It’s rare to resonate to the actual meaning in the mind and heart of another. Ego usually prefers a more personal interpretation. We hear words, automatically assigning them meaning based on personal knowledge. This is natural and inevitable, but our sin is that we forget about our ego and the limits of our knowledge. The interpretative process becomes thoughtless and self-centered, and we relate to another’s words in a way that misses the meaning. We jump to the conclusion that we know what’s being said. It’s a natural action of ego. It’s tricky, because words of themselves are just dead forms and illusions. We ourselves give them life, or fail to give it. Having words in our ears doesn’t mean we have the meaning in the mind and heart of the speaker. All this might seem obvious, yet this very day have we not all fallen short of the glory of communion.
The glory of meaning is in people, not in words. Meaning is an arc of light in the space between words.
“All music is what awakes from you
When you are reminded by the instruments.”
— Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
And in reading, thinking, and listening, all meaning is what wakes from us when we are reminded by the words.