Words—a poem on the nature of words and mind

Ever looked at a legal document and wondered what the heck you just read? Depending on the way we use language, communication can obfuscate or elucidate, confuse or clarify.

Words can mean different things to different people. The English language uses different words to mean the same thing, and different things use similar sounding words. It can get confusing, especially if English is not your first language. Apparently only Sanskrit has a direct one-to-one relationship between a word and its meaning, between name and form, nama-rupa.

One way to use words to create clarity of mind is in meditation, where the mind, if allowed, can refer to its own essential nature. In the case of Transcendental Meditation, a technique that automatically transcends its own activity, a different kind of word, or thought, is employed—a mantra—a suitable harmonious meaningless sound. With the appropriate mantra, and instructions how to use it properly, the mind can effortlessly transcend words, thinking, its own activity, and arrive at the source of mind, a state of pure awareness, the meditator’s inner Self.

Hope this introduction helps you to better understand this abstract poem I wrote in the late 1980’s. For lack of a better title, I just called it, Words.

Words

the mind is of two minds
one listens to the sounds of words
the other follows their meanings
words help the mind to know things

names are the words for things
things are the forms of names
sounds and meanings of names and forms
things are contained within words

when words become things in themselves
then words get contained within words
sounds and meanings within names and forms
names and forms within sounds and meanings

layers of communication get built up create complex structures
and break down under the weight of their own words
too many words hinder the mind’s ability to know things
the mind cannot know its own mind

. . . . .

when words use themselves
to lose themselves
they allow the mind
to experience itself

experiencing itself
losing itself
to the Self
left to its Self

alone
the silent home
where things and words are one
all one

© Ken Chawkin

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One Response to “Words—a poem on the nature of words and mind”

  1. A Wake-Up Haiku « The Uncarved Blog Says:

    […] Luckily there is a simpler way—the effortless practice of Transcendental Meditation, which allows the conscious thinking mind to transcend. With the help of a mantra, a specific harmonious suitable meaningless thought-sound, together with step-by-step instructions from a qualified TM teacher, the mind naturally settles down to lesser and lesser states of mental activity, to the least excited state of awareness, when the thought drops off, leaving the mind without an object of attention, yet deeply restful and alert, fully awake inside. This inner unbounded wakefulness is the basis for all clarity, energy, and creativity after meditation. […]

    Like

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