharpness is the Holy Ghost. For the WORD which is spoken forth or outspoken abideth as a splendour or glorious edict before the king. But the tone or sound which goeth forth through the Word, executeth the edict of the Father, which he had outspoken through the Word; and that is the birth or geniture of the Holy Trinity... Then the word standeth in the heart as a self-subsisting person, compacted from all the powers [combined]; it is a word and representeth God the Son. Then [also] it riseth up from the heart into the mouth and upon the tongue, which latter is the sharpness and sharpeneth the word so that it soundeth and differentiateth it according to the five senses. From what quality soever the word taketh its original, in that quality it is thrust forth upon the tongue; and that signifieth the Holy Ghost. For as the Holy Ghost goeth forth from the Father and the Son, and distinguisheth and sharpeneth all, and effecteth or preoduceth that which the Father speaketh through the Word: so also the tongue sharpeneth, articulateth and distinguisheth all that which the five senses in the head bring through the heart on to the tongue; and the spirit goeth forth from the tongue through the Mercurius or tone in that place as it was decreed or concluded by the council of the five senses, and executeth it all.

8:128 -- {translator's note: One must presume that the following explanation has its origin in the 'mother-tongue' which the author calls elsewhere 'language of nature'. It is possible that in the last analysis, words corresponding in meaning, but out of the most diverse languages, would shew relations, if not uniform, at least very close to a universal base, were our minds sufficiently open to grasp both the activity and the universality of the language of nature. Without this conjecture, the author's application of the latter to the German word 'Barmherzig' would repel the more superficial minds, since it would not take place in the case of French or any other ordinary language... The point is that he means to shew how perfectly is the 'language of nature' to his mother tongue.} Barm-Herz-Ig: Observe the word BARM- is chiefly formed upon thy lips and when thou pronouncest BARM- the thou shuttest thy mouth, and snarlest in the hinder part of the mouth; and this is the astringent quality, which environeth or encloseth the word; that is, it figureth, compacteth or contracteth the word together, that it becometh hard or soundeth, and the bitter quality separateth or cutteth or distinguisheth it... Now the word BARM is a dead word, devoid of understanding, so that no man understands what it meaneth... But when a man saith BARM-HERZ, he fetcheth or presseth the second syllable out from the deep of the body, out from the heart, for the right spirit speaketh forth the word HERZ, which riseth up aloft from the heat of the heart, in which the light goeth forth and floweth. Now observe when thou pronouncest BARM, then the two qualities, the astringent and the bitter, form, frame or compact together the word BARM, very leisurely or slowly; for it is a long, impotent, feeble syllable, because of the weakness of the qualities. But when thou pronouncest HERZ, then the spirit in the word HERZ goeth forth suddenly like a flash of lightning and giveth the distinction and the understanding of the word. But when thou pronouncest IG, then thou catchest or captivatest the spirit in the midst of the other two qualities, so that it must stay there and form the word. Thus in the divine power also; the astringent and bitter qualities are the Salitter of the divine omnipotence; the sweet quality is the pith or kernel of the Barm-herz-ig-keit, warm-heart-ed-ness or merc-i-ful-ness according to which the whole being with all the powers is called GOD... When the Father speakesth or pronounceth the WORD, that is, generateth his SON (which is always done forever and eternally), then that word first taketh its original in the astringent quality; therein it fixeth, conceiveth or compacteth itself; and in the sweet quality it taketh its fountain, spring or source and in the bitter quality it sharpeneth and moveth itself, and the heat it riseth up and kindleth the middle sweet fountain or source.

10:15 -- And now when the spirits do move and would speak, the hard quality must open itself; for the bitter spirit with its flash breaketh it open and there the tone goeth forth and is impregnated with all the seven spirits, which distinguished the word, as it was decreed in the center, that is, in the middle of the circle, whilst it was yet in the council of the seven spirits. And therefore the seven spirits of God have created a mouth for the creatures that when they would utter their voice, which is their speaking or would make a noise, they need not first tear themselves open; and therefore it is that all the veins and powers or qualifying or fountain spirits go into the tongue that the tone or noise may come forth gently... and this stirring in the hardness is the tone, so that [there is a] sound; and the light or flash maketh the ringing soft; so that man can use the sound to the distinction of speech, or articulation of syllables.

18:53 -- Am Anfang schuf Gott Himmel und Erden, In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth. These words must be considered exactly what they are. For the word Am conceiveth itself in the heart, and goeth forth to the lips, but there is captivated and goeth back again sounding, til it cometh to the place from which it went forth. This signifieth now that the sound went forth from the heart of God and encompassed the whole place or extent of the world; but when it was found to be evil, then the sound returned again to its own place. The word or syllable An- trusteth itself out from the heart, and presseth forth at the mouth and hath an after-pressure; but when it is spoken forth, then it closeth itself up in the midst or center of its seat with the upper gums and is half without and half within. This signifieth that the heart of God had a loathing against the corruption and so thrust away the corrupted being from himself but laid hold of it again in the midst or center at the heart. As the tongue breaketh off or divideth the word or syllable, and keeps it half without and half within, so the heart of God would not wholly reject the kindled Salitter, but with the malignity, malice and impulse of the devil; and the other part should be re-edified or built again after this time. The word or syllable -fang goeth swiftly from the heart out at the mouth and is stayed also in the hinder part of the tongue and the gums, and when it is let loose, it maketh another swift pressure from the heart, out at the mouth. This signifieth that the corrupted fierceness is thrust out eternally from the light of God, but the inward spirit which is loaded therewith against its will, shall be set again in its first house. The last after-pressure ang signifieth that the innermost spirits in the corruption are not altogether pure, and therefore they need a sweeping away, purging or consuming of the wrath in the fire, which will be done at the end of this time...

· Book of Ballymore: "From where do the figures and namesakes in the explanation of the B, L and N Ogham? From the branches and limbs of the Oak: they formed ideas which they expressed through sounds. So as the stalk of the bush is its noblest part, from them they formed the seven chief figures as vowels: A, O, U, E, I, OI,.... and they formed three others which they added to these as helpers, formed on different sides of the line like this: UI IE AE,... The branches of the wood give figures for the branches and veins of ogham, chief of all. The tribe of B from the Birch and the daughter, that is the Ash of the wood, is chief. Of them the first alphabet was formed; of L from Luis, the quicken tree of the wood. F from Fearn, the Alder, good for shields. S for sail; a Willow from the wood. N for Nin, the Ash for spears. H from Huath, Whitethorn, a crooked tree or bush because of her thorns. D from Dur, the Oak of Fate. T from Tine, Cypress or from the Elder tree. C from Col, the Hazel of the wood. Q for Quert, Apple, Aspen and Mountain Ash. M from Mediu, the Vine branching finely. G from Gort, Ivy towering. NG from Ngetal or Gilcach, a reed: ST or Z from Draighean, Blackthorn. R Griaf. A from Ailm, Fir. O from On, the Broom or Furze. U from Up Heath. E from Edadh, Tembling Aspen. I from Ida or Ioda, the Yew Tree, EA from Eabhadh, the Aspen. OI Oir the spindle tree. UI, Uinnlleann, Honeysuckle. IO Ifinn, the gooseberry. Ae Amancholl, the Witch Hazel; Pine Ogham, that is the divine pine from the wood, from where the 4 Ifins are taken."

· Owen Barfield: "I must first mention a theory of language popularized by Dr. I.E. Richards since the book appeared, though a good deal less is heard of it today. This is the division of meaning into two classes, 'emotive' and 'referential'. The language of science is said to be veridical, because the words it uses may have a 'referent', that is, they refer to something real. But the figurative language of poetry has no referent; its sole function is to arouse emotion, and it is therefore without veridical significance. If the following pages show anything at all, they show that this doctrine, if it could be believed, would write off as poetic and without veridical significance practically all the abstract words in our language (for at what particular point in their history did they acquire a referent?) including words such as 'meaning', 'verify', 'emotive' and 'referential'."

· Jorge Luis Borges: "I kept telling myself that to renounce the beautiful game of combining beautiful words was senseless, and that there was no reason to search for a single, and perhaps imaginary, word."

· Jorge Luis Borges: The Aleph
"It's in the cellar under the dining room," he went on, so overcome by his worries now that he forgot to be pompous. "It's mine...mine. I discovered it when I was a child, all by myself. The cellar stairway is so steep that my aunt and uncle forbade my using it, but I'd heard someone say that there was a world down there. I found out later they meant an old-fashioned globe of the world, but at that time I thought they were referring to the world itself. One day when no one was home I started down in secret, but I stumbled and fell. When I opened my eyes, I saw the Aleph."

"The Aleph?" I repeated

"Yes, the only place on earth where all places are seen from every angle, each standing clear, without any confusion or blending. I kept the discovery to myself and went back every chance I got. As a child, I did not foresee that this priviledge was granted me so that later I could write the poem. Zunino and Zungri will not strip me of what's mine...no, and a thousand times no! Legal code in hand, Dr. Zunni will prove that my Aleph is inalienable."

I tried to reason with him. "But isn't the cellar very dark?" I said.

"Truth cannot penetrate a closed mind. If all places in the universe are in the Aleph, then all stars, all lamps, all sources of light are in it too."

"You wait right there. I'll be right over to see it."

· Jorge Luis Borges: A book is more than a verbal structure or series of verbal structures; it is the dialogue it establishes with its reader and the intonation it imposes upon his voice and the changing and durable images it leaves in his memory. A book is not an isolated being: it is a relationship, an axis of innumerable relationships.

· Henri Bosco - "I have mu amulets:words."

· Alain Bosquet - "At the bottom of each word, I'm a spectator at my birth."

· Gabriel Bounoure - "By listening to certain words the way a child listens to the sea in a seashell, a word dreamer hears the murmer of a world of dreams... Taking care to write beautifully, one must move toward the interior of words. A letter astonishes... The changing nuances, the fine and shaded colorations of the feminine vowels are married to the consonants which outline the masculine structure of the vocable. Like us, words have sexes, and like us are members of the Logos. Like us, they search for their fulfillment in a Kingdom of truth; their rebellions, their nostalgias, their affinities, their tendencies, like ours are magnetized by the archetype of the Androgyne."

· Robert Browning - "Fancies that broke through language and escaped..."

· Martin Buber, I and Thou: "Spirit is word. And even as verbal speech may first become word in the brain of man and then become sound in his throat, although both are merely refractions of the true event because in truth language does not reside in man but man stands in language and speaks out of it ­ so it is with all words, all spirit. Spirit is not in the I, but between the I and Thou.... Only the silence of the Thou, the silence of all tongues, the taciturn waiting in the unformed, undifferentiated, prelinguistic word leaves the Thou free and stands together with it in reserve where the Spirit does not manifest it, but is. All response binds the Thou into the It world. That is the melancholy of man, and that is his greatness. For thus knowledge, thus works, thus image and example come into being among the living."

· Martin Buber, I and Thou: "For the sake of this, there are I and Thou, there is language, and spirit whose primal deed language is, and there is, in eternity, the word."

· Martin Buber, I and Thou: "Three are the spheres in which the world of relation is built. The first: life with nature where the relation sticks to the threshold of language. The second: life with men where it enters language. The third: life with spiritual beings where it lacks but creates language."

· William S. Burroughs: "Language is a virus..."

· William S. Burroughs: "We must find out what words are and how they function. They become images when written down, but images of words repeated in the mind and not of the image of the thing itself."

· Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By: "There is an extremely interesting and important Upanishad, the Manduka, in which the four symbolic elements of the syllable - the A, the U, theM, and the Silence - are interpreted allegorically as referring to four planes, degrees or modes of consciousness. The A, resounding from the back of the mouth, is said to represent waking consciousness. Here, the subject and the objects of its knowledge are experienced as separate from each other. Bodies are of gross matter; they are not self-luminous and they change their forms slowly. An Aristotelian logic prevails: a is not not-a. The nature of thought on this level is that of mechanistic science, positivistic reasoning, and the aims of its life are envisioned at chakras 1,2,and 3.

Next, with U, where the sound mass moving forward, fills the whole head as it were, the Upanishad associates dream consciousness; and here the subject and the object, the dreamer and his dream, though they may seem to be separate, are actually one, since the images are of the dreamer's own will. Further, they are of a subtle matter, self-luminous, and of rapidly changing form. They are of the nature of divinities: and indeed all the gods and demons, Heavens and Hells, are in fact the cosmic counterparts of dream. Moreover, since on this subtle plane, the seer and the seen are one and the same, all the gods and demons, Heavens and Hells are within us; are ourselves. Turn within, therefore, if you seek your model for the image of god...

Next M, third element of the syllable, where the intonation of this holy sound terminates forward, at the closed lips, the Upanishad associates with deep, dreamless sleep. There is here neither object seen nor seeing subject, but consciousness - or rather latent, potential consciousness, undifferentiated, covered with darkness.Mythologically, this state is identified with that of the universe between cycles,when all has returned to the cosmic night, the womb of the cosmic mother: "chaos" in the language of the Greeks, or in Genesis, the first "formless waste, with darkness over the seas." There is no consciousness of any objects either of waking or of dream, but only uninflected consciousness in its pristine, uncommitted state-lost, however, in darkness.

The ultimate aim of yoga, then, can be only to enter that zone awake: which is to say to "join" or to "yoke" (yoga), one's waking consciousness per se, not focussed on any object or enclosed in any subject, whether of the waking world or of sleep, but sheer, unspecified and unbounded. And since all words refer to objects, or to object-related thoughts or ideas, we have no word or words for the experience of this fourth state. Even such words as "silence" or "void" can be understood only with reference to sound or to things - as of no sound, or as of no thing. Whereas here we have come to the primal Silence antecedent to sound as potential, and to the Void antecedent to things, containing as potential the whole of space-time and its galaxies. No word can say what the Silence tells that is all around and within us, this Silence that is no silence, but to be heard resounding through all things, whether of waking, of dream, or of dreamless night - as surrounding, supporting, and suffusing the syllable AUM.

Listen to the sound of the city. Listen to the sound of your neighbor's voice, of the wild geese honking skyward. Listen to any sound or silence at all without interpreting it, and the Anahata will be heard of the Void that is the ground of being, and the world that is the body of being, the Silence and the Syllable. Moreover, when once this sound has been "heard", as it were, as the sound and being of one's own heart and of all life,one is stilled and brought to peace; there is no need to quest any more, for it is here, it is there, it is everywhere. And the high function of Oriental art is to make known that this is truly so; or, as our Western poet Gerhard Hauptmann has said of the aim of all true poetry: to let the Word be heard resounding behind the words."

"...The symbol is an object pointing to a subject. We are summoned to a spiritual awareness far beyond the level of subject and object. Mythologies, in other words, mythologies and religions, are great poems, when recognized as such, point infallibly through things and events to the ubiquity of a presence or eternity which is whole and entire in each."itself."

· Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth part 2, interviews with Bill Moyers: "What's the meaning of the universe? What's the meaning of a flea? It's just there. That's it. Your own meaning is that you're therre. We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget that the inner value. the rapture that's associated with being alive is what it's all about. We want to think about God. God is a thought. God is a name. God is an idea, but its reference is to something that transcends all thinking. The ultimate mystery of being is beyond all categories of thought. My friend Heinrich Zimmer of years ago used to say, "The best things can't be told," because they transcend thought. "The second best are misunderstood," because those are the thoughts that are supposed to refer to that which can't be thought about, and one gets stuck in the thoughts. "The third best are what we talk about." And myth is that field of reference, metaphors referring to what is absolutely transcendent."

"(Moyers) What can't be known or can't be named except in our own feeble attempt to clothe it in language."

"And the ultimate word in our language for that which is transcendent is God."

Joseph Campbell, Hero with a Thousand Faces , "Symbols are only the vehicles of communication; they must not be mistaken for the final term, the tenor of their reference... The problem of the theologian is to keep his symbol translucent, so that it may not block out the very light that it is supposed to convey... Mistaking a vehicle for its tenor may lead to the spilling of valueless ink, but of valuable blood...

The forms of sensibility and the catergories of human thought, which are themselves manifestations of this power, so confine the mind that it is normally impossible not only to see, but even to conceive, beyond the colorful, fluid, infinitely various and bewildering phenomenal spectacle. The function of of ritual and myth is to make possible, and then to facilitate the jump - by analogy. Forms and conceptions that the mind and its senses can comprehend are presented and arranged in such a way as to suggest a truth or opennes beyond. And then, the conditions for meditation having been provided, the individual is left alone. Myth is but the penultimate; the ultimate is openness - that void, or being, beyond the categories - into which the mind must plunge alone and be dissolved. Therefore, God and the gods are only convenient means - themselves of the nature of names and forms, though eloquent of, and ultimately conducive to, the ineffable. They are mere symbols to move and awaken the mind, and to call it past themselves."

Joseph Campbell, Masks of God, Part 1: Primitive Mythology , p 23-24: "In the Roman Catholic mass, for example, when the priest. quoting the words of Christ at the Last Supper, pronounces the formula of consecration - with utmost solemnity - first over the wafer of the host (Hoc est enim Corpus meum "for this is My Body"), then over the chalice of the wine (Hic est enim Calix Sanguinis, novi et aeterni Testamenti: Mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum: "For this is the Chalice of My Blood, of the new and eternal testament: the mystery of faith: which shall be shed for you and for many unto the remission of sins."), it is to be supposed that the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, that every fragment of the host and every drop of the wine is the actual living Savior of the world. The sacrament, that is to say, is not conceived to be a reference, a mere sign or symbol to arous in us a train of thought, but is God Himself, the Creator, the Judge, and Savior of the Universe, here come to work upon us directly, to free our souls (created in His image) from the effects of the Fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (which we are to suppose existed as a geographical fact)... Furthermore, it is possible for a really gifted player to discover that everything - absolutely everything - has become the body of a god, or reveals the omnipresence of God as the ground of all being... Belief - or at least a game of belief - is the first step toward such a divine seizure... Or in the permanent religious sanctuaries - the temples and cathedrals where an atmosphere of holiness hangs permanently in the air - the logic of cold, hard fact must not be allowed to intrude and spoil the spell. The gentile, the 'spoil sport', the positivist who cannot or will not play must be kept aloof. Hence the guardian figure who stands on either side of he entrances to holy places: lions, bulls and fearsome warriors with uplifted weapons. They are there to keep out the 'spoil sports', the advocates of Aristotelian logic, for whom A can never be B; for whom the actor is never to be lost in his part; for whom the mask, the image, the consecrated host, tree, or animal cannot become God, but only a reference... From such a point of view, the universe is the seat (pitha) of a divinity from whose vision our usual state of consciousness excludes us. But in playing the game of the gods we take a step toward that reality - which is ultimately the reality of ourselves."

· Fritjof Capra, The Tao of Physics: "The words of our language are not clearly defined. They have several meanings which pass only vaguely through our mind and remain largely in our subconsciousness when we hear a word. The inaccuracy and ambiguity of our language is essential for poets who work largely with its subconscious layers and associations."

· Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland:
"Of course you know your ABC," said the Red Queen.
"To be sure I do," said Alice.
"So do I," the White Queen whispered. "We'll often say it over together, dear. And I'll tell you a secret ­ I can read words of one letter! Isn't that grand? However, don't be discouraged. You'll come to it in time."

· Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland:
"My name is Alice...."
"It's a stupid name enough," Humpty Dumpty interrupted impatiently. "What does it mean?"
"Must a name mean somthing?"
"Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh; "my name means the shape I am.... With a name like yours, you might be any shape, almost."

· Lewis Carroll, Through the looking glass:

"Of course they answer to their names?" the Gnat remarked carelessly.
"I never knew them to do it."
"What's the use of having names," the Gnat said, "if they won't answer to them?"
"No use to them, " said Alice; "but it's useful to the people that name them, I suppose. If not, why do things have names at all?"
"There's the tree in the middle," said the Rose....
"But what could it do if any danger came?" asked Alice.
"It could bark," said the Rose.
"It says Bough Wough!" cried a Daisy.
"We call him the Tortoise because he taught us," said the Mock Turtle.
"My name is Alice...."
"It's a stupid name enough!" Humpty Dumpty interrupted impatiently. "What does it mean?"
"Must a name mean something?"
"Of course it must," Humpty Dumpty said with a short laugh; "my name means the shape I am... With a name like yours, you might be any shape almost."
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean..."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

· Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky:
'Twas brillig and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble on the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware thw Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

· Ernst Cassirer, Language and Myth: "The original bond between the linguistic and the mythico-religious consciousness is primarily expressed in the fact that all verbal structures appear as also mythical entities endowed with certain mythical powers, that the Word, in fact, becomes a sort of primary force in which all being and doing originate. In all mythical cosmogonies, as far back as they can be traced, this supreme position of the Word is found."

· Ernst Cassirer, Language and Myth: "The original bond between the linguistic and the mythico-religious consciousness is primarily expressed in the fact that all verbal structures appear as also mythical entities endowed with certain mythical powers, that the Word, in fact, becomes a sort of primary force in which all being and doing originate. In all mythical cosmogonies, as far back as they can be traced, this supreme position of the Word is found."

· Rosario Castellanos
Here I am, seated, with all my words,
like a basket of green fruit, intact.
The fragments
of a thousand destroyed ancient gods
seek and draw near each other in my blood. They long
to rebuild their statue.
From their shattered mouths
a song strives to rise to my mouth,
a scent of burned resins, some gesture
of mysterious wrought stone...
I look not at the submerged temples,
but only at the trees that above the ruins
move their vast shadow, with acid teeth bite
the wind as it passes...
But I know: behind
my body another body crouches,
and round about me many breaths
furtively cross
like nocturnal beasts in the jungle....
But I know only a few words
in the lapidary language
under which they buried my ancestor alive.

· Cats
from the screenplay:
"The naming of cats is a difficult matter
It isn't just one of your holiday games
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you a cat must have three different names
First there's the name of the family you stay in
Such as Peter or Rascus, Melomso? or James
Such as Victor or Jonathan or George or Bill Banes
All of them sensible, everyday names
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter
Some for the gentlemen; some for the dames
Such as Plato, Amnetus?, Electra, Demeter
But all of them sensible, everyday names
I tell you a cat needs a name that's particular
A name that's peculiar and more dignified
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular
Or spread out his whiskers or cherish his pride
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum
Such as Monistrap, Quackso or Colicopat
Such as Bombayurina? or else Jellilorm
Names that never belonged to more than one cat
But now that begun, there's still one name left over
And that is the name that you never will guess
The name that no human research can discover
What the cat himself knows and will never confess
When you notice a cat in profound meditation
The reason I tell you is always the same
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought... of the thought... of the thought of his name
His ineffable effable, eff and ineffable
Deep and inscrutable, singular name

· Tracy Chapman,

Unsettled hearts
Promise what they can't deliver
Bring the wine
And the cold night air to clear my head
Gray matter memory house
Master of this trembling flesh
Steady still my doubts
Let me speak the word that precedes bliss
Let me speak the word
Let me speak the word

· Bruce Chatwin, Songlines: Aboriginal Creation myths tell of the legendary totemic beings who had wandered over the continent in the Dreamtime, singing out the name of everything that crossed their path -- birds, animals, plants, rocks, waterholes -- and so singing the world into existence.

· Hélène Cixous: It is said that life and death are under the power of language.

· Kenneth Clarke, Civilization: "The aims of (Diderot's) encyclopedia seem harmless enough to us, but you know, authoritarian governments don't like dictionaries. They live by lies and bamboozling abstractions, and they can't afford to have words accurately defined." (Margaret: Same holds for authoritarian linguistic frameworks)

· Paul Claudel: "Is it so absurd to belivee that the alphabet is the abbreviated form and the vestiges of all the acts, all the gestures, all the attitudes and consequently all the feelings of humanity in the bosom of the creation that surrounds it?"

· Paul Claudel: "Are we to believe that between the phonic act and the written sign, between the expression and the thing expressed.... the relationship is purely formal and arbitrary? ­ or on the contrary, that all words are made up of an unconscious collaboration of eye and voice with the object?"

· Paul Claudel: "Every word is the expression of a psychological state caused by attention to an external object. It is a gesture that can be separated into its component elements or letters. The letter, or more precisely, the consonant is an acoustic attitude sparked off by the generative idea it mimics, the emotion, the word. As S, for instance, indicates the idea of scission, so N, produced by the occlusion of the voice, with the tip of the tongue rising to the palate, suggests the idea of an inner level reached, a willful deafness, a refusal in virtual plenitude."

· Paul Claudel, from Genette, translated by Thaïs Morgan:
être: t is eveything that stands up in height and width; e is that which communicates with itself, taking root in its own heart. R is that which turns back on itself. And the second e is existence while the first e is essence; it wears a crown! a triangular aspiration toward God.
âme: a is both opening up and desire, the reunion of man and woman, that which exhales and inhales breath; m is a person between walls; e is being.
vie: v is the meeting of two electrodes; i is the spark that jumps out; e is that which draw being from within.
toi: the t's vertical is the supreme representation of the object that arrests our gaze, of unity, someone toward whom we have turned; the bar of the t indicates direction, interpellation; the union of the o and the i is the paradigm of all human diphthongs; that dot on the eye is the eye of another that we catch with our own gaze.
tu: is the same thing with the two lips reaching out.
vol (flight): v is the two wings of the bird, o is the circle it describes, and l is the bird as it comes and goes.
maison: m gives us the walls, roof and partitions; a, the center, is the interior circulation; i is the fire, o the window, s the hallways and stairs, n the door, and the dot over the i is the inhabitant who looks in wonder at this magnificent building!
corps: c is the mouth breathing in and swallowing, o all the round organs, r the rising and falling liquids, p the body properly speaking with the head (or arms), s the piiping system or breathing.
pied: two footprints, one of which emphasizes the toes, the other the heel; i is the direction, e is the balancing motion on the joints, the heel.
faux (scythe): f is the shaft and handle of the scythe; a is the area that has just been mowed with the blade seen moving away; x is everything about the process of cutting; the blade eager to chop with its jaws gaping on all sides.
locomotive: First, in its length, the word is an image of the animal. L is the smoke, o the wheels and the boiler, m the pistons,, and t the marker of speed... in the manner of a telegraph post, or else a connecting rod; v is the control gear, i the whistle, e the coupling device, and the underlining is the rail.

· Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Frost at Midnight
...So shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all and all things in Himself.
Great universal Teacher! he shall mould
Thy spirit and by giving, make it ask.

· Confucius, Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know men.

· Jim Croce, I've Got a Name:
Like the pine trees linin' the windin' road,
I've got a name
I've got a name
Like a singin' bird and a croakin' toad,
I've got a name,
I've got a name.
And I carry it with me and I sing it loud.
If it gets me nowhere,
I'll go there proud.
Movin' me down the highway,
Movin' me down the highway.
Movin' along so life won't pass me by.

· Charles Darwin (1871): "Primeval man, or rather some early progenitor of man, probably first used his voice in producing true musical cadences, that is in singing."

· Charles Darwin: "The survival or preservation of certain favoured words in the struggle for existence is natural selection."

· Charles deBrosses (1765): "The vocal organ takes on, as nearly as it can, the form of the very object it wants to depict with the voice: it produces a hollow sound of the object is hollow,or a harsh one of the object is rough; in such a way that the sound resulting from the form and from the natural movement of the vocal organ placed in this position becomes the name of the object; a name that resembles the object through the harsh or hollow noise which the chosen pronunciation conveys to the ear. To the end of naming, the voice tends to use that one of its organs whose own movement will best figuratively represent to the ear either the thing, or the quality or effect of the thing it wants to name. Nature leads the voice to use, for example, an organ whose movement is harsh in order to form the expression 'racler' (to scrape). (from Genette, translated by Thaïs Morgan)

·Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:

"Some reputable scientists, even today, are not wholly satisfied with the claim that the song of birds is strictly and solely a territorial claim. It’s an important point. We’ve been on earth all these years and we still don’t know for certain why birds sing. We need someone to unlock the code into this foreign language and give us the key; we need a new Rosetta stone. Or should we learn, as I had to, each new word one by one? It could be that a bird sings I am a sparrow, sparrow, sparrow, as Gerard Manley Hopkins suggests: “Myself it speaks and spells, Crying What I do is for me: for that I came.” Sometimes birdsong seems just like the garbled speech of infants. There is a certain age at which a child looks at you in all earnestness and delivers a long, pleased speech in all the true inflections of spoken English but with not one recognizable syllable. There is no way you can tell the child that if language had been a melody, he had mastered it and done well, but that since it was in fact a sense, he had botched it utterly.

Today I watched and heard a wren, a sparrow and the mocking-bird singing. My brain started to trill why, why, why, what is the meaning, meaning, meaning? It is not that they know something we don’t; we know much more than they do, and surely they don’t even know why they sing. No; we have been as usual asking the wrong question. It does not matter a hoot what the mocking bird on the chimney is singing. If the mockingbird were chirping to give us the long-sought formulae for a unified field theory, the point would only be slightly less relevant. The real and proper question is: Why is it beautiful? I hesitate to use the word so baldly, but the question is there. The question is there since I take it as a given, as I have said, that beauty is something objectively performed – the tree that falls in the forest – having being stumbled across or missed as real and present as both sides of the moon. The modified lizard’s song welling out of the fireplace has a wild, utterly foreign music; it becomes more and more beautiful as it becomes more and more familiar. If the lyric is simply “mine, mine, mine” then why the extravagance of the score? It has the liquid, intricate sound of every creek’s tumble over every configuration of rock creek-bottom in the country. Who telegraphing a message, would trouble to transmit a five-act play or Coleridge’s Kubla Khan and who, receiving the message, could understand it? Beauty itself is the language to which we have no key; it is the mute cipher, the cryptogram, the uncracked, unbroken code. And it could be that for beauty, as it turned out to be for French, that there is no key that “oui” will never make sense in our language but only in its own, and that we need to start all over again, on a new continent, learning the strange syllables one by one.

· Edgar Doctorow "Somewhere along the line the rhythms and tonalities of music elided in my brain with the sounds that words make and the rhythm that sentences have."

· Rita Dove "The best words in the best order... Poetry takes words and considers not only their meanings, but their sounds, the way they feel in your mouth, the breath it takes to say a line."

· John Dryden "Thought if it be translated truly, cannot be lost in another language; but the words that convey it to our apprehension (which are the Image and Ornament of that thought) may be so ill chosen as to make it appear in unhandsome dress and rob it of its native Lustre."

· Meister Eckhart "Wherever this word is to be heard, it must occur in stillness and in silence."

· Umberto Eco "A sign is everything which can be taken as significantly substituting for something else. This something else does not necessarily have to exist... Thus... [signs are] everything which can be used in order to lie.."

· Egyptian Book of the Dead: "Speech is to thee to the limits of Heaven."

· Eichendorff:
Schläft ein Lied in allen Dingen,
die da träumen fort und fort,
und die Welt hebt an zu singen,
triffst du nur das Zauberwort.

· T. S. Eliot:
Against the Word the unstilled world still whirled
About the center of the silent Word.
O my people, what have I done unto thee.
Where shall the word be found, where will the word
Resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.

· Joseph Emdon

A quiet, wide river questions an arid desert; a lush silence engraves its path as it breathes against the shore. Into the dawn it merges and the darkness recedes and men are born.
My silence remains amongst the noise and inverts itself, and I am emptiness spilling over and filling up with meaning.
A fig tree looms up before me like a universal gallows.
At the sea a quay. That is the starting point. The freedom to explore the ocean of the senses: can we hear the sound or are we sensitively delighting in its described meaning only? (see Heb. kiy wordsound)
A bright day for one's spirit after a descent into hell. The dark night of the soul before the ascent of Mount Carmel
'Vitamins, O whiter mince, could I be chicken?', said the wacko to himself.
'Or, am I just a lively little white mens? How colourful and no-one to share my meal with. The colours that shine in the darkness, he thought, are the gems never seen.'
CNN; See - en - en ; seëning; hardly blessings!
Absent-mindedness has the advantage that one enjoys that which is forgotten all over again.

('Sëëning' is blessing in Afrikaans)ans)

· Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature: "The whole of nature is a metaphor of the human mind."

· Ralph Waldo Emerson,
"The old Sphinx bit her thick lip
Said,"Who taught thee me to name?
I am the spirit - yoke fellow
Of thine eye I am eyebeam."

· Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature: "As we go back in history, language becomes more picturesque.... if we could trace them to their sources, we should find in all languages, the names which stand for things."

· Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays XIII: "We are symbols, and inhabit symbols."

· Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet: "The world being thus put under the mind for verb and noun, the poet is he who can articulate it. For though life is great, and fascinates and absorbs; and though all men are intelligent of the symbols through which it is named; yet they cannot originally use them. We are symbols and inhabit sumbols; workmen, work, and tools, words, and things, birth, and death, all are emblems; but we sympathize with the symbols, and being infatuated with the economic use of things, we do not know that they are thoughts. The poet, by an ulterior intellectual perception, gives them the power which makes their old use forgotton, and puts eyes and a tongue into every dumb and inanimate object. He perceives the independence of the thought on the symbol, the stability of the thought, the accidency and fugacity of the symbol....

So far the bard taught me, using his freer speech. But nature has a higher end, in the production of new souls than security, namely ascension, or the passage of the soul into higher forms.... The poet also resigns himself to his mood, and that thought which agitated him is expressed, but alter idem, in a manner totally new. The expression is organic, or the new type which things take when liberated. A in the sun, objects make their images on the retina of the eye, so they, sharing the aspiration of the whole universe, tend to paint a far more delicate copy of their essence in his mind. Like the metamorphosis of things into higher organic forms is their change into melodies. Over everything stands its dæmon or soul, and as the form of the thing is reflected by the eye, so the soul of the thing is reflected by a melody. The sea, the mountain ridge, Niagara and every flower bed, pre-exist and super-exist, in precantations, that float like odors upon the air, and when any man goes by with an ear sufficiently fine, he overhears them and endeavors to write down the notes without diluting or depraving them....

The etymologist finds the deadest word to have once been a brilliant picture. Language is fossil poetry."

· Ralph Waldo Emerson, Plato: "The names of things too are fatal, following the nature of things. All the gods of the Pantheon are, by their names, significant of a profound sense. The gods are the ideas."

· Ralph Waldo Emerson, Over-Soul:"The infallible index of true progress is found in the tone that man takes."

· Madeleine l'Engle, A Wind in the Door:
" Meg opened her eyes. The rent in the sky was still there. 'How - oh, Progo, how did the Echthroi do that?"... "It has to do with un-Naming. If we are Namers, the Echthroi are un-Namers, non-Namers...
The Echthroi are those who hate, those who would keep you from being Named, who would unName you. It is in the nature of love to create. It is in the nature of hate to destroy...
I am a cherubim. All I need to know is that all galaxies, all stars, all creatures, cherubic, human, farandolan, all, all are known by Name."

·Madeleine l'Engle, And It Was Good

"The Word is not a pet. The Word is the wildness behind creation, the terror of a black hole, the atomic violence of burning hydrogen within a sun. Christ is both lion and lamb, and lions are not domesticated."

· Wolfram von Eschenback, "To know the Grail, you must know your A, B, Cs without Back Magic."

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Women Who Run with the Wolves
Naming a force, creature, person or thing has several connotations. In cultures where names are chosen carefully for their magical or auspicious meanings, to know a person's true name means to know their life path and soul attributes of the person. And the reason the true name is often kept secret is to protect the owner of the name, to shelter it so that no one will either denigrate it or distract from it, so that one's spiritual authority can develop to its full proportions... The questioning after the name is in order to be able to summon that force or person close to oneself.

Euripedes, The Cretans
My days have run, the servant I
Initiate of Idaean Jove
Where midnight Zagreus roves, I rove
I have endured his thunder cry
Fulfilled his red and bleeding feasts
Held the Great Mother's mountain flame
I am set free and named by name
A Bacchos of the Mailed Priests

· Gustave Flaubert, "The most beautiful works are those where there is least content; the closer the expression is to the thought, the more indistinguishable the word from the content, the, the more beautiful is the work."

· E. M. Forster - Two Cheers for Democracy: "Think before you speak is criticism's motto; speak before you think creations."

· Michel Foucault, The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences:
"One might say that it is the Name that organizes all Classical discourse; to speak or to write is not to say things or to express oneself, it is not a matter of playing with language, it is to make one's way toward the sovereign act of nomination, to move through language, toward the place where things and words are conjoined in their common essence, and which makes it possible to give them a name."

· Matthew Fox,The Coming of the Cosmic Christ, "The silence of which the mystics speak is that suspended moment at the well, at the source of being, of images, of creativity-that power from which the words come and from which they derive their power.... A left-brain culture will be ill at ease with silence. It will be excessively wordy. Words can obscure the presence and power of the Divine as they so often do in worship services that have lost touch with their mystical roots and have succumbed to secularization. The fear of silence runs deep in a culture void of mysticism."

· Sir James Frazer, The Golden Bough:
"Unable to discriminate clearly between words and things, the savage commonly fancies that the link between a name and the person or thing denominated by it is not a mere arbitrary and ideal association, but a real and substantial bond which unites the two in such a way that magic may be wrought on a man just as easily through his name as through his hairm his nails, or any other material part of his person... Amongst the tribes of Central Australia every man, woman and child has, besides a personal name which is in common use, a secret or sacred name which is betowed by the older men upon him or her soon after birth and which is known to none but the fully initiated members of the group. This secret name is never mentioned except on the most solemn occasions... When an Ojebway is asked his name, he will look at some bystander and ask him to answer... We may conjecture that to savages who act and think thus, a person's name only seems to be a part of himself when it is uttered with his own breath; uttered with the breath of others, it has no vital connexion to him...

When the Sulka of New Britain are near the territory of their enemies the Gaktei, they take care not ot mention them by their proper name, believing that were they to do so, their foes would attack and slay them. Hence in these circumstances, they speak of the Gaktei as o lapsiek, that is,"the rotten tree trunks", and they imagine that by caling them that, they make the limbs of their dreaded enemies ponderous and clumsy like logs. This example illustrates the extremely materialistic view that the savages take of the nature of words.

A Caffre wife is forbidden to pronounce even mentally the names of her father-in-law and of all her husband's male relations in the ascending line.; and whenever the emphatic syllable of any of these names occurs in another word, she must avoid it by substituting either an entirely different word, or, at least another syllable in its place. Hence this custom has given rise to an almost distinct language among the women, which the Caffres call "women's speech". Among the Alfoors of Minahasa, this custom is carried even further so as to forbid the use even of words which merely resemble the personal names in sound.

The custom of abstaining from all mention of the names of the dead was observed in antiquity by the Albanians of the Caucasus, and at the present day it is in full force among many savage tribes... New words, says the missionary Dobrizhoffer, sprang up every year like mushrooms in the nights (among the Abipones of Paraguay), because all words that resembled the names of the dead were abolished by proclamation and others coined in their place... This extraordinary custom not only adds an element of instability to the language, but destroys the continuity of political life, and renders the record of past events precarious and vague, if not impossible.

Hence just as the furtive savage conceals his real name because he fears the sorcerers might make evil use of it, so he fancies that his gods must likewise keep their true names secret, lest other gods or even men should learn their mystic sounds and thus be able to conjure with them... This conception is well illustrated be a story which tells how the subtle Isis wormed his secret name from Ra, the great Egyptian god of the sun. Isis, so runs the tale, was a woman mighty in words, and she was weary of the world of men, and yearned after the world of the gods. And she meditated in her heart saying, Cannot I by virtue of the great name of Ra make myself a goddess and reign like him in heaven and earth?" For Ra had many names, but the great name which gave him all power over gods and men was known to none but himself. Now the gods was by this time grown old; he slobbered at the mouth and his spittle fell upon the ground. So Isis gathered up the spittle and the earth with it and kneaded thereof a serpent and laid it in the path where the great god passed every day to his double kingdom after his heart's desire. And when he came forth according to his wont, attended by all his company of gods, the sacred serpent stung him, and the god opened his mouth and cried, and his cry went up to heaven. And the company of the gods criedm "What aileth thee?" and the gods shouted "Lo and behold!" But he could not answer; his jaws rattled, his limbs shook, the poison ran through his flesh as the Mile floweth over the land. When the great god had stilled his heart, he cried to his followers, "Come to me, O my children, offspring of my body. I am a prince, the son of a prince, the divine seed of a god. My father devised my name. My father and mother gave me my name, and it remained hidden in my body since my birth, that no magician might have magic power over me. I went out to behold that which I have made, I walked in two lands which I have created,, adn lo! something stung me. What it is, I know not. Was it fire? was it water? My heart is on fire, my flesh trembleth, all my limbs do quake. Bring me the children of the gods with healing words and understanding lips whose power reacheth to heaven." Then came to him the children of the gods, and they were very sorrowful. And Isis came with her craft, whose mouth is full of the breath of life, whose spells chase pain away, whose word maketh the dead to live. She said, "What is it, divine father, what is it?" The holy god opened his mouth, he spake and said, "I went upon my way, I walked after my heart's desire in the two regions which I have made to behold that which I have created and lo! a serpent that I saw not stung me. Is it fire? is it water? I am colder than water, I am hotter than fire, all my limbs sweat, I tremble, mine eye is not steadfast, I behold not the sky, the moisture bedeweth my face as in summer-time." Then spake Isis, "Tell me thy name, divine Father, for the man shall live who is called by his Name." Then answered Ra, "I created the heavens and the earth, I ordered the mountains, I made the great and wide sea, I stretched out the two horizons like a curtain. I am he who openeth his eyes and it is light, and who shutteth them and it is dark. At his command, the Nile riseth, but the gods know not his name. I am Khpera in the morning, I am Ra at noon, I am Tum at eve." But the poison was not taken away from him; it pierced deeper and the great god could no longer walk. Then said Isis to him, "That was not thy name that thou spakest unto me. Oh, tell it me that the poison may depart; for he shall live whose name is named." Now the poison burned like fire, it was hotter than the flame of fire. The god said, "I consent that Isis shall search into me, and that my name shall pass from my breast into hers." Then the god hid himself from the gods, and his place in the ship of eternity was empty. Thus was the name of the great god taken from him, and Isis, the witch spake, "Flow away poison, depart from Ra. It is I, even I, who overcome the poison and cast it to the earth; for the name of the great god hath been taken away from him. Let Ra live and let the poison die." Thus spake great isis, queen of the gods, she who knows Ra and his true name.

In Egypt, attempts like that of Isis to appropriate the power of a high god by possessing herself of his name were not mere legends told of the mythical beings of a remote past; every Egyptian magician aspired to wield like powers by similar means. For it was believed that he who possesed the true name possessed the very being of god or man, and could force even a diety to obey him as a slave obeys a master.

· Sigmund Freud, Totem and Taboo:
"The strangeness of this taboo on names diminishes if we bear in mind that the primitive person looks upon his name as an essential part and important possession of his personality, and that he ascribes the full significance of things to words. Our children do the same, as I have shown elsewhere, and they are therefore never satisfied with accepting a meaningless verbal similarity, but consistently conclude that when two things have identical names a deeper correspondence between them must exist. Numerous peculiarities of normal behavior may lead civilized man to concludethat he too is not yet as far removed as he things from attributing the importance of things to mere names and feeling that his name has become peculiarly identified with his person. This is corroborated in psychoanalytic experiences, where there is much occasion to point out the importance of names in unconscious thought activity."

"Taboo is itself an ambivalent word and by way of supplement, we may add that the established meaning of this word might itself have allowed us to guess what we have found as the result of extensive investigation, namely, that the taboo prohibition is to be explained as a result of an emotional ambivalence. A study of the oldest languages has taught us that at one time there were many such words which included their own contrasts so that they were in a certain sense ambivalent, though perhaps not exactly in the same sense as taboo. Slight vocal modifications of this primitive word containing two opposite meanings later served to create a separate linguistic expression for the two opposites originally united in one word."

· Fulcanelli, Le Mystère des Cathédrales:
"For me Gothic art (art gothique) is simply a corruption of the term argonotique (cant), which sounds exactly the same. This is in conformity with the phonetic law, which governs the traditional cabala in every language and does not pay attention to language. The cathedral is a work of art goth (gothic art) or og argot, i.e. cant or slang. Moreover, dictionaries define argot as 'a language peculiar to all individuals who wish to communicate their yjoughts without being understood by outsiders'. Thus it is certainly a spoken cabala. The argotiers, those who use this language, are hermetic descendents of the argonauts, who manned the ship Argo. They spoke the langue argotique -- our langue verte ('green language' or slang) -- while they were sailing toward the felicitous shores of Colchos to win the Golden Fleece. People still say about a very intelligent, but sly man: 'he knows everything -- he understands cant'. All the initiates expressed themselves in cant; the vagrants of the Court of Miracles -- headed by the poet Villon -- as well as the Freemasons of the Middle Ages 'members of the lodge of God', who built argotique masterpieces, which we still admire today. Those constructional sailors (nautes) also knew the route to the garden of the Hesperides...

People think that such things are a mere play on words. I agree. The important thing is that such word play should guide our faith toward certainty, toward positive and scientific truth, which is the key to the religious mystery, and should not leave us wandering in the capricious maze of our imagination. The fact is that there is neither chance nor coincidence nor accidental correspondence here below. All is foreseen, preordained, regulated... If the usual sense of words does not allow us any discovery capable of elevating and instructing us, or bringing us nearer to our Creator, then words become useless. The spoken word, which gives man his indisputable superiority, loses its nobility, its greatness, its purity... Besides, language, the instrument of the spirit, has a life of its own -- even though it is only a reflection of the universal Idea. We do not invent anything. We do not create anything.. What we believe we have discovered by an effort of our intelligence exists already elsewhere... What unsuspected marvels we should find if we knew how to dissect words, to strip them of their bark and liberate the spirit, the divine light which is within! In present day con-conversation, is it not the ambiguities, the approximations, the puns or the assonances which characterize spirited people, who are glad to escape the tyrrany of the letter and thereby -- unwittingly -- show themselves cabalists in their own right.

I would finally add that argot (cant) is one of the forms derived from the Language of the Birds, parent and doyen of all other languages... This is the language which teaches the mystery of things and unveils the most hidden truths."

· Galileo: "But of all other stupendous inventions, what sublimity of mind must have been his who conceived how to communicate hi most secret thoughts to any other person, though very far distant, either in time or place? And with no greater difficulty than the various arrangement of two dozen little signs upon paper? Let this be the seal of all the admirable inventions of man."

Gérard Genette, Mimologics: Cratylism is "a verbal hallucination caused by excessive imbibing of bad wine. For the victim, everything doubles up and he cannot tell which are the names and which are the things."

· Ida Gerhardt:
De taal slaapt in een syllabe
en zoekt moedergrond om te aarden.
Vijf jaren is oud genoeg.
Toen mijn vader, die ik het vroeg,
mij zeide:'dat is een grondel',
­ en ik zàg hem, zwart in de sloot­
legde hij het woord in mij te vondeling,
open en bloot.
Waarvoor ik moest zorgen,
met mijn leven moest borgen:
totaan mijn dood.

· Andre Gidé: "The reason for writing is to shelter something from death."

· Gilgamesh: (Herbert Mason)
They stood in awe
At the foot of the green mountain. Pleasure
Seemed to grow from fear for Gilgamesh.
As one who comes upon a path in the woods
Unvisited by men, one is drawn near
The lost and undiscovered in himself;
He was revitalized by danger.
They knew it was the path Humbaba made.
Some called the forest 'Hell' and others 'Paradise';
What difference does it make? said Gilgamesh.
But night was falling quickly
And they had no time to call it names,
Except perhaps 'The Dark',
Before they found a place at the edge of the forest
To serve as shelter for their sleep.

· Ginzberg, The Kaballah: "When God was about to create the world by His word, the twenty two letters of the alphabet descended from the terrible and august crown of God whereon they were engraved with a pen of flaming fire. They stood round about God, and one after the other spake and entreated, "Create the world through me!" The first to step forward was the letter Taw. It said: "Oh Lord of the world! May it be Thy will to create Thy world through me, seeing as it is through me that Thou wilt give the Torah to Israel by the hand of Moses, as it is written, 'Moses commanded us the Torah.'" The Holy One, blessed be He, made reply, and said , "No!" Taw asked, "Why not?" and God answered: "Because in days to come, I shall place thee as a sign of death upon the foreheads of men." As soon as Taw heard these words issue from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, it retired from His presence disappointed.
The Shin then stepped forward, an pleaded: "Oh Lord of the world, create Thy world through me, seeing that Thine own name Shaddai begins with me." Unfortunately, it is also the first letter of Shaw, lie, and of Sheker, falsehood, and that incapacitated it. Resh had no better luck. It was pointed out that it was the first letter of Ra', wicked., and Rasha', evil, and after that, the distinction it enjoys of being the first letter in the Name of God, Rahum, the Merciful, counted for naught. The K.of was rejected, because K.elalah, curse, outweighs the advantage of being the first in K.adosh, the Holy One. In vain did Z.adde call attention to Z.addik, the Righteous One; there was Z.arot, the misfortunes of Israel, to testify against it. Pe had Podeh, redeemer to its credit, but Pesha', transgression, reflected dishonor upon it. 'Ain was declared unfit, because, though it begins 'Anawah, humility, it performs the same service for 'Erwah, immorality. Samek said: "Oh Lord, may it be Thy will to begin creation with me, for though art called Samek after me, the Upholder of all that fall." But God said, "Thou art needed in the place in which thou art; thou must continue to uphold all that fall." Nun introduces Ner, "the lamp of the Lord," which is "the spirit of men," but it also introduces Ner "the Lamp of the Wicked," which will be put out by God. Mem starts Melek, king, one of the titles of God. As it is the first letter of Mehumah, confusion as well, it had no chance of accomplishing its desire. The claim of Lamed bore its refutation within itself. It advanced the argument that it was the first letter of Luh.ot, the celestial table of the Ten Commandments; it forgot that the tables were shivered in pieces by Moses. Kaf was sure of victory. Kisseh, the throne of God, Kabod, His honor, and Keter, His crown, all begin with it. God had to remind it that He would smite together His hands, Kaf, in dispair over the misfortunes of Israel. Yod at first sight seemed the appropriate letter for the beginning of the creation, on account of its association with Yah, God, if only Yez.er ha-Ra', the evil inclination, had not happened to begin with it too. T.et is identified with T.ob, the good. However, the truly good is not in this world; it belongs in the world to come. H.et is the first letter of H.anun, the Gracious one; but this advantage is offset by its place in the word for sin, H.at.t.at. Zain suggests Zakor, remembrance, but is itself in the word for weapon, the doer of mischief. Waw and He compose the ineffable Name of God; they are therefore too exalted to be pressed into the service of the mundane world. If Dalet had stood only for Dabar, the Divine Word, it would have been used, but it also stands for Din, Justice, and under the rule of law without love, the world would have fallen to ruins. Finally, in spite of reminding one of Gadol, great, Gimel would not do, because Gemul, retribution, starts with it.
After the claims of all these letters had been disposed of, Bet stepped before the Holy One, blessed be He, and pleaded before Him: "Oh Lord of the world! May it be Thy will to create Thy world through me, seeing that all the dwellers in the world give praise daily unto Thee through me, as it is said "Baruch..." 'Blessed be the Lord forever. Amen, and Amen.'" The Holy One, blessed be He, at once granted the petition of Bet. He said, "Blessed be He that cometh in the Name of the Lord." And He created His world through Bet, as it is said, "Bereshit God created the heaven and the earth."
The only letter that refrained from urging its claims was the modest Alef, and God rewarded it later for its humility by giving it the first place in the Decalogue."

Goethe (Walpurgis Nacht):

Niemand hört es gern,
Daß man ihn Greis nennt. Jedem Worte klingt
Der Ursprung nach, wo es sich her bedingt:
Grau, grämlich, griesgram, greulich, Gräber, grimmig,
Etymologisch gleicherweise stimmig,
Verstimmen uns.­

Goethe (Faust):

Sie hören nicht die folgenden Gesänge,
Die Seelen, denen ich die ersten sang;
Zerstoben ist das freudliche Gedränge,
Verklungen, ach! der erste Widerklang;
Mein Lied ertönt der unbekannten Menge,
Ihr Beifall selbst macht meinem Herzen bang,
Und was sich sonst an meinem Lied erfreuet,
Wenn es noch lebt, irrt in der Welt zerstreuet.

·Gogol, "O muzyka, esli ty nas ostavish', chto s nami budet?" (Oh, music, if you abandon us, what will become of us?)

Thomas Gray:

Facing to the Northern clime
Thrice he traced the Runic rhyme;
Thrice pronounced in accents dread
The thrilling verse that wakes the dead.
Til from out the hollow ground
Slowly breathed a sullen sound.


Progress of Poesy: Thoughts that breathe and words that burn.

· Julien Green, "Thoughts fly and words go on foot. Therein lies all the drama of the writer"

· Ursula Le Guin, A Wizard of Earthsea: "The Hardic tongue of the Archipelago, though it had no more magic power in it than any other tongue of men, has its root in the Old Speech, that language in which things are named with their true names: and the way to the understanding of this speech starts with the Runes that were written when the islands of this world first were raised up from the sea."

"I am bound to the foul, cruel thing and will be bound forever unless I can learn the word that masters it - its name."

"Tell me just this, if it's not a secret: what other great powers are there besides the light?"
"It's no secret. All power is one in source and end, I think. Years and distance, stars and candles, water and wind and wizardry, the craft in a man's hand and the wisdom in a tree's root: they all arise together. My name and yours, and the true name of the sun, or a spring of water, or an unborn child, all are syllables of the great word that is very slowly spoken by the shining of the stars. There is no other power, no other name."

The Tombs of Atuan: "There are sharks in the sea, and there is cruelty in men's eyes. And where men worship these things and abase themselves before them, there evil breeds; thereplaces are made in the world where darkness gathers, places given over wholly to the Ones whom we call Nameless, the ancient and holy powers of the Earth before theLight, the powers of the dark, the ruin, the madness... Knowing names is my job. My art. To weave the magic of a thing, you see, one must find its true name out. In my lands we keep our true names hidden all our lives long, from all but those we trust utterly; for there is great power and great peril in a name. Once, at the beginning of time, when Segoy raised the isles of Earthsea from the ocean deeps, all things bore their own true names. And all doing of magic, all wizardry, hangs still upon the knowledge - the relearning, the remembering - of that true and ancient language of the Making. There are spells to learn, of course, ways to use words; and one must know the consequences too. But what a wizard spends his life at is finding out the names of things and finding out how to find the names of things." "How did you find out mine?" "...I cannot tell you that. You are a lantern swathed and covered, hidden away in a dark place. Yet the light shines; they could not put out the light. They could not hide you. As I know the light, as I know you, I know the light."

"There's a design like waves scratched on the outside, and nine Runes of Power on the inside. The half you have bears four runes and a bit of another; and mine likewise. The break came right across that one symbol, and destroyed it. It is what's been called since then, the Lost Rune. The other eight are known to the Mages: Pirr that protects from madness and from wind and fire, Ges that gives endurance, and so on But the broken rune was the one that bound the lands."

The Farthest Shore "Runes were graven on the walls at intervals cut deep, some inlaid with silver. Arren had learned the runes of Hardic from his father, but none of these did he know, though certain of them seemed to hold a meaning that he almost knew, or had known and could not quite remember."

"He was speaking now in the Old Speech, the language of the Making, in which all true spells are cast and on which all the great acts of magic depend; but very seldom is it spoken in conversation except among dragons."

"The language of the Making is not everywhere remembered; here one word, there another. And the weaving of spells is itself interwoven with the earth and the water, the winds and the fall of light of the place where it is cast. I once sailed far into the East, so far that neither wind nor water heeded my command, being ignorant of their true names; or more likely it was I who was ignorant. The world is very large, the Open Sea going on past all knowledge; and there are worlds beyond the world. Over the abysses of space and in the long extent of time, I doubt that any word that can be spoken would bear, everywhere and forever, its weight of meaning and its power; unless it were the First Word which Segoy spoke, making all, or the Final Word, which has not been nor will be spoken until all things are unmade."

"As they sailed on, the garbling echoes lessened and this syllable came more clearly, so Arren said, 'Is there a voice in the cave?' 'The sea's voice.' 'But it speaks a word.' ...'How do you hear it?' 'As saying the sound ahm' 'In the Old Speech, that signifies the beginning, or long ago. But I hear it as ohb, which is a way of saying the end.'

· Guru Gita: "Meditate on the Guru, who reveals That, who is the expression of the Shambhava state, who illumines like the flame of a lamp, who is eternal and all-pervasive, and who is visible in the form of all letters."
"I bow to the Guru's assemblage, which is composed of the three preceding Gurus (whose titles) begin with Shrinatha, Ganapati, three seats (of Shakti), (eight) Bhairavas, the group of (nine traditional) Siddhas, three Batukas, two feet (representing Shiva and Shakti), the sequence of (ten) Dutis, (three) Mandalas, ten Viras, sixty-four (established Siddhas), nine (Mudras), the line of five viras (with special functions), together with the revered Malini (the letters of the alphabet), and the Mantraraja"
"...Who created the tree of the three worlds by uttering the seed sounds bhuh, bhuvah, and svah; who helped to cross these worlds by these very sounds;..." (the thousand names of Vishnu.
"Oh, giver of refuge, when considered separately, the three letters of the word Aum (Om) ­ a, u, m ­ indicate the three Vedas, the three states, the three worlds, and the three gods, and thus describe You as being diverse."
"The Kula Kundalini is the origin of the Vedas and other scriptures, as well as the seed letters."

· Dag Hammarskjöld, Markings: "Respect for the word is the first commandment in the discipline by which a man can be educated to maturity- intellectual, emotional and moral. Respect for the word - to employ it with scrupulous care and incorruptible heartfelt love of truth - is essential if there is to be any growth in a society or in the human race. To misuse the word is to show contempt for man. It undermines the bridges and poisons the wells. It cuases man to regress down the long path of his evolution."

· Graham Hancock,Fingerprints of the Gods: "Renowned for her skillful use of witchcraft and magic, Isis was particularly remembered by the Ancient Egyptians as 'strong of tongue', that is being in command of words of power 'which she knew with correct pronunciation, and halted not in her speech, and was perfect both in giving the command and in saying the word' [Sir E. A. Wallis budge, Egyptian Magic]. In short she was believed, by means of her voice alone, to be capable of bending reality and overriding the laws of physics."

· Gerhart Hauptmann, cited by C.J. Jung in Seelenprobleme der Gegenwart: "Dichten heißt, hinter Worten das Urwort erklingen lassen."

· Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land, Chaper 15, "Smith was wistfully sorry that he had been the cause of such upset in Jubal. At the time, it seemed to him that he had at last grokked perfectly a most difficult human word. He should have known better, because early in his learnings under his brother Mahmoud, he had discovered that long human words (the longer the better) were easy, unmistakable, and rarely changed their meanings... but short words were slippery, unpredictable, changing their meanings without any pattern. Or so he had seemed to grok... Short human words were like trying to lift water with a knife."

· Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land, Chaper 15, "'I grok it,' agreed Jubal, 'Language itself shapes a man's basic ideas... 'The Koran cannot be translated. The 'map' changes on translation no matter how hard one tries... English swallows up anything that comes in its way, makes English out of it. Nobody tried to stop this process the way some languages are policed and have official limits... probably because there never has been, truly, such a thing as 'the King's English' -- for 'the King's English' was French. English was in truth a bastard tongue, and nobody cared how it grew. But nevertheless, there are things which can be said in the simple Arabic tongue which cannot be said in English."

· Martin Heidegger, "Man acts as if he were the shaper and master of language, while it is language which remains the mistress of man."

· Hermes Trismegistos, The Poimandres: "... methought there came to me a Being of vast and boundless magnitude, who called me by my name, and said to me, 'What do you wish to hear and see and learn and come to know by thought?' 'Who are you?' I said. 'I', said he, 'am Poimandres, the Mind of the Sovreignty.' 'I would learn the things that are, understand their nature, and get Knowledge of God.' ...Forthwith all things changed, and I beheld a boundless view; all was changed into... a joyous light. Then there came to be in one part a downward-tending darkness, terrible and grim. Thereafter I saw the darkness change into a water substance which was unspeakably tossed about, and I heard it making an unspeakable sound of lamentation. But from the Light, there came forth a holy Word, which took its stand upon the watery substance, and methought the Word was the voice of the Light.

And Poimandres spoke, 'That Light is I, even Mind, the first God who was before the watery substance which appeared out of the darkness, and the Word which came forth from the Light wasthe Son of God.' 'Learn my meaning,' said he, 'by looking at what you yourself have in you, for in you too, the word is son, and the mind is father of the word. They are not separate one from the other, for life is the union of word and mind.'

· An Invocation of Hermês-Thôth - found at The Hermetic Fellowship Web Site

Let all Darkness be dispelled for us, and let the Great God Hermês-Thôth shine for us, and let Him harken to these sacred Words:
Come Thou to this Temple, Lord Hermês, as children come into the wombs of women, and fill us with Thy Light.
Come Thou to this Temple, Lord Thôth, Whose power doth nourish both Gods and Humans, and nourish us with Thy Light.
Come Thou to this Temple, Lord Hermês-Thôth, and guide us in the ancient and eternal Path of Light.
I call upon Thee, Lord Hermês, Thrice-Great Leader of the Gods and Chief of all Magicians, to establish with Thy Power the Seven Sacred Points within this Hermetic Temple of the Magic of Light, dedicated to Thee in Thy Name of Hermês-Thôth.
First, I honour and invoke Thee in the Four Quarters by the Forms and Celestial Names by which Thou didst lay the Four Foundations and mix the Four Winds:
In the East, Thy Form is that of an Ibis, and I call upon Thee in Thy Celestial Name of LAMPHTHEN OUÔTHI;
In the South, Thy Form is that of a Wolf, and I call upon Thee in Thy Celestial Name of ENTHOMOUCH OUÔTHI.
In the West, Thy Form is that of a Dog-faced Baboon, and I call upon Thee in Thy Celestial Name of OUASTHEN OUÔTHI;
In the North, Thy Form is that of a Serpent, and I call upon Thee in Thy Celestial Name of OAMENÔTH OUÔTHI.
I also call upon Thee, Lord, to complete the Sacred Heptad by establishing the Three Points of the Middle Pillar in the midst of the Four Quarters.
Above this hallowed Temple I call upon Thee in Thy true Name, which is engraved on the sacred stele in Thy Shrine at Hermopolis: OSERGARIACH NOMAPHI.
Below this Temple I call upon Thee in Thy Great Name which is inscribed on the prow of the Sacred Ship: ACHCHEMEN ESTROPH.
Finally, at the true Heart and Centre of this Sacred Place, I call upon Thee to establish the Seventh Point, the Mystic Centre, in Thy Name of Seven Letters, which hath the value of 365, corresponding to the cycle of the Year. And, verily, this Mystic Name is ABRASAX.
I know Thee, Hermês, and Thou knowest me. Thy Name is mine, and my name is Thine. I am Thee, and Thou art I. Therefore, do that which I ask, and turn Thou to this Temple now and always with Thy two Ministers Agathotychê and Agathodaimôn, Good Fortune and the Good Spirit.
As I have rehearsed Thy Names and Mysteries, arise! move! and establish Thy Power within this Place, for we who call Thee are true Magicians of the Hermetic Path and like Thee, servants and channels of that Light which is beyond all lights.

· Herman Hesse, Siddharta, "How deaf and stupid I have been, he thought, walking on quickly. When anyone reads anything which he wishes to study, he does not despise the letters and punctuation marks, and call them illusion, chance and worthless shells, but he reads them, he studies them, letter by letter. But I, who wished to read the book of the world and the book of my own nature, did presume to despise the letters and signs. I called the world of appearances, illusion. I called my eyes and tongue, chance."

· Herman Hesse, Das Glasperlenspiel, "Man hörte Vorträge über Dichter, deren Werke man niemals gelesen hat, oder zu lesen gesonnen war... und kämpfte sich... durch eine Sintflut von vereinzelten, ihres Sinnes beraubten Bildungswerten und Wissensbruchstückchen. Kurz, man stand schon dicht vor jener grauenhaften Entwertung des Wortes, welche forerst ganz im geheimen und in kleinsten Kreisen jene heroisch-asketische Gegenbewegung hervorrief, welche bald darauf sichbar und mächtig und der Ausgang einer neuen Selbstsucht und Würde des Geistes würde."

"Seit der Großtat des Baslers nun hat das Spiel sich rasch vollends zu dem entwickelt, was es noch heute ist: zum Inbegriff des Geistigen und Musischen, zum sublimen Kult, zur Unio Mystica aller getrennten Glieder der Universitas Litterearum. Es hat in unsrem Leben teils die Rolle der Kunst, teils die der spekulativen Philosophie übernommen... War nun das Glasperlenspiel... ins Unendliche gewachsen und... zu einer hohen Kunst und Wissenschaft geworden, so fehlte ihm in den Zeiten des Baslers doch noch etwas Wesentliches. Bis dahin nähmlich was das Spiel ein Aneinanderreihen, Ordnen, Gruppieren... von konzentrierten Vorstellungen aus vielen Gebieten des Denkens und des Schönen gewesen... ein virtuoser kurzer Flug durch die Reiche des Geistes. Erst wesentlich später kam allmählich... auch der Begriff der Kontemplation in das Spiel... Nach jedem Zeichen nähmlich, das der jeweilige Spielleiter beschworen hatte, wurde nun über dies Zeichen, über seinen Gehalt, seine Herkunft, seinen Sinn eine stille strenge Betrachting abgehalten, welche jeden Mitspieler zwang, dich die Inhalte des Zeichens intensiv und organisch gegenwärtig zu machen... Dadurch wurden die Hieroglyphen des Spiels davor bewahrt, zu bloßen Buchstaben zu entarten."

"Dennoch geschah es... daß ich... plötzlich und mit einem Schlage vom Sinn und von der Größe unsres Spiels ergruffen und bis ins Innerste erschüttert wurde. Wir sezierten an einem Sprachgeschichtlichen Problem herum und sahen gewissermaßen dem Höhepunkt und der Glanzzeit einer Sprache aus der Nähe zu, gingen in Minuten einen Weg mit ihr, zu dem sie einige Jahrhunderte gebraucht hatte, und mich packte das Schauspiel der Vergänglichkeit gewaltig an:, wie da vor unsern Augen ein so komplizierter, alter ehrwurdiger, in vielen Generationen langsam aufgebauter Organismus zu seiner Blüte kommt, und die Blüte schon den Keim des Verfalls enthält, und der ganze sinnvoll gegliederte Bau zu sinken, zu entarten, dem Untergang entgegenzuwanken beginnt -- und zugleich durchfuhr es mich mit einem Zuck und freudigen Schrecken, daß dennoch der Verfall und Tod jener Sprache nicht ins Nichts geführt hatte, daß ihre Jugend, ihre Blüte, ihr Niedergang in einserem Gedächtnis, im Wissenum sie und ihre Geschichte, aufbewahrt und daß sie in den Seichen und Formeln der Wissenschaft sowohl wie in den geheimen Formulierungen des Glasperlenspiels fortlebe und jederziet wieder aufgebaut werden könne. Ich begriff plötzlich, daß in der Sprache oder doch mindestens im Geist des Glasperlenspiels tatsächlich alles allbedeutend sei, daß jedes Symbol und jede Kombination von Symbolen nicht hierhin oder dorthin, nicht zu einzelnen Beispielen, Experimenten und Beweisen führe, sondern ins Zentrum, ins Geheimnis und Innerste der Welt, in das Urwissen."

· Herman Hesse,Das Glasperlenspiel,

Gelegentlich ergreifen wir die Feder
Und schreiben Zeichen auf ein weißes Blatt,
Die sagen dies und das, es kennt sie jeder,
Es ist ein Spiel, das seine Regeln hat.

 Doch wenn ein Wilder oder Mondmann käme
Und solches Blatt, solch furchig Runenfeld
Neugierig forschend vor die Augen nähme,
Ihm starrte draus ein fremdes Bild der Welt,
Ein fremder Zauberbildersaal entgegen.
Er sähe A und B als Mensch und Tier,
Als Augen, Zungen, Glieder sich bewegen,
Bedächtig dort, gehetzt von Trieben hier,
Er läse wie im Schnee den Krähentritt,
Er liefe, ruhte, litte, flöge mit
Und sähe aller Schöpfung Möglichkeiten
Durch die erstarrten schwarzen Zeichen spuken,
Durch die gestabten Ornamente gleiten,
Säh Liebe glühen, sähe Schmerzen zucken.
Er würde staunen, lachen, weinen, zittern,
Da hinter dieser Schrift gestabten Gittern
Die ganze Welt in ihrem blinden Drang
Verkleinert ihm erschiene, in die Zeichen
Verzwergt, verzaubert, die in steifem Gang
Gefangen gehn und so einander gleichen,
Daß Lebensdrang und Tod, Wollust und Leiden
Zu Brüdern werden, kaum zu unterscheiden...

  Und endlich würde dieser Wilde schreien
Vor unerträglicher Angst, und Feuer schüren
Und unter Stirnaufschlag und Litaneien
Das weiße Runenblatt den Flammen weihen.
Dann würde er vielleicht einschlummernd spüren,
Wie diese Un-Welt, dieser Zaubertand,
Dies Unerträgliche zurück ins Niegewesen
Gesogen würde und ins Nirgendland,
Und würde seufzen, lächeln und genesen.

Hippolytusytus, "The Tetrad: After having explained this, spoke as follows: 'Now I also wish to show you Truth herself, for I have brought her down from the Heavens, so you could behold her naked and know her beauty, so that you may hear her speak and marvel at her wisdom. See then first the head above: Alpha and Omega, the neck: Beta and Phi, shouldersm arms and hands: Gamma and Chi, breasts: Delta and Phi, diaphragm: Epsilon and Ypsilon, belly: Zeus and Tau, pudenda: Eta and Sigma, thighs: Zeta and Rho, knees: Iota and Pi, calves: Kappa and Omicron, ankles: Lambda and Xi, feet: Mu and Nu... and these he finds to be the elements of man, and affirms it to be the source of every word, and the originating principle of every sound."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, "Words are the tools of thought and you will often find that you are thinking badly because you are using the wrong tools - trying to bore a hole with a screwdriver or draw a cork with a coal hammer. Talking shapes our thought for us; the waves of conversation roll them as the surf rolls the pebbles on the shore."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, "A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanged; it is the skin of a living thought, and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and the time in which it is used."

Murray Hope, Practical Egyptian Magic: "Isis was a magician, possibly the archetype for the high priestess of the tarot. She learned her magic from Thoth, although according to some legends she obtained her powers from Ra himself by tricking him into revealing his name to her, thus acquiring his full magical knowledge."

· E. M. von Hornbostel, Über Geruchshelligkeit: "Das Wesentliche des Sinnlich-Anschaulichen liegt nicht in dem, was die Sinne trennt, sondern in dem, was sie eint ­ eint unter sich, mit dem ganzen, auch nicht-sinnlichen Erleben in uns, und mit all dem draussen, was zu erleben gibt."

· A. E. Housman, The Name and Nature of Poetry: "Poetry seems to me more physical than intellectual. A year or two ago, I received a request from America that I would define poetry. I replied that I could no more define poetry than a terrier can define a rat, but that I tought we both recognized the object by the symptoms which it provokes in us. One of these symptoms was described in connection with another object by Eliphaz the Temanite: 'A spirit passed before my face: the hair of my flesh stood up.' ...The seat of this sensation is in the pit of the stomach."

· Victor Hugo, Contemplations, Réponse à un acte d'accusation:
Le mot veut, ne veut pas, accourt, fée ou bacchante...
Tel mot est un sourire, et tel autre un regard...
Les mots sont les passants mystérieux de l'âme...
... présent partout, nain caché sous les langues,
le mot tient sous ses pieds le globe et l'asservit...
Mets un mot sur un homme, et l'homme frissonnant
Sèche et neurt, pénétré par la force profonde...,
A son haleine, l'âme et la lumière aidant,
L'obscure énormité lentement s'efolie...
Il est vie, esprit, germe, ouragan, vertu, feu;
Car le mot, c'est le Verbe, et le Verbe, c'est Dieu.

· Victor Hugo, Voyage de Genève à Aix: "Have you noticed how the Y is a picturesque letter with numerous sigifications? The tree is a Y; the branching of two roads is a Y; the confluence of two rivers is a Y; a donkey's or ox's head is a Y; a glass on its base is a Y; a lily on its stem is a Y; a supplicant raising his arms to the sky is a Y. Moreover, this observations can be extended to all the constituent elements of the human writing system. Everything in demotic language has been poured into it by hieratic language. The hieroglyph is the necessary root of the written character. All letters were at first signs, and all signs were initially images. Human society, the world, man in his entirety is in the alphabet. Masonry, astronomy, philosophy, all the sciences start here, imperceptibly, but real, and it must be so. The alphabet is a fountainhead. A is a roof, a gable with its crosspiece, the arche, arx; or it is the accolade of two friends who kiss each other on the cheek and shake each other's hand. D is the back {dos}; B is D on D, a back on a back, the humb {bosse}; C is a crescent, the moon; E is a solid foundation, the right foot, a console and sternpost, the whole of basement architecture within one single letter; F is the gallows, a pitchfork, Furca; G is a horn; H is the façade of a building with its two towers; I is a war machine throwing a projectile; J is the plowshare and the cornucopia; K is the angle of reflection equal to the angle of incidence, on of the keys of geometry; L is the leg and foot; M is a mountain, or a camp with paired tents; N is a closed door with its diagonal bar; O is the sun; P is a porter, standing with his burden on his back; Q is a rump with a tail; R is rest, the porter leaning on his staff; S is a serpent; T is a hammer; U is an urn; V is a vase; I have already said what Y is; Z is a flash of lightning; it is God.
So first comes the house of man, and its construction, then the human body, its build and deformities, then justice, music, the church; war, harvest, geometry; the mountain, nomadic life and secluded life, astronomy, toil and rest; the horse and the snake; the hammer and urn, which ­ turned over and struck­ makes a bell; trees, rivers, roads; and finally destiny and God: This is what the alphabet signifies.
For some of those mysterious constructors of languages who built the foundations of human memory, and whom human memory forgets, it could be that the A, E, F, H, I, K, L, M, N, T, V, Y, X, and Z were none other than the various ribs of the framework of a temple."

· Victor Hugo and Théophile Guérin, chennlings from an entity called Idea: "Language is nothing but the beating of thought's wings."

· Wilhelm von Humboldt, Über die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues: "That connection exists between sound and meaning seems certain; but the nature of this connection is seldom fully stateable... We can distinguish three ways of designating concepts.

1. The directly imitative, where the noise emitted by a sounding object is portrayed in the word...
2. The designation that imitate, not directly, but by say of a third factor common to both sound and object. It selects for the objects to be designated, sounds which, partly in themselves and partly by comparison with others, produce for the ear an impression similar to that of the object upon the soul: as stand, steady, stiff give the impression of fixity; the Sanskrit li that of melting, dispersal, dissolution; not, nibble and nicety that of finely and sharply penetrating. In this way objects that evoke similar impressions are assigned words with predominantly the same sounds, such as waft, wind, wisp, wobble and wish, wherein all the wavering, uneasy motion, presenting an ibscure flurry to the senses, is expressed by the w, hardened from the already inherently dull and hollow u. This type of designation, which relies upon a certain significance attaching to each individual letter, and to whole classes of them, has undoubtedly exerted a great and perhaps exclusive dominance on primitive word designation. Its necessary consequence was bound to be a certain likeness of designation throughout all the languages of mankind, since the impression of objects would have everywhere to come into more or less the same relationship to the same sounds. Much of this kind can still be observed even in languages of today, and must in fairness prevent us from at once regarding all the likeness of meaning and sound to be encountered as an effect of communal descent. But if we wish to make a constitutive principle of this, and prove this type of designation to be pervasive in languages, instead of a mere constraint on historical designation, or a check upon decision, due to irresponsible doubt, we expose ourselves to great dangers and pursue an altogether slippery path. Without considering other reasons, it is altogether much too incertain what either the original sound was in the languages, or the original meaning of the words; and yet everything comes down to this. It is very common for one letter to replace another through organic or quite accidental change; like n for p or for r; and now it has always been apparent where this has been the case. Since the same result, moreover, can be attributed to different causes, we cannot eliminate even a high degree of arbitrariness from explanation of this type.
3. Designation by sound-similarity, according to the relationship of the concepts to be designated. Words whose meanings lie close to one another are likewise accorded similar sounds; but in contrast to the type of designation just considered, there is no regard here to the character inherent in these sounds themselves. For its true emergence, this mode of designation presupposes verbal wholes of a certain scope in the system of sounds, or can at least be applied more extensively only in such a system. It is, however, the most fruitful of all, and the one which displays with most clarity and distinctness the whole concatentation of what the intellect has produced in similar connectedness of language....

In the whole field of what calls for the designation in language, there are two radically different classes: the individual objects or concepts, and those general relations, which can be combined with many of these, partly to designate new objects or concepts, and partly to link speech together. The general relations belong, in the main, to the forms of thinking itself, and in that they admit of derivation from an original principle, constitute closed systems. In these, the individual item is determined by intellectual necessity, alike in its relationship to others, and to the thought-form encompassing the whole. If an extended sound-system permitting multiplicity is now appended to the language, the concepts of this class, and the sounds, can be carried through in a progrssively concommitant analogy. Of the three types of relations emunerated above, it is premarily the second and third which are applicable in these relations, and can actually be clearly recognized in a number of languages...

But since language-making finds itself here in a wholly intellectual region, at this point there also develops, in a quite eminent way, yet another, higher principle, namely the pure and ­ if the term be allowed ­ quasi-naked sense of srticulation. Just as the effort to lend meaning to sound engenders, as such, the nature of the articulated sound, whose essence consists exclusively in this purpose, so the same effort is working here toward a determinate meaning. This determinacy becomes greater as the field of the designandum still hovers effectively before the mind; for this field is the soul's own product, though it does not always enter, as a whole, into the light of consciousness. The making of language can thus be more purely guided here by the endeavor to distinguish like and unlike among concepts down to the finest degree, by choice and shading of sounds. The purer and clearer the intellectual view of the field to be designated, the more the makinf of language feels compelled to let itself be guided by this principle; and its final victory in this part of its business is that principle's complete and visible dominance. Thus is fineness of ear and vocal organs, and the sense of euphony, be regarded as the first major advantage of the language-making nations, the strength and purity of this sense of articulation constitutes the second. The crux of the matter is that significance should truly permeate the sound; that nothing in the sound but its meaning should appear, at once and unbroken, to the ear that receives it; and that, starting from this meaning, the sound should appear precisely and uniquely destined for it. This naturally presupposes a great precision in the relations delimited, since it is these that we are chiefly discussing at this point, but also a similar precision of the sounds. The specific and unphysical the latter, the more sharply they are set off from one another. Through the dominance of the sense of articulation, both the receptivity and the spontaneity of the language-making power are not merely strengthened, but also kept on the one right track; and since this power invariably deals with every detail of language as if the entire fabric that the detail deals with were simultaneously present to it by instinct, it follows that in this area, too, the same instinct is at work and discernible, in proportion to the strength and purity of the sense of articulation.
The sound-form is the expression which language creates for thought. But it can also be regarded as a receptacle that language fits itself into, so to speak. The creation if it is to be a true and complete one, could hold good only of the original invention of language, and thus of a situation that we do not know about, but only presuppose as a necessary hypothesis. But the application of a sound-form already at hand to the inner purposes of language, can be deemed possible in inner periods of language-making. Through inner illumination and the favor of outer circumstances, a people might so utterly impart a different form to a language from that bequeathed to it, that this language would become an entirely different and new one. The possibility of this in languages of altogether different form may reasonably be doubted. It is undeniable, however, that languages are guided by the clearer and more definite inner speech-form to create more varied and sharply delimited nuances, and now make use for this purpose, expansion and refinement, of the sound-form they have available....

Words well up freely without necessity or intent, and there may well have been no wandering horde that did not already have its own songs. For man as a species is a singing creature, though the notes, in his case, are also coupled with thought."

· Roman Jakobson: "But how does poeticity manifest itself? Poeticity is present when the word is felt as a word and not a mere representation of the object being named or as an outburst of emotion, when words and their composition, their meaning, their external and internal form, acquire a weight and value of their own instead of referring indifferently to reality. Why is all this necessary? Why is it necessary to make a special point of the fact that the sign does not merge with the object? Because, besides the direct awareness of the identity between sign and object (A is A1), there is a necessity for the direct awareness of the inadequacy of the identity (A is not A1). The reason this antinomy is essential is that without contradiction, there is no mobility of concepts, no mobility of signs, and the relationship between concept and sign becomes automatized. Activity comes to a halt, and the awareness of reality dies out."

· Roman Jakobson: "A linguist deaf to the poetic functions of language and a literary scholar indifferent to linguistics are equally flagrant anachronisms."

· William James: "Music gives us ontological messages which non-musical criticism is unable to contradict, though it may laugh at our foolishness in minding them."

· Tove Jansson, The Exploits of Moominpappa: "And d'you know what else he does? He's studying all letters and words from all sides. He likes to walk around them until he's quite sure of them. It takes him yours nd hours to do the longest words!" "Like 'otolaryngologist'," said the Joxter. "Ot kalospinterochcromatocrene," I said. "Oh," said Mymble's daughter. "If they're that long he has to camp beside them for the night."

· Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind: "Because in our brief lives, we catch so little of the vastness of history, we tend too much to think of language as being solid as a dictionary, with granite-like permanence, rather than as the rampant restless sea of metaphor that it is."

· Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind: "Sound is a very special modality. We cannot handle it. We cannot push it away. We cannot turn our backs on it. We can close our eyes, hold our noses, withdraw from touch, refuse to taste. We cannot close our ears though we can partly muffle them. Sound is the least controllable of all sense modalities . . . We are therefore looking at a problem of considerable depth and complexity. "

Otto Jespersen (1922): "Language originated as play, and the organs of speech were first trained in this singing sport of idle hours."

Otto Jespersen: "We shall never approach a complete understanding of language so long as we confine our attention to its intellectual function as a means of communicating thought."

· James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: "The oils of ordination would never anoint his body. He had refused. Why?... He drew forth a phrase from his treasure and spoke it softly to himself. 'A day of dappled seaborne clouds.' The phrase and the day and the scene harmonized in accord. Words. Was it their colors? He allowed them to glow and fade, hue after hue. Sunrise gold, the russet and green of apple orchards, the azure of waves, the grey fringed fleece of clouds. No, it was not their colors. It was the poise and balance of the period itself. Did he then love the rhythmic rise and fall of words better than their associations of legend and color? Or was it that being as weak of sight as he was shy of mind, he drew less pleasure from the reflection of the glowing sensible world through the prism of a language many-colored and richly storied than from the contemplation of an inner world of individual emotions mirrored perfectly in a lucid, supple, periodic prose."

· James Joyce, Finnegan's Wake: "A letter added or left out ­ the sound of a vowel or consonant modified­ and a host of associations is admitted within the gates."

· James Joyce, Ulysses: "Listen. A forwarded wave speech. See soo hirs e see soos. In cups of rocks it slops. Flop, slop, slap. And spent its speech ceases. It flows pearling widely flowing floating foam pool flower unfurling."

· C. G. Jung: "So our directed thinking, even though we be the loneliest thinkers in the world, is nothing but the first stirrings of a cry to our companions that water has been found, or a bear has been killed, or that wolves are prowling round the camp."

· C. G. Jung: "Language was originally a system of emotive and imitative sounds -- sounds which express terror, fear, anger, love... sounds which imitate the noises of the elements, the rushing and gurgling of water, the rolling of thunder, the roaring of the wind, the cries of the animal world... and lastly, those which represent a combination of the sound perceived and the emotional reaction to it...
Thus language, in its origin and essence, is simply a system of signs and symbols that denote real occurrences or their echo in the human soul...
The most abstract system of philosophy is, in its method and purpose, nothing more than an ingenious combination of natural sounds."

· C. G. Jung: "But to what kind of mentality does the symbolical or metaphorical way of expression correspond? It corresponds to the mentality of the primitive, whose language expresses no abstractions, but only natural and unnatural analogies The primeval mentality is as foreign to the psyche that produced the heartache and the lump in the throat as a brontosaurus is to a racehorse. The dream of the snake reveals a fragment of psychic activity that has nothing whatever to do with the dreamer as a modern individual. It functions at a deeper level, so to speak, and only the results of this activity rise up into the upper layer where the repressed affects lie, as foreign to them as a dream is to waking consciousness. Just as some kind of analytical technique is required to understand a dream, so a knowledge of mythology is needed in order to grasp the meaning of a content deriving from the deeper levels of the psyche."

· Kalevala:
I am going on a journey
To procure the magic sayings
Find the lost words of the Master,
From the mouth of the magician...
Till I learn thine incantations,
Learn thy many wisdom sayings,
Learn the lost words of the Master.
Never must these words be hidden;
Earth must never loose this wisdom,
Though the wisdom singers perish.

· Nikos Kazantzekis"We have seen the highest circle of spiraling powers. We have named this circle God. We might have given it any other name we wished: Abyss, Mystery, Absolute Darkness, Absolute Light, Matter, Spirit, Ultimate Hope, Ultimate Dispair, Silence. But we have named it God because only this name, for primordial reasons, can stir our hearts profoundly. And this deeply felt emotion is indispensable if we are to touch, body to body, the dread essence beyond logic."

· Rudyard Kipling - A Book of Words: "I am Earth, overtaking all things but words; they alone escape me. Therefore I lie heavy on their makers."

· Rudyard Kipling - Jungle Book II: "He would repeat a name softly to himself a hundred hundred times til at each repetition he seemed to move more and more out of his body sweeping up to the doors of some tremendous discovery. But just as the door was opening, his body would drag him back and with grief he would feel he was locked up again in the flesh and bones of Rurun Bharat."

· Kirpal Singh - Naam:

Prajapatir vai idam-agre asit
Tasya vak dvitiya asit
Vak vai Paramam Brahma


 In the beginning was Prajapati (the Creator),
With Him was the Vak (the Word),
And the Vak (the Word) was verily the Supreme Brahma.

·Karl Krause: "My language is the universal whore whom I have to make into Virgins."

· Landa (Mayan scholar, quote from The Mayan Prophecies by Adrian Gilbert and Maurice Cotterell): "Among the multitude of gods worshipped by these people, there were four whom they called by the name Bacab. these were, they say, four brothers placed by God when he created the world at its four corners to sustain the Heavens lest they fall. They also say that these Bacabs escaped when the world was destroyed by the Deluge. To each of these, they give other names, and they mark the four points of the world where God placed them holding up the saky, and also assigned one of the four Dominical letters to each, and to the place he occupies; also they signalize the misfortunes or blessings that are to happen in the year to each of these and the accompanying letters."

· Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching:
Tao can be talked about, but not the Eternal Tao.
Names can be named, but not the Eternal Name.
As the origin of heaven and earth, it is nameless:
As "the Mother" of all things, it is nameable.
So, as ever hidden, we should look at its inner essence:
As always manifest, we should look at its outer aspects.
These two flow from the same source, though differently named;
And both are called mysteries.
The Mystery of mysteries is the Door of all essence.

Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.

Look at it, but you can not see it
Its name is Formless
Listen to it, but you can not hear it
Its name is Soundless.
Grasp it but you can not get it
Its name is Incorporeal

The Core of Vitality is very real
Throughout the Ages, its Name has been preserved
In order to recall the Beginning of all things.

Tao is always nameless
Small as it is in its primal simplicity
It is inferior to nothing in the world.
If only a ruler could cling to it,
Everything would render homage to him.
Heaven and Earth would be harmonized and send down sweet dew
Peace and order would reign among the people
Without any command from above.
When once the Primal Simplicity diversified,
Different names appeared.
Are there not enough names now?
Is this not time to stop?
To know when to stop is to preserve ourselves from danger.
The Tao is to the world
What a great river or an ocean is to the streams and brooks.

He who holds the Great Symbol will attract all things to him
They flock to him and receive no harm,
For in him they find peace, security and happiness
Music and dainty dishes can only make a passing guest pause.
But the words of the Tao possess lasting effects,
Though they are mild and flavorless,
Though they appeal neither to the eye nor to the ear.

· Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: "The man who has taught the ABC to his pupils has accomplished a greater deed than a general who has won a battle."

New Essays on Human Understanding: [On the connexion between words and things, or rather on the origin of natural languages] We cannot claim that there is a perfect correpondence between words and things. But signification is not completely arbitrary either. There must be a reason for having assigned this word to that thing.

Languages do have a natural origin in the harmony between the sounds and the effect impressed on the soul by the spectacle of things. I tend to think that this origin can be seen not only in the first language, but in the languages that came about later, in part from the first one, and in part from the new usages acquired by man over time and scattered over the surface of the earth.

· C. S. Lewis, Voyage To Venus, "But perhaps the most mysterious thing he ever said about it was this. I was questioning him on the subject . . . and had incautiously said, "Of course, I realize it's all rather too vague for you to put into words," when he took me up rather sharply by saying, "On the contrary, it is words that are vague. The reason why the thing can't be expressed is that it's too definite for language."

· C. G. Lichtenberg: "I have drawn from the well of language many a thought which I do not have and which I could not put into words."

· Eric Mader-Lin, The Clay Testament, "The fallen world is the object of language. It follows that our being in language is our being in sin. This does not mean that we can live other than in language, but rather means that we must live in language so as least to miss the mark. The poet's work is revelation of the divine. The poet allows us to live in language so that we may least miss the mark. The poet forms language so that it is the closest to nonlanguage. The poet makes use of, and perfects, those elements in language that are not of language. There is a possible accumulation in language, a materiality, a hard rhythm at the heart of language that is heard best by the poet. The poet follows this rhythm until language breaks and cracks, having reached the top or the bottom, the left or the right, the backwards or the forwards, the inside or the outside, or the temple or the frontier of its range. Our salvation through language comes from the heart of language, but the heart of language beats outside of language. This is the hardest truth to really understand. Poetry is an art, as is carpentry. The poet is in service to revelation. How do we know that we have fallen? Poets have taught us so. For poets follow the most holy and the most sinister of callings. We know that we have fallen because of the revelations that reveal the heights from which we have fallen. Revelation allows us a glimpse of unfallen materiality, of the sacred body of Adam and Eve before the Fall. We know of the Fall only because we have glimpsed at least something of the height from which we have fallen. What I mean then by accumulation is an accumulation of material effected in a way that breaks language in a way that reveals to us a glimpse of the sacred materiality of the garden...

A, B, C, D,.... Letters were invented so that we might be able to converse even with the absent. Thus the tradition has it. Letters are signs of sounds, these sounds being, in turn, signs of things we think. Our thinking--that we do think--is a sign of our being created in God's image. ...Yet our thinking and the things we think are shot through everywhere by the marks of the Fall, and these marks seem to be there also in our language, that is to say there already in the most privileged medium of our thought. So that the tradition was led to wonder if the signs themselves were not carrying the burden of the Fall: the signs themselves dragging the soul into the body of a fallen language and thus moulding its thought as a fallen thought. Here the tradition reverses itself, and we may say that our thinking becomes the sign of sounds that we make, or rather the sign of the particular sounds that our parents made, and their parents before them. (In turn, the sounds that the generations of men have made can be understood merely as would-be signs of the primal letters, which letters we cannot know. Also, the alphabets in which we write cannot approach that originary divine alphabet, although our human creation of alphabets suggests our persistent longing to do so.)

· John Locke, An Essay on Human Understanding : "Words... come to be made use of by Men, as the Signs of their Ideas; not by any natural connexion, that there is between particular articulate Sounds and certain Ideas, for then there would be but one language amongst all Men; but by voluntary Imposition, whereby such a Word is made arbitrarily the mark of such an Idea."

· Mallarmé:
Je dis : une fleur ! et, hors de l’oubli où ma voix relègue aucun contour, en tant que quelque chose d’autre que les calices sus, musicalement se lève, idée rieuse ou altière, l’absente de tous bouquets.

· Mallarmé and Degas:
Degas: It is a terrible thing, Mallarmé. I don't know what happens. I have such wonderful ideas, but when I write them down, the verse is very bad, and it isn't poetry
Mallarmé: My dear Degas, poetry is not made out of ideas - it is made with words.

· Marcus, G. R. S. Mead - Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: "When first the Father, the not even the One, beyond all possibility of thought and being, who is neither male nor female, willed that His ineffability should come into being, and His invisibility take form, He opened His mouth and uttered a Word, like unto Himself, who, appearing before Him, became the means of His seeing what He Himself was - namely Himself appearing in the form of His own invisibility."

· John Masefield:

When custom presses on the souls apart,
Who seek a God not worshipped by the herd,
Forth to the wilderness, the chosen start
Content with ruin, having but the Word.

· George du Maurier:

There is a sentence of prodigious subtlety. I hope it means something.

Marshall McLuhan, "The medium is the message."

Marshall and Eric McLuhan, Proteus Bound: The Genesis of Visual Space: "When the consonant was invented as a meaningless abstraction, vision detached itself from the other senses and visual space began to form. By means of the phonetic alphabet, the units of syllabaries could be analysed into their 'components' vowels and consonants. Of these, as Eric Havelock observes in Origins of Western Literacy, 'The former, the vowel, could exist by itself in language, as in exclamations, like "Ah." The latter, the consonant, coulld not. It was therefore an abstraction, a non-sound, an idea of the mind. The Greek system proceeded to isolate this non-sound and give it its own conceptual identity, in the form of what we call a 'consonant"

"The mosaic approach is not only 'much easier' in the study of the simultaneous, which is the auditory field; it is the only relevant approach. In the iconic and mosaic form there is no attempt to reduce space to a single, uniform, and connected character such as was done with perspective: it is a simultaneous field of relations. Mosaic, iconic form is discontinuous, abrupt, and multileveled, as is iconic art. The 'two-dimensional" mosaic or painting is the mode in which there is muting of the visual as such, in order that there may be maximal interplay among all the senses. Such was the painterly strategy 'since Cezanne,' to paint as if you held, rather than as if you saw, objects."

· Memphis Tractate,

The great Ptax

He is the heart and the tongue
Of the ten gods
Who gave birth to the gods...
Who was incarnated in the heart
And who was incarnated in speech
In the form of Atum.
The ninth of Ptax
Is the essence of the teeth and lips
In these mouths
Who pronounced the Name of everything
and Shu and Tefnut
Emerged from them.

· Joe Meeker,

The universe has quite literally been writing upon humans for many thousands of years, and our alphabets are among the trails that nature has carved in order to cross our minds. Wild lands have cut deeper trails in my mind than I will ever be able to make in the forest.

· Thomas Merton, Symbolism: Communication or Communion: "The true symbol does not merely point to something else. It contains in itself a structure which awakens our consciousness to a new awareness of the inner meaning of life and of reality itself.... One cannot apprehend a symbol unless one is able to awaken, in one's own being, the spiritual resonances which respond to the symbol not only as a sign, but as 'sacrament' and 'presence'."

· Gustav Meyrink, Das grüne Gesicht: "In every name there is a hidden force and when we repeat that name over and over... we draw into our blood that spiritual force, which... in time, finally transforms our whole body."

· Robert Mezey - The State of Language:

[Falling rain] much like words
But words don't fall exactly they hang in there
In the heaven of language immune to gravity
If not time entering your mind
From no direction travelling no distance at all
And with rainy persistence tease from the spread earth
So many wonderful scents. And they recur
Delicious to nose and throat.

· Milton, Paradise Lost:

The Serpent subtlest beast of all the field. (book IX)
...he hears,
On all sides, from innumerable tongues
a dismal universal hiss, the sound
Of public scorn. (book X).

· Moinuddin, Abu Abdullah Gulam The Book of Sufi Healing:
The Sufis use various formulas or combinations of these tones to produce electrifying effects that are able in and of themselves to unlock conjested areas of the heart, thereby releasing one or more potentialities. This alone accounts for a considerable number of miraculous cures. So the very words we use to make conversation are hardly a random matter. When we say the word "eat" (making the sound of the long i), for example, we are actually stimulating the endocrine system's pineal gland. The pineal gland receives a vibratory signal that causes a series of ethereal shocks which go throughout the body, providing information to all of the physiological functions.

· Molière, The Bourgeois Gentlemen:
Philosophy Teacher: The vocal sound U is formed by almost closing the teeth and protruding the lips.
Monsieur Jourdain:, U, U. By God, it's true. U.
Philosophy Teacher: You push your lips forward as if you were sulking. That's why, when you want to yell at someone, you simply say, "O, U."

Thaïs Morgan: "Yet even Saussure, the founder of structural linguistics, who introduced the notion of "arbitrariness" of the sign or its relative freedom from ties to the phenomenal world, also enthusiastically engaged in mimologics. Intrigued by what he called 'anagrams' and 'paragrams', Saussure filled many notebooks with eponymic analyses of Vedic and Homeric verses and inscriptions, discovering the names of ancient gods and heroes mysteriously concealed in letters and sounds. *Saussure's notebooks are extensively cited in Jean Starobinsky Words upon Words: The Anagrams of Ferdinand Saussure, trans Olivia Emmet (New Haven, Yale University Press, 1979)"

"Words suggest an infinite variety of imaginary connections to things, yet the more we enjoy the name game, the further we find ourselves from the ideal of truth."

"The Cratylian tradition as it has developed since Augustine does not find the least bit ridiculous the idea that the sounds of letters, syllables, and whole words have a mimetic relation to things. On the contrary, mimophony has long been a staple of the philosophy of language, rhetoric, and poetics. Sound symbolism also holds an important place, albeit an embattled one, within modern linguistics."

· Tito Rajarshi Muckopadhyay, Beyond the Silence: My Life, the World and Autism: (autobiography of an 11-year-old autistic boy)
If I told you that the boy for awhile felt that life was worth living because he found that everything around had a life and a lesson to teach, then my dear readers -- you would think that it is a crazy thought. But this boy got interest in the words and numbers, he made stories with them.
"What makes you laugh?" asked mother. The boy laughed more, imagining the letters that formed the word 'goat' were in dispute, each one making its own phonetic sound -- a resulting noise which was different from the way 'goat' sounded. So the boy made a new game. He thought about different words and made the letters argue and talk. He tried to make a resulting sound.
Mother was alert to any noise... the specialists had told her that autistics have a tendency to form a word that occasionally made no sense at all. I do not know about other cases... but I should suggest to all their guardians to discourage meaningless babble.

· Swami Muktananda, Secret of the Siddhas:
31. Matrika shakti is the power of letters, the subtle vibration of Shakti which arises as the letters of the alphabet. It is the source of the entire inner experience of an individual. All the letters of the Sanskrit alphabet from 'a' to 'ksha' are referred to as matrikas. However, the basic principle of matrika applies equally to all languages.
234. I made an error in calculation and was trapped in it. The truth is that Gurudev himself had entered me through that word.
236. What is the formless or the attributeless? What is the realization of the form? It is all delusion created by words.
274. To understand the powers of the letters is to attain everything.
296. In order to complete the task of the all-encompassing expansion of sound and matter, the currents of the same Parameshwari Shakti keep expanding in forms such as matrikas; the presiding deities of the eight classes of letters, namely Yogishwari,Brahmi, Maheshwari, Vaishnavi, Varahi, Aindri, Kaumari and Chamunda; and the shaktis which preside over the inner psychic instruments and the outer sense organs.
350. In this state of inner examination, whatever we have accumulated within has not yet manifested as letters and words, but remains in undifferentiated seed form. These seeds are the cause of the various activities created by letters. These letters are symbolic expressions of maya. Freedom is the essential nature of the source from which these letters arise.

· Max Muller: "Language is the autobiography of the human mind."

· Robert Muller, Former Assistant Secretary General to the UN:

"Coming to the subject of culture.... Science, or the search for knowledge, is in my opinion, the study of the art of living... to have the maximum fulfillment... Science as a result is also a spiritual process... Cultures are again an attempt of finding the mystery of life and finding the art of living on this particular planet. Now cultures have a larger dimension than science, because a culture includes science... We speak in the West about communications. Communications is language; it's radio; it's writing,... If you ask a Hindu what language is, you're going to get a completely different answer. The word 'Sanskrit', means the language of the gods. The 'Skrit' of 'Sanskrit' is the Devanagara - Nagar - the town, the stones, and Nagar, god. In other words, when you write, what you do is encapsulate the gods. In the original Hindu philosophy and in much of Hinduism today, every communication between human beings is a cosmic process. When you speak to another person you are performing a cosmic function. A dancer in India is performing a cosmic function, which we in the West have completely forgetten. And if you think about it, in reality, this is the correct case. We are all cosmic beings... We are born with a cosmic function. And when we speak, this is exactly what we are doing. I walked with a Buddhist, and he gave me some very great lessons in life, and he said, "You Westerners are talking only of physical violence, but prior to physical violence, there's another violence, which you do not condemn, and which is as condemnable as physical action. It is linguistic violence. It is the violence of words. And when you look at the media, there is incredible violence in the ways we are communicating to each other." And then he said, "And before the linguistic violence, you have another violence which you have not discovered either in the West. It is the violence of the mind. It all starts in the mind. It is then expressed in words, and in extreme forms in physical violence.""

· The Nag Hammadi Library, The Gospel of Truth: "This is the knowledge of the living book which he revealed to the aeons, at the end, as his letters, revealing how they are not vowels, nor are they consonants, so that one might read them and think something foolish, but they are letters of truth which they alone speak who know them. Each letter is a complete thought, like a complete book, since they are written by the Unity, the Father having written them for the aeons in order that by means of his letters they should know the Father.

· The Nag Hammadi Library, Thunder, Perfect Mind:

"I am the utterance of my name."

"Hear me, you hearers,
and learn of my words, you who know me.
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that can not be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
and the sound of the name.
I am the sign of the letter
and the designation of the division."

· The Nag Hammadi Library, Marsanes, Platonic material on the mystical meanings of the letters of the alphabet and their relation both to the human soul and to the names of the gods and angels:

"The shape of the soul exists in this form. The shape is the second spherical part, while the first allows it, eeiou, the self-begotten soul, aeeiouo... Control yourselves, receive the imperishable seed, bear fruit, and do not become attached to your possessions. But know the oxytones exist among the vowels and the diphtongs which are next to them... The sounds of the semivowels are superior to the voiceless consonants. And those that are double are superior to the semivowels which do not change. But the aspirates are better than the inaspirate voiceless consonants. And those that are intermediate will accept their combination in which they are; they are ignorant of the things which are good. The vowels are combined with the intermediates which are less. Form by form, they constitute the nomenclature of the gods and angels, not because they are mixed with each other according to every form, but only because they have a good function. It did not happen that their will was revealed...
But I am speaking to you concerning the three shapes of the soul. The third shape of the soul is a spherical one, put after it, from the simple vowels.... The diphthongs are as follows..., three times for the male soul... And the consonants exist with the vowels, and individually they are commanded and they submit. They constitute the nomenclature of the angels. Andthe consonants are self-existent, and as they are changed, they submit to the gods by means of beat and pitch and silence and impulse. They summon the semi-vowels, all of which submit to them with one accord; since it is only the unchanging double consonants that coexist with the semi-vowels..."

· The Nag Hammadi Library, Paraphrase of Shem, "I heard a voice saying unto me, Shem, since you are from an unmixed power and you are the first being upon the earth, hear and understand what I shall say to you first concerning the great powers who were in existence in the begining, before I appeared. There was Light and Darkness and there was Spirit between them. Since your root fell into forgetfullness -- he who was the unbegotten Spirit -- I reveal to you the truth about the powers. The Light was thought full of hearing and word. They were united into one form. "

· Howard Nemerov, Forword to Owen Barfield's Poetic Diction, If the finny prey is now impossible, prohibited, out, why could it have ever been in? How could it have ever appeared to any poet seemly, appropriate, and -- in a word that raises more questions than can be answered -- natural? If the poet is of a reflective and inquiring disposition -- there is no guarantee that this is an especially good thing for him to be -- he senses very soon that a question of this kind, if he will pursue it, is going to take him into some very queer and even perilous places. "For," he may say to himself, "here is my language, that all this time I have just been using as if -- as if -- as if what? Why, as if it were natural, as if the words really belonged to the things, as if the words were really the souls of things, their essences or Logoi, and not by any means the mere conventional tags they are so often said to be... But if the poet is older, if he has continued to write, it is at least probably that he will reach a point, either a stopping point or a turning point, at which he finds it necessary to inquire into the sense of what he has been doing, and now the question of poetic diction becomes for him supremely important, nothing less than the question of primary perception itself, of imagination itself, of how thought ever emerged (if it did) out of a world of things."

Pablo Neruda

Voy a arrugar esta palabra,
voy a torcerla,
es demasiado lisa,
es como si un gran perro o un gran río
le hubiera repasado lengua o agua
durante muchos años.

Quiero que en la palabra
se vea la aspereza,
la sal ferruginosa,
la fuerza desdentada
de la tierra,
la sangre
de los que hablaron y de los que no hablaron.

Quiero ver la sed
adentro de las sílabas:
quiero tocar el fuego
en el sonido:
quiero sentir la oscuridad
del grito.Quiero
palabras ásperas
como piedras vírgenes.


  I am going to wrinkle this word,
I am going to twist it,
it is too smooth,
it is as if a big dog or a big river
had passed their tongue or water over it
for many years.

 I want that in the word
one see the roughness,
the rusty salt,
the toothless power
of the earth,
the blood
of those who spoke and of those who did not speak.

  I want to see the thirst
within the syllables:
I want to touch the fire
in the sound:
I want to feel the darkness
of the scream. I want
rough words
like virgin stones.

·Friedrich Nietzsche: "As man now reasons in dreams, so humanity also reasoned for many thousands of years when awake."

· Charles Nodier: "My initial studies were devoted to the philosophical investigation and analysis of natural languages. Very early on, I had dreamt of plans for perfecting a grammar and achieving unity in the language system, from which I quite naturally thought a great amelioration of society would ensue ­ the eternal peace of Abbot Saint-Pierre and the universal confraternity of peoples. All that was needed to accomplish this childish utopia was an alphabet that I had invented and a langauge that I was in the process of putting together. I tossed the basic ideas of my methods into a published book, and boldly pursued my ambitious career, for there were no obstacles whatever to the adventures of an eighteen year old and no limit at all to his powers."

Notions élémentaire de linguistique: He names his mother and father with affectionate mimologisms and although he has as yet discovered only the simple key of the lips, he soul already moves in the words which he haphazardly mouths. This Cadmus in swaddling clothes has just glimpsed a mystery as great by itself alone as the whole rest of Creation. He is speaking his thought out loud. (from Genette, translated by Thaïs Morgan)

· Novalis
Wenn night mehr Zahlen und Figuren
Sind Schlüssel aller Kreaturen
Wenn die so singen oder küssen
Mehr als die Tiefgelehrten wissen
Wenn sich die Welt ins freie Leben
Und in die Welt wird zurückbegeben
Wenn dann sich wieder Welt und Schatten
Zu echter Klarheit wieder gatten
Und man in Märchen and Gedichten
Erkennt die wahren Weltgeschichten
Dann fliegt vor einem geheimen Wort
Das ganze verkehrte Wesen fort.

Obama, Barack, Contra Celsum 1:24: "If only we could remember that first common step, that first common word--that time before Babel."

Origen, Contra Celsum 1:24: "These herdsmen and shepherds concluded that there was but one God, named either the Highest, or Adonai, or the Heavenly, or Sabaoth, or called by some other of those names which they delight to give this world; and they knew nothing beyond that." ... "It makes no difference whether the God who is over all things be called by the name of Zeus, which is current among the Greeks, or by that, e.g., which is in use among the Indians or Egyptians,"

Now, in answer to this, we have to remark that this involves a deep and mysterious subject--that, viz., respecting the nature of names: it being a question whether, as Aristotle thinks, names were bestowed by arrangement, or, as the Stoics hold, by nature; the first words being imitations of things, agreeably to which the names were formed, and in conformity with which they introduce certain principles of etymology; or whether, as Epicurus teaches (differing in this from the Stoics), names were given by nature,--the first men having uttered certain words varying with the circumstances in which they found themselves. If, then, we shall be able to establish, in reference to the preceding statement, the nature of powerful names, some of which are used by the learned amongst the Egyptians, or by the Magi among the Persians, and by the Indian philosophers called Brahmans, or by the Samanaeans, and others in different countries; and shall be able to make out that the so-called magic is not, as the followers of Epicurus and Aristotle suppose, an altogether uncertain thing, but is, as those skilled in it prove, a consistent system, having words which are known to exceedingly few; then we say that the name Sabaoth, and Adonai, and the other names treated with so much reverence among the Hebrews, are not applicable to any ordinary created things, but belong to a secret theology which refers to the Framer of all things. These names, accordingly, when pronounced with that attendant train of circumstances which is appropriate to their nature, are possessed of great power; and other names, again, current in the Egyptian tongue, are efficacious against certain demons who can only do certain things; and other names in the Persian language have corresponding power over other spirits; and so on in every individual nation, for different purposes. And thus it will be found that, of the various demons upon the earth, to whom different localities have been assigned, each one bears a name appropriate to the several dialects of place and country. He, therefore, who has a nobler idea, however small, of these matters, will be careful not to apply differing names to different things; lest he should resemble those who mistakenly apply the name of God to lifeless matter, or who drag down the title of "the Good" from the First Cause, or from virtue and excellence, and apply it to blind Plutus, and to a healthy and well- proportioned mixture of flesh and blood and bones, or to what is considered to be noble birth.

· George Orwell, Politics and the English Language: "A man may take a drink because he feels himself to be a failure and then fail all the more because he drinks. It's rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts ar efoolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is, the process is reversible."

· Ouspensky, A New Model of the Uninverse, Symbolism of the Tarot
The study of the law of the four letters, or the Name of Jehovah, can therefore constitute a means for widening consciousness. The idea is quite clear. If the Name of God is really in everything (if God is present in everything), then everything should be analogous to everything else, the smallest part should be analogous to the whole, the speck of dust analogous to the Universe, and all analogous to God. As above, so below.

Padmasambhava, Natural Liberation: Padmasambhava's Teachings on the Six Bardos, Translated by B. Alan Wallace, Wisdom Publications, Boston.  1998, p. 104

Training in the unborn vajra-recitation of the three syllables. Expel the residual vital energy and position your body as before. Now when you inhale, imagine the physical blessings of all the buddhas of the three times being drawn in in the form of a white syllable OM. Then push the upper vital energy down, draw the lower vital energy up, and gather them together beneath the navel. In the midst of the 'closed amulet' of the upper and lower vital energies, imagine the essence of the speech of all the buddhas of the three times in the nature of a clear, empty, red syllable AH, which appears but is without an inherent nature. Place your awareness there as long as you can. When you can do so not longer, exhale and simultaneously imagine the essence of the mind of all the buddhas of the three times issuing forth in the form of a blue syllable HUM, and think of them as a continuous stream of emanations of Nirmanakayas for the sake of the world. In that way, sustain your attention, with unwavering awareness, on the inhalation in the nature of OM, holding the breath in the nature of AH, and exhalation in the nature of HUM. Doing this at all times is called the unborn vajra-recitation. Each day there are twenty-one thousand six hundred movements of the vital energy. Inexpressible virtues result from having a complete series of the same number of unborn vajra-recitations of the three syllables, so practice it continuously. Do that for three days, then do it constantly. All that has been discussed thus far concerns the achievement of quiescence with signs.

Paracelsus, Man, The Divine Book, "The book in which the letters of the mysteries are written visibly, discernibly, tangibly, and legibly, so that everything one desires to know can best be found in this self-same book, inscribed by the finger of God; the book compared with which, if it is properly read, all other books are nothing but dead letters--know that this book is the book of man, and should not be sought anywhere but in man alone. Man is the book in which all the mysteries are recorded; but this book is interpreted by God. If you would gain understanding of the whole treasury that the letters enclose, possess, and encompass, you must gain it from far off, namely, from Him who taught man how to compose the letters. . . . For it is not on paper that you will find the power to understand, but in Him who put the words on paper.

Patanjali Yoga, Book 1

26. I's'wara is the preceptor of all, even of the earliest of created beings, for He is not limited by time.

27. His name is OM or AUM.

28. The repetition of this name should be made with reflection upon its signification. The utterance of OM involves three sounds, those of long au, short u, and the "stoppage" or labial consonant m. To this tripartiteness is attached deep mystical symbolic meaning. It denotes, as distinct yet in union, Brahma, Vishnu, and S'iva, or Creation, Preservation, and Destruction. As a whole, it implies "the Universe." In its application to man, au refers to the spark of Divine Spirit that is in humanity; u, to the body through which the Spirit manifests itself; and m, to the death of the body, or its resolvement to its material elements. With regard to the cycles affecting any planetary system, it implies the Spirit, represented by au as the basis of the manifested worlds; the body or manifested matter, represented by u, through which the spirit works; and represented by m, "the stoppage or return of sound to its source," the Pralaya or Dissolution of the worlds. In practical occultism, through this word reference is made to Sound, or Vibration, in all its properties and effects, this being one of the greatest powers of nature. In the use of this word as a practice, by means of the lungs and throat, a distinct effect is produced upon the human body.

29. From this repetition and reflection on its significance, there come a knowledge of the Spirit and the absence of obstacles to the attainment of the end in view.

Charles Sanders Peirce, On the Nature of Signs
"A sign is an object which stands for another to some mind. I propose to describe the characters of a sign. In the first place, like any other thing, it must have qualities which belong to it whether it be regarded as a sign or not. Thus, a printed word is black... In the next place, a sign must have some real connection with the thing it signifies... A weathercock is a sign of the direction of the wind. It would not be so unless the wind made it turn round. There is to be such a connection between every sign adn its object... In the third place, it is necessary for a sign to be regarded as a sign... for if it is not a sign to any mind, it is not a sign at all. It is not so clear at first that our ideas resemble their signs... Nevertheless, I regard this (our view that the sign is arbitrary) as an error of a very important character."

The Fixation of Belief
"Kepler's greatest service to science was in impressing on men's minds that this was the thing to be done if they wished to improve astronomy; that they were not to content themselves with enquiring whether one system of epicycles was better than another, but that they were to sit down to the figures and find out what the curve, in truth, was."

How to Make Ideas Clear
"There is no royal road to logic, and really valuable ideas can only be had at the price of close attention. But I know that in the matter of ideas, the public prefer the cheap and nasty."

· Coleridge Piccolomini:

But still the heart doth need a language.
Doth the old instinct bring back the old names.

· Plato, Cratylus
"Socrates: The word agaqon (good), for example, is, as we were saying, a compound of agastos (admirable) and qoos (swift). And probably qoos is made up of other elements, and these again of others. But if we take a word which is incapable of further resolution, then we shall be right in saying that we have at last reached a primary element, which need not be resolved any further.
Hermogenes:I believe you to be right...
Socrates: All the names that we have been explaining were intended to indicate the nature of things.
Hermogenes: Of course.
Socrates: And that this is true of the primary quite as much as the secondary names is implied in their being names.
Hermogenes: Surely.
Socrates: But the secondary, as I conceive, derive their significance from the primary.
Hermogenes: That is evident.
Socrates: Very good, but then how do the primary names which precede analysis show the natures of things... Suppose that we have no voice or no tongue, and want to communicate with one another. Should we not like the deaf and the dumb make signs with the hands and the head and the rest of the body?
Hermogenes: There would be no choice, Socrates.
Socrates: We should imitate the nature of the thing: the elevation of the hands to heaven would mean lightness and upwardness. Heaviness and downwardness would be expressed by letting them drop to the ground...
Hermogenes: I do not see that we could do anything else.
Socrates: And when we want to express ourselves either with the voice or the tongue or the mouth, the expression is simply their imitation of what we want to express?
Hermogenes: It must be so, I think.
Socrates: Nay, my friend, I am disposed to think that we have not reached the truth as yet.
Hermogenes: Why not?
Socrates: Because if we have, we shall be obliged to admit that people who imitate sheep or cocks or other animals name that which they imitate.
Hermogenes: Quite so... But I wish that you could tell me, Socrates, what sort of an imitation is a name?
Socrates: In the first place, I should reply, not a musical imitation, although that is also vocal, nor, again, an imitation of what music imitates; these in my opinion would not be naming. Let me put the matter as follows. All objects have sound and figure, and many have a color... But the art of naming appears not to be concerned with imitations of this kind. The arts which have to do with them are music and drawing. Again, is there not an essence of each thing just as there is a color and a sound? And is there not an essence of color and sound as well as of anything else that can be said to have an essence?
Hermogenes: I should think so.
Socrates: Well if anyone could express the essence of each thing in letters and syllables, would he not express the nature of each thing?
Hermogenes: Quite so...
Socrates: Imitation of the essence is made by syllables and letters. Ought we not, therefore, first to separate the letters, and when we have done so, but not before, proceed to consideration of rhythms? Must we not begin in the same way with letters ­ first separating the vowels, and then the consonants and mutes, also the semivowels? And when we have perfected the classification of things, we shall give their names, and see whether, as in the case of letters, there are any classes to which they may all be referred, and hence we shall see their natures, and see, too, whether they have in them classes as there are in the letters. And when we have well considered all this, we shall know how to apply them to what they resemble, whether one letter is to denote one thing, or whether there is to be an admixture of several of them... And so we shall form syllables, as they are called, and from syllables make nouns and verbs, and thus at last from the combination of nouns and verbs arrive at language, large and fair and whole.
Hermogenes: That, Socrates, I can quite believe.
Socrates: That objects should be imitated in letters and syllables, and so find expression, may appear ridiculous, Hermogenes, but it cannot be avoided ­ there is not better principle to which we can look for the truth of first names. Deprived of this, we must have recourse to divine help, like the tragic poets, who in any perplexity have their gods waiting in the air, and must get out of any difficulty in like fashion, by saying that, 'the gods gave the first names, and therefore they are right...' which is the same sort of excuse at last for these are not reasons, but only ingenious excuses for having no reasons concerning the truth of words. Clearly, then, the professor of languages should be able to give a very lucid explanation of first names, or let him be assured that he will only talk nonsense about the rest. Do you suppose this to be true?
Hermogenes: Certainly, Socrates.
Socrates: My first notions of original names are truly wild and ridiculous, although I have no objection to imparting them to you if you desire, and I hope you will communicate to me in return anything better which you have.
Hermogenes: Fear not. I will do my best.
Socrates: In the first place, the letter r appears to me to be the general instrument expressing all motion... In the actual words rein and roh he represents the motion by r ­ also in the words tromos (trembling), tracus (rugged), krouein (strike), qrauein (crush), ereikein (bruise), qruptein (break), kermatizein (crumble), rumbein (whirl). Of all these sorts of movements, he (the Namer) generally finds an expresion in the letter r, because, as I imagine, he has observed that the tongue was most agitated and least at rest in the pronunciation of this letter, just as by the letter i he expresses the subtle elements which pass through all things. And there is another class of letters (the fricatives) of which the pronunciation is accompanied by a great expenditure of breath; these are used in the imitation of such motions as yucron (shivering), zeon (seething), seiesqai (to be shaken), seismos (shock), and are always introduced by the giver of names when he wants to imitate what is fuswdes (windy). He seems to have the thought that the closing andthe pressure of the tongue in the utterance of d and t were expresive of binding and rest in place. He further observe the liquid movement of l, in the pronunciation of which the tongue slips, and in this he found the expression of smoothness, as in leios (level), and in the word olisqanein (to slip) itself, liparon (sleek), in the word kollwdes (gluey), and the like, the heavier sound of g detained the slipping tongue, and the union of the two gave the notion of a glutinous, clammy nature, as in glishros, glukus, gloiades. Then he observed n to be sounded from within, and therefore to have the notion of inwardness; hence he introduced the sound endon and entos; a he assigned to the expression of size, and h of length, because they are great letters; o was the sign of roundness, and therefore there is plenty of o mixed up in the word goggulon (round)."

· Plato, Phaedrus: "At the Egyptian city of Naucratis, there was a famous old god, whose name was Theuth; the bird which is called the Ibis is sacred to him, and he was the inventor of name arts, such as arithmetic and calculation and geometry and astronomy and draughts and dice, but his great discovery was the use of letters."

· Plato, Thaetetus:
Socrates: But now, have we been right in saying that the letter cannot be known, but the syllable can?
Thaetetus: That seems all right.
Socrates: Take the syllable then. Do we mean by that both letters, or if there are more than two, all the letters? Or do we mean a single entity that comes into existence from the moment when they are put together?
Thaetetus: I'd say we mean all the letters.
Socrates: Then take the case of the two letters S and O, which together make up the first syllable of my name. Anyone who knows that syllable knows both the letters, doesn't he?
Thaetetus: Of course.
Socrates: So he knows the S and the O.
Thaetetus: Yes.
Socrates: But then does he have no knowledge of each letter, so that he knows them both without knowing either one?
Thaetetus: That's crazy, Socrates.
Socrates: And yet, if you have to know each thing before you can know both of them, you simply have to know the letters first, if you're ever going to know the syllable, and so our fine theory vanishes and leaves us in a lurch.
Thaetetus: With startling suddenness.
Socrates: To conclude, then, if, on the one hand, the syllable is the same thing as a number of letters and is a whole with the letters as its parts, then the letters must be neither more nor less knowable than syllables, since we agreed that all the parts are the same thing as the whole.
Thaetetus: True
Socrates: But if, on the other hand, the syllable is a unity without parts, syllable and letter are likewise equally unknowable.

· Rutherford H. Platt, Jr., Lost Books of the Bible: The first Gospel of the INFANCY of JESUS CHRIST, Chapter XX:
4 So they brought him to that master; who, as soon as he saw him, wrote out an alphabet for him.
5 And he bade him say Aleph; and when he had said Aleph, the master bade him pronounce Beth.
6 Then the Lord Jesus said to him, Tell me first the meaning of the letter Aleph, and then I will pronounce Beth.
7 And when the master threatened to whip him, the Lord Jesus explained to him the meaning of the letters Aleph and Beth;
8 Also which were the straight figures of the letters, which the oblique, and what letters had double figures; which had points, and which had none; why one letter went before another; and many other things he began to tell him, and explain, of which the master himself had never heard, nor read in any book.
9 The Lord Jesus farther said to the master, Take notice how I say to thee; then he began clearly and distinctly to say Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, and so on to the end of the alphabet.

· Edgar Allen Poe: "Don't you believe that certain words have such a sonority that they take up space and volume among the beings in the room?"

· Poetic Edda, Wotanasaga (ca. A.D. 1200)
The Speech of the High One
I know I hung on that windy tree,
Swung there for nine long nights,
Wounded by my own blade,
Bloodied for Odin,
Myself an offering to myself:
Bound to that tree
That no man knows
Whither the roots of it run.

None gave me bread,
None gave me drink.
Down to the deepest depths I peered
Until I spied the Runes.
With a roaring cry I seized them up,
Then dizzy and fainting, I fell.

Well-being I won
And wisdom too.
I grew and took joy in my growth:
From a word to a word
I was led to a word,
From a deed to another deed.

You will discover runes and imaginative staves
Very great staves, very strong staves
Which a powerful Thule created, and great gods created
Carved by the prophet of the gods.

· Alexander Pope, Essay on Criticism, II:
"'Tis not enough no harshness gives offence,
The sound must be an echo to the sense.
Soft is the strain when zephyr gently blows,
And the smooth stream in smoother number flows;
But when loud surges lash the sounding shore,
The hoarse, rough verse should like the torrent roar:
When Ajax strives some rock's vast weight to throw,
The line too labours, and the words move slow;
Not so when swift Camilla scours the plain,
Flies o'er the unbending corn and skims along the main."

Thomas Poplawski, Eurhythmy - Rhythm, Dance and Soul:: "Language and speech were at one time more alive and more imbued with spiritual potency than is the case today. Like the arts, they were originally deemed to be the gifts of the gods because they represented a reflection of divine activity here on earth. The Word or Logos is the term which refers to the primal creative force of the spirit. Speech, as an earthly child of the Word, originally had no outer 'practical' function but was rather a manner in which human beings participated in the creative activity of the gods. The ancient reverence for the power of words stemmed from the original potency of words as magical vessels of formative life energies. The 'naming of things' was an especially important activity as was the knowing of their secret true names because of the power this betowed on its possessor be it the 'true name' of God (amongst the ancient Hebrews) or, in fairy tales, the true name of Rumplestiltskin! Similarly the speaking fo spells and incantations were once able to evoke actual changes in weather or the health of a living being through their influencing of the life forms. With the passing of the ages, speech became more a servant of communicating earthly concerns and less a vessel of the forces of life, or an extension of the activity of spiritual forces. In eurhythmy and in the revived art of recitation and speech which he founded with his wife, Marie, Rudolf Steiner sought to resurrect the livingness which speech once embodied. He felt that an enlivened speech could tap the energetic force of the Word as portrayed in the prologe of St. John's Gospel. Through its activity of making speech visible, eurhythmy could enhance the viewer's experiencing of the primal creative forces of the Word, in the process revealing both the hidden laws of speech as well as those of nature."

Popol Vuh, Mayan creation myth:"After much deliberation, Heart of Sky and the Sovereign Plumed Serpent resolved to create the world; they cried 'Earth,' and the earth came into being. With the word as the mechanism of creation, everything that did not yet exist was named and all appeared."

· M. C. Potter, "Where do my words come from? ... from the silence behind the words."

· Ben Price, "Instead, meaning itself, as a culturally invented entity, must be seen as NOT a free-standing absolute, nor an abstraction defined by intellect (since "intellect" may itself be defined as an abstraction of human mentation with an origin in language), but instead as a biological and emergent phenomena that had a begining, in terms of human experience, and that attached itself to human experience through language. But specifically, that phenomenon of "meaning" established an elemental core at some root level, and it was a root level indelibly attached to the medium of language, which is sound. "

· Proust, Remebrance of Things, "...the essence of things lies in the hidden meaning of their names."

· Herbert B. Puryear, The Edgar Cayce Primer: "Let us remember that the Judeo-Christian tradition is a tradition of the word. God spoke and creation came into being. The earliest commandments warned that we should cherish the name of God and should not take it in vain. The ancient Hebrews guarded the Name so carefully that some would not utter or write it in its fullest form. Part of the wisdom of this may be understood as we contemplate the Eastern concept of mantra, the power of the word to call into being a reality. Unless we take special care of these sacred words, they lose their mantric effect upon us. We then have no special expression to awaken within ourselves a consciousness that gives us a true sense of the immanent presence and power of the divine."

· Rabelais: Lors nous jecta sus le tillac pleines mains de paroles gelées, et sembloient dragée perlée de diverses couleurs. Nous y vismes des mots de gueule, des mots de sinople, des mots d'azure, des mots dorés. Lesquels estre quelque peu eschauffés entre nos mains fondoient comme neiges, et les oyons réalement.

· Rabelais: I have read that a philosopher named Petronius held the opinion that there were a number of worlds touching each other, in the form of an equilateral triangle, in the heart and the center of which was the House of Truth, and there it was that Words dwelt, Ideas, Exemplars, and the portaits of all things, past and future, while around these lay the secular universe; and every so many years, at long intervals, a portion of these would fall upon human beings.

· Sri Ramana Maharshi: "If one watches whence the notion "I" arises, the mind is absorbed in That. that is tappas. When a mantra is repeated, if one watches the source from which the mantra sound is produced, the mind is absorbed in That. That is tappas.

· Ernest Renan: "The faculty of interpretation, which is only an extreme acuity in grasping relationships, was more developed in them (primitive people) than in us; they saw a thousand things at once. No longer needing to create language, we have in a way unlearned the art of giving names to things; but primitive men possessed this art which the child and the common man apply with such boldness and felicity. Nature speaks to them more than to us; or rather, they find in themselves a secret echo that responds to all the voices of the outside and returns them as articulated sounds, as words."

· Rig Veda: "Speech was divided into four parts that the inspired priests know. Three parts, hidden in deep secret, humans do not stir into action; the fourth part of Speech is what men speak."

· Rainer Marie Rilke, Die Duineser Elegien I
Stimmen, Stimmen: Höre, mein Herz, wie sonst nur
Heilige hörten: daß sie der riesige Ruf
aufhob vom Boden; sie aber knieten,
Unmögliche, weiter und achteten's nicht:
so waren sie hörend... Aber das Wehende höre,
die ununterbrochene Nachricht, die aus Stille sich bildet.

· Rainer Marie Rilke, "Being-silent. Who keeps innerly silent/ touches the roots of speech."

· Arthur Rimbaud
A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu: voyelles
Je dirai quelque jour vos naissances latentes:
A, noir corset velu des mouches éclatantes
Qui bombinent autour des puanteurs cruelles,

Golfes d'ombre; E candeurs des vapeurs et des tentes,
Lances des glaciers fiers, rois blancs, frissons d'ombelles;
I, pourpres, sang craché, rire des lèvres belles
Dans la colère ou les ivresses pénitentes;

U, cycles, vibrements divins des mers virides,
Paix des pâtis semés d'animaux, paix des rides
Que l'alchimie imprime aux grands fronts studieux;

O, suprême Clairon plein des strideurs étranges,
Silences traversés des Mondes et des Anges:
­ O l'Oméga, rayon violet de des Yeux!

· Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume: "'England! she heard him bellow with distaste, "How can a country that cannot produce ice cubes in abundance be hopin' to palm itself off as a civilization?' Moments later he had turned his attention to grammar. 'There are no such things as synonyms,' he practically shouted. 'Deluge is not the same as flood!'"

· Jane Roberts, The Education of Oversoul Seven:

"Syllables are the sound equivalents of atoms," Sumpter said. "And atoms compose matter. Syllables can be organized into words, of course. But they can also be organized into sound patterns called no-words. That is, the sounds don't refer to objects or even feelings, and they don't name things in usual terms. Instead, the no-words are simply... power. They do things, not represent them."

"...The Sumari language is not a language in te ordinary sense. Its importance lies in its sounds, not in its written patterns. The sounds do things. The meaning is apart from the power of the sounds, and rides on it as a fish swim in water.

The meanings rise out of the sounds, then; and the sounds are channels through which meanings come. The sounds can seem to have different meanings at different times, and yet always be expressing aspects of the same reality. Sometimes many words can come from one sound, sometimes only one will emerge..."

"...From east and west
Messages come richly. Like leaves falling
You cannot hold them.
Secrets beneath hearing ride on the wind.
This is forever rising out of the silence.
In knowing unknowing..."

"Window is still translating portions of Sumari songs, fragments of what seem to be mathematical documents, and other records. One such document in particular seems to be leading toward an explanation of the connection between sound and matter, suggesting a relationship between numerical values, atoms, and syllables. This "mathematical" statement has only been deciphered in fragmentary form thus far, and Window is certain that other portions of it are to be discovered. A part of it is included here because of its implications in terms of the Speakers' method of erecting buildings through the use of sound."

"...The body is a language
Of atoms instead of words.
The body is the most ancient of alphabets
And atoms spoke before the Earth knew sound..."

"... Speaking the body... so the body is also built on sound, sound becoming matter in your terms at certain pitches."

(Note: I, Margaret, came across this book in February 1999, though it says many of the same things I say in my book in almost the same words... this stuff is just floating on the ether for anyone who wants to tune in and pick it up.)

· Ruiz, Don Miguel, The Four Agreements:

"The first agreement is be impeccable with your word. It sounds very simple, but it is very, very powerful. Why your word? Your word is the power that you have to create. Your word is the gift that comes directly from God. The book of Genesis in the Bible speaking of the creation of the universe, says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the word is God." Through the word, you express your creative power. It is through the word that you manifest everything. Regardless of what language you speak, your intent manifests through the word. What you dream, what you feel and what you really are, will all be manifested through the word.

The word is not just a sound or a written symbol. The word is a force; it is the power you have to express and communicate, to think, and thereby to create the events in your life... The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can destroy everything around you... All magic you possess is based on your word. Your word is pure magic, and misuse of your word is black magic...

This misuse is how we create and perpetuate the dream of hell. Misuse of the word is how we pull each other down and keep each other in a state of fear and doubt... We are using black magic all the time without knowing that the word is magic at all.

· Rumi, "It's important to pay attention to the name the holy one has for things. We name everything according to the number of legs it has. The holy one names it according to what is inside. Moses had a rod. He thought his name was 'staff'. But inside its name was dragonish snake. We thought the name Omar meant 'agitator against priests'. But in eternity his name was 'the one who believes'. No one knows our name until our last breath goes out."

· Rush, "The Seven Spirits of God are often listed, earth, water, air, fire, son, mother, father. This is the path back to the father. The first four are the created elements, except that the fire (spirit) is eternal. The last three are subject, medium, and in your way of speaking, "sound." To the ancient astronomer-priests, the sound of the stars was the Father's Intent. That intent manifest itself in the mouth of the Mother, as a physical verbalization. Then the son, which is the subject was born. When that subject was joined with Fire, the communication of the Word was completed. It is in this way that Ptah created the world with his Word."

· Maria Sabina -- Huatla Shaman, "I see the Word fall, come down from above, as though they were little luminous objects falling from heaven. The Word falls on the Holy Table, on my body; with my hand I catch them, Word by Word."

· Antoine de Saint Exupéry, "What is born inside me, I cannot tell. In the sky, a thousand stars are magnetized, and I am glued by the swing of the planet to the sand. A different weight of my body drawing me toward many things. My dreams are more real than these dunes, than that moon, than the presences. My civilization is an empire more imperious than this empire. The marvel of a house is not that it shelters or warms a man, nor that its walls belong to him. It is that it leaves a trace on language. Let it remain a sign. Let it form, deep in the heart, that obscure range from which, as waters from a spring, are born our dreams."

· Sarte, Jean-Paul, Saint Genet: "[Signification] can prepare for an intuition, can orient it, but it seems unable to furnish the intuition itself, since the signified object is, theoretically, external to the sign; [meaning] is by nature intuitive; it is the odor that impregnates the handkerchief, the perfume that canishes out of an empty, musty bottle. The abbreviation '17th' signifies a certain century, but this entire period, in museums, is suspended like a piece of gauze, or a spider's web, from the curls of a wig, or escapes in whiffs from a sedan chair."

· Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics: "First principle: the sign is arbitrary...The link between signal and signification is arbitrary. Since we are treating a sign as the combinations in which a signal is associated with a signification, we can express this more simply as: the linguistic sign is arbitrary. There is no internal connexion between the idea 'sister' and the French sequence of sounds s-ö-r which acts as its signal. The same idea might well be represented by any other sequence. of sounds. This is demonstrated by differences between languages, and even by the existence of different languages... The principle stated above is the organizing principle for the whole of linguistics... The arbitrary nature of the linguistic sign was adduced above as a reason for conceding the theoretical possibility for linguistic changes. But more detailed consideration reveals that this very same feature tends to protect a language against any attempt to change it."

· Friedrich Schelling, Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology: "One is almost tempted to say that language itself is a mythology deprived of its vitality, a bloodless mythology, so to speak, which has only preserved in a formal and abstract form what mythology contains in living and concrete form."

· Selections from Prophetic Scriptures, XXXII, Anti-Nicene Library, Vol. XXIV: "Pythagoras thought that he, who gave things their names, ought to be regarded not only as the most intelligent, but the oldest of the wise men. We then search the scriptures accurately, since they are admitted to be expressed in parables, and from the names hunt out the thoughts, which the Holy Spirit propounded respecting things, reached by imprinting His mind, so to speak, on the expressions.That the names used with various meanings, being made the subject of accurate investigation, may be explained, and that which is hidden under many integuments may, being handled and learned, come to light and gleam forth."

· Sephir Yetsirah: (see a full translation from the Hebrew by Wm. Wynn Westcott. It's not very long.)

"Section 1. In thirty-two (1) mysterious Paths of Wisdom did Jah, (2) the Jehovah of hosts, (3) the God of Israel, (4) the Living Elohim, (5) the King of ages, the merciful and gracious God, (6) the Exalted One, the Dweller in eternity, most high and holy--engrave his name by the three Sepharim (7) --Numbers, Letters, and Sounds.(8)"

"2. Ten are the ineffable Sephiroth. (9) Twenty-two are the Letters, the Foundation of all things; there are Three Mothers, Seven Double and Twelve (10) Simple letters."

"4. Ten is the number of the ineffable Sephiroth, ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. Understand this wisdom, and be wise by the perception. Search out concerning it, restore the Word to its creator, and replace Him who formed it upon his throne. (12)"

"6. The Ten ineffable Sephiroth have the appearance of the Lightning flash, (17) their origin is unseen and no end is perceived. The Word is in them as they rush forth and as they return, they speak as from the whirl-wind, and returning fall prostrate in adoration before the Throne."

"9. The Sephiroth reveal the ten numbers. In the first, the spirit of the God of life, more resplendent than the living God. The sound of the voice, of the spirit and of the word are of this spirit."

"10. The second: God produces air from this spirit and converts it into 22 sounds, the letters of the alphabet... But even above these does the spirit stand in value."

"JHVH, through the 32 paths, inscribed his name using the 3 forms of expression called letters, numbers and sound. There are 10 sacred Sephiroth. The foundation of things are the 22 letters. Of these, three are mothers; seven double and twelve simple are the remainder. but the Spirit is first and above these."

Chapter II

"5. For He shewed the combination of these letters, each with the other; Aleph with all, and all with Aleph; Beth with all, and all with Beth. Thus in combining all together in pairs are produced the two hundred and thirty-one gates of knowledge. (32)" (comment: 1+2+3+...+21 letters = 231 combinations)

"6. And from the non-existent (33) He made Something; and all forms of speech and everything that has been produced; from the empty void He made the material world, and from the inert earth He brought forth everything that hath life. He hewed, as it were, vast columns out of the intangible air, and by the power of His Name made every creature and everything that is; and the production of all things from the twenty-two letters is the proof that they are all but parts of one living body. (34)"

· Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet II:2:
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

· Shakespeare, Measure for Measure II.iv.1:
"When I would pray and think, I think and pray
To several subjects. Heaven hath my empty words
Whilst my invention, hearing not my tongue,
Anchors on Isabel: Heaven in my mouth,
As if I did but only chew his name;
As if I did but only chew his name;

· Shatapakhta Brahma, XI 2,3:
"Brahma created the world and thought
How shall I now return to the world?
And he returned with the help of two
The Word and the Form.
The world spreads as far as the Word and the Form
They are two great powers of Brahma.
He who knows these two great forces
Attains great power."

· Shelly, Prometheus Unbound I:
"Words are like a cloud of winged snakes..."

· Shelly, Prometheus Unbound IV:
...perpetual Orphic song
Which rules with Daeda; harmony a throng
Of thoughts and forms, which else senseless and shapeless were."

· Shiva-Sutra, translated by P. T. Shrinivas Iyengar, introduction: But the knowledge of Mantras, correspondences between letters and their shaktis, which constitutes the Matrika Chakra, has to be learned from a Guru. The main principles of the Matrika Chakra are these: The vowels indicate the shaktis, a, the jnana shakti, i the ichchha shakti, and u the kriya shakti. The consonants indicate the objective universe. The 25 letters from ka to ma represent the lower 25 tattvas; of the Shiva school. The other letters represent the higher tattvas; and ksa the last i the pranabija, the life-seed. A man who has acquired a knowledge of the Matrika Chakra must try to transcend the limitations of his body; if not, he will become a prey to illusions.

· Shel Silverstein, Falling Up, Alphabalance:
"Balancing my ABC's
Takes from noon to half past three.
I don't have time to grab a T,
Or even stop to take a P."

· George Steiner: "Everything forgets. But not a language. When it has been injected with falsehood only the most drastic truth can cleanse it. Languages code immemorial reflexes and twists of feeling, remembrances of action that transcend individual recall, contours of communal experience as subtly decisive as the contours of sky and land in which civilization ripens. An outsider can master a language as a rider masters his mount. He rarely becomes as one with its undefined subterranean motion."

"Eros and language mesh at every point."

· Rudolf Steiner, The Alphabet: "The poet by avoiding the prose element in speech, and going back to the inner experience, the inner feeling, the inner formation of speech, attempts to return to its inspired archetypal element. One could perhaps say that every true poem, the humblest as well as the greatest, is an attempt to return to the word that has been lost, to retrace the steps from a life arranged in accordance with utility to times when cosmic being still revealed itself in the inner organism of speech."

· Rudolf Steiner, The Alphabet: "Going back into times of which history tells us nothing, but which, nevertheless, are still historical times, we find that grammar was not the abstract subject it is today but that men were led through the grammar into the mystery of the individual letters. They learned that the secrets of the cosmos found expression in the letters."

· Rudolf Steiner, The Genius of Language:
To one who understands the sense of speech
The world unveils
Its image form

To one who listens to the soul of speech
The world unfolds
Its true being.

To one who lives in the spirit depths of speech
The world gives freely
Wisdom's strength

To one who lovingly can dwell on speech
Speech will accord
Its inner might

So I will turn my heart and mind
Toward the soul
And spirit of words

In love for them
I will then feel myself
Complete and whole.

· Rudolf Steiner: "Yes, eurhythmy has finally given me an explanation of that fir tree; it is not standing there just to be a fir tree, it is one letter in the eternal Word that surges and weaves through the world; eurhythmy explains to me how the fir tree speaks, how the brook speaks, how the lightning speaks..."

· Rudolf Steiner, The Genius of Language: "Someone who experiences within the sounds of a word the immedite feeling for its meaning surely has a different relationship to the word than does a person without that feeling. If you simply say Geselle because you've known what it means since childhood, it's a different thing than if you have a feeling for the room of two or more people. This element of feelings is being thrown off; the result is the possibility of abstractness."

· Rudolf Steiner, The Genius of Language: "It could be expressed like this: In very ancient stages of a people's language development, the feelings were guided totally by the speech sounds. One could say language was made up only of differentiated, complicated images through the consonant sounds, picturing outer processes, and of vowel elements, interjections, expressions of feeling occuring within those consonant formations. The language-forming process then moves forward. Human beings pull themselves out, more or less, of the direct experience, the direct sensing of sound language. What are they actually doing when they pull themselves out and away? Well, they are speaking, but as they do so, they are pushing their speech down into a much more unconscious region than the one where mental pictures and feelings were closely connected to the forming of the sounds. Speech itself is being pushed down into an unconscious region, while the upper consciousness tries to catch the thought. Look closely at what is going on as soul-event. By letting the sound associations fall into unconsciousness, human beings have raised their consciousness to mental pictures and perceptions that no longer are immersed in language sounds and sound associations. Now people have to try to capture the meaning, a meaning somehow still indicated by the sounds but no longer as intimately connected with them as it had been. We can observe this process even after the original separating-out of the sound associations has taken place; just as people had previously related to the sounds, now they had to make a connection to words. By that time there had come into existence words with sound associations no one finds any relationship to; they are words connected through memory to the conceptual. There, on a higher level, words pass through the same process that sounds and syllables underwent earlier."

Stokes and Windisch (eds.) "Taín bó Regamna", Irische Texte copied from Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell which is copied from E. Hull, Book of Leinster. "And he [Cuchlainn] discovered a chariot harnessed with a chestnut horse that had but one leg, the pole passing through its body and out at the forehead. Within sat a woman, her eyebrows red, and a crimson mantel round her. A very big man walked along beside... She answered that the man was Uar-gaeth-sceo Luachair-sceo. "Well, to be sure," said Cuchulainn, "the length of the name is astonishing!" "The woman to whom you speak," said the big man, "is called Faebor beg-beoil cuimdiuir folt sceub-gairit sceo uath." "You are making a fool of me," siad Cuchulainn; and he made a leap into the chariot, put his two feet on her two shoulders, and his spear in the parting of her hair. "Do not play your sharp weapons on me!" she said. "Then tell me your true name," said Cuchulainn."

· Galen Strawson, Quarto: "Language, eight-armed, problematic, demiurgic, infinitely entrailed, must be honoured. Its riddling, jokey, mischievous, metaphoric, flawed, lapsible, parapraxic life must not be repressed, but tolerated, pleasured, submitted to and so revealed for what it is."

· Strehle, "Unser Sprachgefühl will sich nicht mit der billigen Erklärung zufrieden geben, wonach das Wort nichts anderes wäre als ein Zeichen, ein willkürlich gesetztes Zeichen, das man ebenso gut mit einem anderen vertauschen könnte, falls man sich darauf einigen wollte. Nein! Diese Auffassung lehnt das Sprachgefühl ab ... Wir sind ... im Geheimen davon überzeugt, daß ein Wort, wie Sonne und Himmel schon allein durch seine Lautgestalt einiges von dem Vorstellungskomplex "Sonne" oder ."Himmel" zum Ausdruck bringt ... Mit anderen Worten: Wir glauben, daß die Laute Bedeutungen haben ..."

· Emanuel Swedenborg, Heaven and Hell: "Such people do not know the arcana underlying the very details of the Word. For in the details of the Word, there is an inner meaning, one that deals not with natural, earthly matters, like those in a literal sense, but with spiritual and heavenly matters. For the Word was composed using pure correspondences for the very purpose of having an inner meaning in every detail."

· Henry Sweet: "Every language has the right to be regarded as an actual, existing organism."

· Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness: "To assert that man follows rules implies more than that he is inclined to act on the basis of rules which he has been taught. It implies that he is also inclined to act in diametrical opposition to these rules. In this connection, Freud's observations concerning the antithetical meanings of so-called primal words are pertinent. He noted that certain basic words of a language may be used to express contrary meanings; in Latin, for example, sacer means holy and accursed. The antithetical meaning of certain symbols is an important element of dream psychology. In a dream, a symbol may stand for itself or for its opposite. -- for example, tall may signify tall or short."

· Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness: "Highly discursive languages, such as mathematics, permit only direct communications. Mathematical signs have clearly defined referents accepted by the mutual agreement of all who engage in conversation in this idiom. Ambiguity and misunderstanding are thus reduced to a minimum."

· Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness: "Discursiveness is a measure of the degree of arbitrariness in the symbolization. When a mathematician says "Let X stand for a bushel of apples," he is using fully discursive symbols, that is symbols at once completely arbitrary and completely conventional. Any symbol may be used to express the force of gravity. Its actual use depends on agreement among scientists on that particular symbol. On the other hand, when a painter uses certain colors or forms to express his despair, or when a housewife uses certain bodily signs to express hers, the symbols they use are not conventional but idiosyncratic. In short, in art, dance and ritual, and in so-called psychiatric illnesses, the characteristic symbols are lawful rather than arbitrary, and yet personal rather than social."

· Thomas Szasz, The Myth of Mental Illness: "Languages composed of iconic signs lend themselves to, and are best suited for, codification on the basis of manifest or structural similarities. On the other hand, logically more complex languages, for example those using conventional signs, permit the classification of objects on the basis of hidden or functional similarities. Inasmuch as conventional signs or symbols make up the lowest level of language, and signs of signs the first level of metalanguage, and so on, a communication system employing signs that denote less, as it were, than do conventional signs may be regarded as forming a level of language below that of object language. I suggest therefore that we call this type of language proto-language."

Taliesin, trans. by Lady Charlotte Guest in the Mabinognon
Primary chief bard am I to Elphin,
And my original country is the region of the summer stars,
Idno and Heiddin call me Merddin,
At length every king will call me Taliesin

I was with my lord in the highest sphere,
On the fall of Lucifer into the depth of hell,
I have borne a banner before Alexander,
I have known the names of the stars from north to south;
I have been on the Galaxy at the throne of the Distributor;
I was in Canaan when Absalom was slain;...
I have been loquacious prior to being gifted with speech;
I was at the crucifixion of the merciful son of God;...
I suffered hunger for the Son of the Virgin,
I have been fostered in the land of the Deity,
I have been teacher to all Intelligences,
I am able to instruct the whole universe,
I shall be until the day of doom on the face of the earth;
And it is not known whether my body is flesh or fish.

Then I was for nine months
In the womb of the hag Caridwen;
I was originally little Gwion;
And at length I am Taliesin

Richard Taylor, Te Ika a Maui or New Zealand and its Inhabitants copied from Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

From the conception to the increase,
From the increase the thought,
From the thought the remembrance,
From the remembrance, the consciousness,
From the consciousness, the desire.

The word became fruitful;
It dwelt with the feeble glimmering;
It brought forth the night:
The great night, the long night,
The lowest night, the loftiest night,
The thick night to be felt...

· Lord Tennyson, In Memoriam:
And so the Word had breath, and wrought
With human hands the creed of creeds
In loveliness of perfect deeds,
More strong than all poetic thought.

· Henry David Thoreau, Walden: "Internally... it is a moist thick lobe, a word especially applicable to the liver and lungs and leaves of fat;... externally, a dry thin leaf, even as the f and v are a pressed and dried b. The radicals of lobe are lb, the soft mass of the b (single lobed, or B, double lobed), with the liquid l behind it pressing forward."

· Henry David Thoreau, "The eyesight has another eyesight and the hearing another hearing and the voice another voice." Thoreau

· J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers: "The Ent, I am, you might say, in your manner of speaking. Fangorn is my name according to some; Treebeard others make it. Treebeard will do."

"An Ent?" said Merry. "What's that? But what do you call yourself? What's your real name?"

"Hoo now!" replied Treebeard. "Hoo! Now that would be telling! Not so hasty... Who calls you hobbits, though?"

"Nobody else calls us hobbits; we call ourselves that," said Pippin.

"Hoom, hmmm! Come now! Not so hasty! You call yourselves hobbits? But you should not go telling just anybody. You'll be letting out your own right names if you're not careful... I am not going to tell you my name, not yet at any rate... For one thing, it would be a long while: my name is growing all the time and I've lived a very long, long time, so my name is like a story. Real names tell the story of the things they belong to in my language."

· Richard Chenevix Trench - On the Morality in Words: "Language contains so faithful a record of good and evil which in time past have been working in the minds and hearts of men. We shall not err, if we regard it as a moral barometer indicating and permanently marking the rise and fall of the nation's life."

· Marina Tsvetaeva - Stixi k Bloku, translated by Catherine Chvany
Your name is a bird in my hand,
A chip of ice on the tongue,
One single motion of the lips.
Your name, just four letters.
A ball caught in flight,
A silver bell in my mouth.

A rock dropped in a quiet pond
will say your name as it sobs and sinks.
Your thundrous name resounds
In the light clatter of hooves at night.
And a cocked gun will call it out
As it clicks in aim at our head.

Thy Name -- oh, but that's wrong!
Your name is a kiss on the eyes,
On the gentle chill of still eyelids.
Your name is a kiss at the snow,
A cold swallow from an ice-blue spring.
With that name -- your name -- sleep is deep.

· Miguel de Unamune: "An idea does not pass from one language to another without change."

· Khândogya-Upanishad, First Prapâthaka, First Khanda: Let a man meditate on the syllable Om called the udgîtha; for the udgîtha is sung, beginning with Om. The full account, however, of Om is this: The essence of all beings is the earth, the essence of the earth is water, the essence of water the plants, the essence of plants man, the essence of man speech, the essence of speech the Rig-veda, the essence of the Rig-veda the Sâma-veda, the essence of the Sâma-veda the udgîtha which is Om. The udgîtha (Om) is the best of all essences, the highest, deserving the highest place, the eighth.

· Khândogya-Upanishad, First Prapâthaka, Third Khanda: Let a man meditate on the syllables of the udgîtha. Ut is breath (prâna), for by means of breath a man rises (uttishthati). Gî is speech, for speeches are called girah. That is food, for by means of food, all subsists (sthita). Ut is heaven, gî the sky, tha the earth. Ut is the sun, gî the air, tha the fire. Ut is the Sâma-veda, gî the Yagur-veda, tha the Rig-veda. Speech yields the milk, which is the milk of speech itself, to him who thus knowing meditates on those syllables of the name of udgîtha, he becomes rich in food and able to eat food.

· Khândogya-Upanishad, Second Prapâthaka: "Prajanati, the Creator of all, rested in life-giving meditation over the worlds of his Creation; and from them came the three Vedas. He rested in meditation and from these came the three sounds BHUR, BHUVAS, SVAR, earth, air and sky. He rested in meditation and from the three sounds came the sound OM. Even as all leaves come from a stem, all words come from the sound OM."

· Aitareya-Âranyaka-Upanishad, Second Âranyaka, Second Adhyâya, Fourth Khanda: This then becomes perfect as a thousand of Brihatî verses. Its consonants form its body, its voice (vowels) the soul, its sibilants the air of breath.

· Aitareya-Âranyaka-Upanishad, Third Âranyaka, Second Adhyâya, Sixth Khanda: Now next the Upanishad of the whole speech. True all these are Upanishads of the whole speech, but this they call so chiefly. The mute consonants represent the earth, the sibilants the sky, the vowels heaven. The mute consonants represent Agni (fire), the sibilants air, the vowels the sun. The mute consonants represent the Rig-veda, the sibilants the Yagur-veda, the vowels the Sâma-veda. The mute consonants represent the eye, the sibilants the ear, the vowels the mind. The mute consonants represent the up breathing, the sibilants the down-breathing, the vowels the back-breathing.

· Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad, Fifth Adhyâya, Second and Third Brâhmana: Having finished their studentship, the gods said: 'Tell us something, Sir.' He told them the syllable Da. Then he said: 'Did you understand?' They said: 'We did understand. You told us "Dâmyata", Be subdued.'. 'Yes,' he said, 'you have understood.'
Then the men said to him: 'Tell us something, Sir.' He told them the same syllable Da. Then he said: 'Did you understand?' They said: 'We did understand. You told us "Datta", Give.'. 'Yes,' he said, 'you have understood.'
Then the Asuras said to him: 'Tell us something, Sir.' He told them the same syllable Da. Then he said: 'Did you understand?' They said: 'We did understand. You told us "Dayadham", Be merciful.'. 'Yes,' he said, 'you have understood.'
The divine voice of thunder repeats the same, Da Da Da, that is, Be subdued, Give, Be merciful. Therefore let that triad be taught, Subduing, Giving and Mercy.

· Brihadâranyaka-Upanishad, Fifth Adhyâya, Fifth Brâhmana: In the beginning, this world was water. Water produced the true, and the true is Brahman. Brahman produced Pragâpati, Pragâpati the Devas (gods). The Devas adore the true (satyam) alone. This satyam consists of three syllables. One syllable is sa, another ti, the third yam. The first and last syllables are true, in the middle there is the untrue. This untrue is on both side enclosed by the true, and thus the true preponderates. The untrue does not hurt him who knows this.

· TaittiriyaBrahm. 2, 8, 8, 4: "On the spoken Word all the gods depend, all beasts and men; in the Word live all the creatures... the Word is the imperishable, the firstborn, the eternal Law, the mother of the Veddas, the navel of the divine World."

· Vijnana Bhairava, 38: "One who is steeped in nada ­ which is the Absolute in the form of sound, which is the unstruck sound vibrating within, which can be heard only by the ear that becomes sensitive through yoga, which resounds uninterruptedly, and which rushes headlong like a river ­ attains the Absolute."

Paul Valéry "You have certainly observed the curious fact that a given word which is prefectly clear when you hear it or use it in everyday language, and which does not give rise to any difficulty when it is engaged in the rapid movement of an ordinary sentence becomes magically embarrassing, introduces a strange resistance, frustrates any effort at definition as soon as you take it out of circulation to examine it separately and look for its meaning, after taking away its instantaneous function... We understand ourselves thanks to the speed of our passages past words."

Abena Walker "Nommo is the African concept of the magic power of the word in all subjects... Nommo is word magic; to control Nommo is to control the transformation of sound, energy, thoughts and action."

Graham Wallas, The Art of Thought: "The little girl had the making of a poet in her who, being told to make sure of her meaning before she spoke said, "How can I know what I think till I see what I say?"

Alan Watts, "Now you can hear all sounds as Aum. They are all at some point in the total range of sound from the back of the throat to the lips making a spectrum of sound as all colours are originally one white light. But don't ask what the sound is or what it means. Just hear it and dig it... Let me explain again what we are doing. We are going behind words, names, numbers, beliefs and ideas to get back to the naked experience of reality itself. And at this level of awareness, we find no differencce between the listener and the sound, the knower and the known, the subject and the object or between the past, the present and the future. All that's just talk. What is really happening is Aum...

"But even the notion that the world of nature is material of physical is in fact a philosophical concept. It's a network of words. And the real world which philosophers are always struggling to define can never be defined. It's not material. It's not spiritual. It's not mental. It is what it is. The great semanticist, Alfred Kozhibsky, called it rather amusingly, 'the unspeakable world...'

"So we become prejudiced. We accept the standards of our culture, the concepts and forms of our language. And we confuse them with what is really going on..."

T.H. WhiteThe Book of Merlyn: "...the light comes red from a fox, green from a cat, yellow from a horse, saffron from a dog..."

Walt Whitman: "All words are spiritual. Nothing is more spiritual than words."

Walt Whitman:

"All music is what awakes from you
When you are reminded by the instruments.
I hear not the volumes of sound merely,
I am moved by the exquisite meanings.
I do not think the performers know themselves,
But now, I think I begin to know."

Benjamin Whorf, Language Mind and Reality: "First, the plane 'below' the strictly linguistic phenomena is a physical, acoustic one, phenomena wrought of sound waves; then comes a level of patterning in rippling muscles and speech organs, the physiological-phonetic plane; then the phonemic plane, patterning that makes a systematic consonants, vowels, accents, tones, etc. for each language; then the morphophonemic plane in which the 'phonemes' of the previous level appear combined into 'morphemes'... ...then the plane of morphology; then that of intricate, largely unconscious patterning that goes by the meaningless name of syntax; then on to further planes still, the full import of which may some day strike and stagger us. Speech is the best show man puts on. It is his own 'act' on the stage of evolution, in which he comes before the cosmic backdrop and really "does his stuff".

· retold by Elie Wiesel:
"Don't give up," said the Master, "we still have one chance. You are here, and that is good. For you can save us. There must be one thing that you remember... Anything will do."
"Nothing, Master, except..."
"...except what?"
"... the aleph, beith."
"Then what are you waiting for? Start reciting. Right now!"
Obedient as always, the scribe proceeded to recite slowly, painfully, the first of the sacred letters which together contain all the mysteries of the entire universe: "Aleph, beith, gimmel, daleth..."
And the Master impatiently repeated after him: "Aleph, beith, gimmel, daleth..."
Then they started all over again from the beginning. And their voices grew stronger and clearer: "Aleph, beith, gimmel, daleth..." until the Baal Shem became so entranced that he forgot who and where he was. When the Baal Shem was in such ecstasy, nothing could resist him, that is well known. Oblivious to the world, he transcended the laws of time and geography. He broke the chains and revoked the curse: Master and the scribe found themselves back home, unharmed, richer, wiser and more nostalgic than ever before.
The Messiah had not come.

· Oscar Wilde, Dorian Gray: "It's a sad truth, but we have lost the faculty of giving lovely names to things... the man who would call a spade a spade should be required to use one... he is fit for nothing more."

"We are still testing our hypothesis in this matter, but our preliminary suspicions are that the WingMakers use an encoded language that has an effect on the subconscious mind of building holistic sensory perception in the cerebrospinal system. Which is to say that two of our best 12x linguistic experts claim to have improved mental acuity, visual perception, intuition, and creative skills as a direct result of working on the project. It is as though the very process of deciphering their language equips the mind with a new form of intelligence that can best be described as holistic and penetrating at the same time -- characteristics we have been trying to genetically engineer for over 15 years in the AdamSon Project."

The Language of Innocence

When a river is frozen,
underneath remains a current.
When the sky is absent of color
beneath the globe another world comes to light.
When my heart is alone
somewhere another heart beats my name
in code that only paradise can hear.

Is my heart deaf
or is there no one
who can speak the language of innocence?
Innocence, when words
suffer meaning and gallop away in its presence.
I have seen it.
Felt it.
I have loosened its secrets in the blushing skin
when upturned eyes witness its home
and never turn away.
And never turn away.

There is this world
of slumbering hearts and hollow love,
but it cannot carry me to daylight.
My craving is so different
and it can never be turned away.

· Jeanette Winterson: "Naming is power. When you unravel a name, you often unravel the meaning of the thing that is named."

· William Dwight Witney, Life and Growth of Language: "Each word may not unfitly be compared to an invention."

· Oswald Wirth: "But true philosophers worthy of the name...carefully separated the fine from the coarse... as was required by the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistos, i.e. they rejected the meaning belonging to the dead letter amd left for themselves only the inner spirit of the doctrine."

· Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book V:
Visionary power
Attends the motions of the viewless winds,
Embodied in the mystery of words.

· Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book VI:
Characters of the great Apocalypse,
The types and Symbols of Eternity,
Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.

· Wundt, "Human speech and human thought are everywhere coincident... The development of human consciosness includes in itself the development of modes of expression. Language is an essential element of the function of thinking."

· William Butler Yeats: "Think like a wise man, but express yourself like the common people"

· Dudley Young, Origins of the Sacred:
"The first stage covers primitive man and ends somewhere in the background of Homer... and its language is mythical and metaphorical, which is to say, its words are thought to be alive., magically participating in the life they represent, capable indeed of summoning into our presence the powers they name. The second stage begins with Plato and ends in the 18th Century, and its language is conceptual and metonymic... Whereas the language of myth is concrete, physical, of the body, the language of conceptual propositions... is abstract and reflective, a notation not thought to be in itself real but capable of discerning analogies or ghostly paradigms of the god who has withdrawn... from his creation... If the god of myth is a musician, the god of metonymy is a mathematician, a philosopher. But music is intrinsically the baffling borderline case... It must always finally be what it represents... The third stage (an elaboration of the metonymic) is dominated by the language of empirical science, where reality is thought to be "out there", declaring itself to the senses. The idea of God is declared meaningless, and the task of words is simply to match themselves up to the things they find."

"For sympathetic magic to work, the representation must be sufficiently like the thing represented to call the soul before us, i.e., the whole thing turns on the relation of sameness. In rational discourse, similarly, for any proposition to be deemed true, the words spoken must be sufficiently like the things they represent for them to grasp or capture the situation -- sameness again."

"Let us agree that man begins his serious quest for control over nature and himself with representation, with symbols which are thought actually to embody what they stand for, and that select from life's overwhelming abundance certain power points for access and control. In the experience of any child, primitive or not, such control begins with mimesis, copying his parents with a view to magically incorporating and hence becoming them. "

· Louis Zalk:

"...as in a dream I walk knee-deep, amid a wilderness
Of star-eyed flowers, And from a silence robed in beauty's very self-
A note smites deep within me-
Bringing with it all the songs that ever were
Or are, or ever can be..."

· Zohar, Prologue: (published by Soncino Press, translated by Harry Sperling and Maurice Simon) "All of them... He calls by name." ... What it means is that as long as this grade did not assume a name, and was still called Mi, it was unproductive and did not bring forth into actuality the latent forces within it, each according to its kind...

Who charged thee to make this journeyas an ass-driver?" He said to them, "The letter Yod waged war with the letters Kaph and Samekh, to make them join me. The Kaph refused to leave its place, since it could not exist for a moment elsewhere. The Samekh refused to leave from its place lest it should cease to support those that fall. The Yod then came to me alone and kissed and embraced me. He wept with me and said, "My son, what shall I do for thee? I will go and load myself with a plentitude of good things and of precious, sublime and mystical symbols, and then I will come to thee and help thee and put thee in possession of two celestial letters superior to those that have departed, to wit, the word Tesh (plentifulness), consisting of a celestial Yod and a celestial Shin, so thou wilt become possessed of stores of riches of all kinds. Go then my son, and load thy ass." He said to them, " have I not told you that it is the command of the King that I should continue thus until he who will ride on an ass shall appear?"

· Chinese Proverb: "Words are sounds of the heart."

· Chinese Saying: "The sound stops short, the sense flows on."

· Norwegian Saying: "Det kriper siv og tive stigge dir nedover riggen din."

· Rwandan Proverb: "There is nothing one goes to meet with more pleasure than the word."

Phrases from the Mystical Traditions

John 1:1: In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.

Lord's Prayer: Our Father who art in Heaven. Hallowed be thy Name.

Motto of the Knights Templar: "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy Name glory".

Baal Shem Tov: is the founder of Hassidism. His name means 'Master of the Good Word'.

From a Hermetic Blessing: For Thou art I and I am Thou; Thy Name is my Name, and My Name is Thine; for that I am Thy Likeness.

Song of Songs 1:3: Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes; your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you!

Margo's Magical Letter Page