The Sense of Thought or Meaning

Like the word sense, the sense of thought is difficult to describe and imagine.  

I struggled to write this and suspect you will struggle to make sense of it all.  The three “highest” senses of word, thought and “I” are so beyond our ordinary thinking.

Last week we attempted to think of the perception of word, language and gesture isolated from the perception of thought or meaning.  Not easy and for many of us not possible. But perceiving is not thinking!! It lives more in the realm of intelligence, rather than intellect.

Let me offer a metaphor for the relationship of word to thought. If I dive into a pond, I can float or swim in the water.  The water carries me, just as words carry thoughts.  The water is not me and the word (or words) is not the thought or meaning.

Stop reading right now and think about the last few times you perceived the words “I love you.” Obviously, you perceived the same words but did you perceived the same meaning each time? Or consider the word “green” referring to the color of a pine tree, an olive, or a dollar bill. Different, different, different.

When I am working with my clients, five of them may say “I am angry with my spouse” or “I don’t know what my destiny is.” Same words, different meaning with each client. I must perceive the meaning being carried by the words or I must ask my client to find more distinct expresssion or words for carrying the truest meaning.

I see a smile or a tear on a clients face, what do they mean? Same gesture, different meaning.

In my teleseminars and my messages, I use words to convey meaning.  I work very hard to make sure  the words I use are the right words – that they point to the meaning I am intending to awaken in the perceiver.  Likewise, I work very hard in discerning the meaning in the words my client is speaking, in the gestures of their facial expressions and so on.

This sense is very challenging to pay attention to.  Often we rely on a previous perception. Get caught in biographical memory or the perspectives of certain identities – never risking going outside the box.  Ideally, we are always perceiving new meaning, meaning free of past perceptions or prejudices and seek the true meaning behind the words in the moment.

The practice of sacred attention is the full awareness of the hearing, word and meaning perceptions, subtle, profound, mysterious. And the pursuit of perception of true and momentary  meaning is a high and noble endeavor in the realm of the senses and the realm of the soul seeking spiritual significance through earthly and sensuous manifestation.

Bringing our attention to the development of this sense of thought can lead to hesitancy and confusion.  Without courage we conform, to cultural or family determined meanings. With courage we step outside the givens and the formals and risk awakening to something alive, challenging, even creatively uncertain.

This week look beyond the word, see beyond the gesture.  Ask yourself what is the deepest meaning I perceive in this phrase, this sentence, this paragraph of ideas?

Poetry often begins in thought and seeks elegant expression in words.  Instead of just speaking familiar words that have lost their meaning, write a poem today. You will feel more alive in your soul.