Category Archives: forms

Stop Words

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In thought and communication we have a tendency to use what may be called “stop words.” For example, we may say, “God is Love,” or “Life is about awakening to truth,” or “Life is initiation into X.” The last word in such sentences is often, as we typically use it, a stop word.

Words and thoughts are intimately intertwined, often becoming for us as if one thing. The sentences, the set formulas we arrive at, often have a kind of finality to them. We make our formula with a neat ending point, a point that may easily stand as headstone marking the death of our free and open thought. We do a mental word-magic that gives us the sense that we understanding something, and perhaps sometimes we do. Yet the vast realities of life are far beyond our simple formulas and we may fail to appreciate the limited experiences of life that have given birth to our thoughts and words.

Today, I overheard someone say, “I know God is Love, but what does that mean?” This simple question is an achievement of considerable magnitude. Often, we fail to question meaning, and so in our busy verbal plentitude, fail to fathom the great distances between words and experiences.

The proselytizer on the street corner asks, “Have you been saved?” “Have you accepted Christ as your savior?” Is it not astounding that people can launch such questions at each other?

In my formula “Words express thoughts,” the last word is or can be another “stop” word. I suggested that we use words to express thoughts, but of course words also express emotion and sense experience, as well as a world of things transcendent to these.

Perhaps the wise use of words is akin to crossing a bridge. We don’t want to stop on the bridge; rather we want to crossover and ever beyond. Our use of words should be as fluid and free as the wind and the ever-widening depth of our experience. The bridge of words is no place for a permanent dwelling. Our life is in the infinite, so let our play with words like “infinite” be a truly free and open way.

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The Scope of Evolution

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“Planes of evolution are made of the degrees of .”

–Lover’s and Others, H. C. Morse

I think evolution is not simply adaptation and reproduction of forms but the development of relationship between spirit and form. Physical survival is a tool of evolution, but evolution in the larger sense uses and transcends death, advancing not just by acquisition of better forms but by adaptation of forms to spirit.

The scope of evolution is not simply biological survival. There is evolution of physical and spiritual fires that range from atom to man to galaxy, all expressing in a multi-dimensional universe, a spirit-matter continuum. There is evolution of consciousness, of love and wisdom. There is evolution of powers and undreamed possibilities. There is evolution of beauty and mind. There is evolution not simply of blood but of spiritual radiance. I picture how the laws of nature express the will of the God, or if we like, of ascending gods and angels.  And always, what we see and can reason about is but the smallest part.

“Gliding o’er all, through all,
Through Nature, Time, and Space,
As a ship on the waters advancing,
The voyage of the soul—not life alone,
Death, many deaths I’ll sing.”

Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman