The Written Word

The Written Word

Blue featherThe written word is a curious effect of a darker age. In higher ages, we can communicate more directly, so writing isn’t required. The development of writing is actually a symptom of lower consciousness.

Writing is representative; it’s a series of symbols representing spoken sounds. Laid out in specific sequences they gain meaning. Dog and God, for example.

Many spiritual terms have different meanings in different groups. This is why I have a glossary and often link to related articles. Unless you have a similar background, you have to read a bunch of articles before you become familiar with the definitions I use. Longer exposure to other definitions can muddy what you take from the articles.

More subtly, that meaning can also have an intention, what we might call a meta-meaning. Like darshan below means seeing an awake being. But the more subtle meaning or intention is their radiant presence, the effect of that seeing. This secondary meaning can be quite subtle and cultural; even regionally specific. It can be very difficult to capture this in translations.

In conversation, there is 2-way communication and meaning can be verified. But with the written word, it’s easy to miss the intended meaning. Especially as so many words have more than one meaning or the phrasing may have an unexpected or subtle intention. Jokes often play on this.

Further, English is a language that’s ego-driven, so can be self-limiting. (unlike Sanskrit)

In this context, I find myself with a dharma to be a writer, to share unfolding understanding in this medium.

It’s surprising how much can be shared, even if the meaning is sometimes confused or is lost.

As noted, darshan is the seeing of an awake being or deva (light being). But the term points more towards their radiant presence. The deeper their embodiment, the more potent this effect. Very awake beings are like lighthouses of presence. They can be felt outside the building they’re in.

Most people wake up from sitting with a living example. The awakeness in them stirs the Self within to see itself.

Darshan is strongest in person. In a larger group, that can get a little washed out by the collective, so a smaller group is ideal.

Online live isn’t as strong but it has surprised me how effective it can be. I’ve seen a number wake up this way.

A recorded playback carries some too, as well as photos.

And finally, at the bottom of the pole, is the written word.

And yet even here, the potency of attention can shine through. Various people have shared the openings and insights they’ve had reading my work, for example. Two have even reported waking up through it. (This isn’t saying much for 15 years of writing. But it’s an example.)

The right resonance and the right insight can lead to a letting go and seeing, the awakening.

Of course, it really helps if you have an effective practice so you can ripen and be ready for the seeing. The radiance can’t penetrate a shell of resistance.

“All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
– St. Francis of Assisi

The right words at the right time, whatever the medium, can be the catalyst for infinity to move in.

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    1. You’re welcome, Tyler. I have seen some people wake up through online darshan. And books can carry a potency due to the focused attention of the author. But recordings, photos and books are time-shifted so a little less potent. Yet if the resonance is right, it does the job.

    1. Hi Jeff
      Excellent. Just be careful with what is speaking. When the Self speaks, you get that effect. But if it drops into the mind, then it can become a story and a me.

      You can feel where they’re speaking from, as above. Just remember that can vary so be careful of single impressions. 🙂

  1. Gina

    Yes, so many of us never had the opportunity to sit in the presence of an awakened one for any length of time, if at all. This is one of the reasons why an effective practice of meditation, especially if it’s taught by an awakened Master, is so important.

    On your first point about the written word, I was reminded of how the written word can be so easily misinterpreted or have multiple interpretations depending upon the consciousness of the reader. A case in point is the Christian Bible….how many versions of Christianity are there in existence? Or any scripture really, a common expression you hear from Rabbinical scholars is “On the other hand. . .” ;D

    1. Hi Gina
      I as lucky. Even though I came on the scene after the big courses with open questions, I got the chance to speak to Maharishi. I was taken aback by the power of his attention. When he turned it onto me, it was like standing in a high wind. I dropped into bliss and the questions were all washed away. (laughs)

      I agree on the practice. Just remember that awakening isn’t about time. It only takes a fraction of a second of seeing for the shift to happen. It’s great to hang out with a master but unless the preparation has been done, the fruit will stay stuck to the tree.

      I have not found it’s necessary to learn techniques from an awake master. But it is good if the instructor is trained by one.

      (laughs) Yes, the mind can debate endlessly the nuances of meaning. In the end, its only through direct experience that we understand.

      And yes, I’m working on a translation and commentary of the Yoga Sutra. How many of these are already available? 🙂

      1. George Robinson

        This used to happen to me routinely with Charlie. Went in with a written list of questions, then got to him and with a simple “Hello” I didn’t even take the paper out of pocket…my so-called burning questions all seemed so trivial and irrelevant. Over and done in an instant. I miss that.

        1. Thanks, Gina. It’s done. Just going (slowly) through the Shankara and Vyasa commentaries for any points it would be good to add (a bit of a slog as the translations are not great).

          I think you’ll enjoy some of what I bring out.

    1. Happy Holidays, Sharon!
      Ah – that’s reminiscent of Ramana and Arunachala. What we resonate with varies. And as we explored there, when they get Vastu right, the building takes on a life of its own. Or more accurately, the deva of the building can much more fully express. It has a real and balanced presence.

      I recently found an artist i like and have gotten several of her paintings for similar reasons.

      1. Olli

        Hi Davidya!

        Your comment here just got me a bit too curious. Mind sharing the name of the artist? Maybe just through email if it’s not appropriate to put it here publicly.
        Great post once again and I love always reading the comment section.

        – O

  2. Stephen

    Hi David,

    I’ve also found that I can tune into the frequencies of awakened beings via meditation, alive or passed. It’s a skill that is still being refined, but it works oddly enough. Has this been your experience as well? Thank you.

    1. Hi Stephen
      Yes. Put your attention on them and they show up. Or sometimes, they show up from their side for whatever reason.

      You just have to be a little careful with feel. Appearances can be deceiving and it’s possible to have your perception hijacked. But fine feelings remain true.

  3. Bill

    Hi David. Interesting article and one we may never see discussed by anyone else! I might just add that although after 15 years of writing and only two people managed to wake up, I feel the most important thing during these difficult times is the expansion of the awareness of initial understanding and that opening the door to more formal practice, is even more important. The greater the number of practitioners, the more the opportunity for more awakening! So, keep up the wonderful work you do and your awareness of the difficulties of the “written word” will help others toward their own understanding!

    1. Hi Bill
      Right. My reason for writing isn’t to wake people up. Others are much better at that, like Lorn and Lucia. I write to support people through the process, in the approach, shift, and embodiment of the various stages.

      Yes, the more doing the practices, the smoother the transition will be, both personally and collectively. The difference now is the more who are awake or in established Unity, or Brahman, the more thorough the laundromat is.


    1. Ah, beautiful. One of the earlier avatars. I have a large abstract by Rod of the “gap”. Got it back in the ’70’s in trade for a TV. 🙂 I think it’s the only one he did like it.

      I’ve added an Art section to my Recommended page.

  4. Jeff May

    In my experience, the reverberation of the sound of the word can have a dramatic effect on my established silence. Yes, Sanskrit is more powerful, but English has its own impact. This is especially true when I attend religious services. People can argue about their own religion, but on the level of reverberation , they all lead to God.

    1. Well said, Jeff. I perhaps over-emphasize the value of Sanskrit. It’s more important in the subtler levels. And yet even there, it’s still a human language. The devas are far more sophisticated and use sounds we can’t make.

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