I love Silence, and I love the fact that vast and spacious Stillness is a kind of spiritual sky out of which all things emerge and thrive. This Silence is in fact the dwelling place of the ETERNAL aspect of the Great Mystery.
But I also love words - imaginative, poetic, paradoxical words - and I relish the fact that the EVOLVING aspect of the same Great Mystery comes into being through such words.
In "The Man Made of Words" and "House Made of Dawn," Pulitzer Prize-winning Native American author and scholar N. Scott Momaday speaks of the creative power of words, and of the fact that even Silence gains part of its meaning through words:
“There was only the dark infinity in which nothing was. And something happened. At the distance of a star something happened, and everything began. The Word did not come into being, but it WAS. It did not break upon the silence, but it was older than the silence and the silence was made of it.”
“A word has power in and of itself . . . it gives origin to all things.”
“We perceive existence by means of words and names. To this or that vague, potential thing I will give a name, and it will EXIST thereafter, and its existence will be clearly perceived. The name enables me to see it. I can call it by its name, and I can see it for what it is.”
"What is the relationship between what a person is and what he says - or between what he is, and what he thinks he is? . . . Generally speaking, a person has consummate being in language, and there only. The state of human being is an idea, an idea which humanity has of itself. Only when a person is embodied in an idea, and the idea is realized in language, can she take possession of herself. In our particular frame of reference, this is to say that we achieve the fullest realization of our humanity in such an art and product of the imagination as LITERATURE – and here I use the term 'literature' in its broadest sense."
N. Scott Momaday
Photos: Lumpy Ridge, Rocky Mountain National Park, CO. The second photo is of Momaday.
Please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.