Watching our Language

If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone. - Confucius

Field theory places great importance on the careful use of language. This is because the New Age literature on consciousness-as-cause is presumptive and careless in its use of certain key terms, and because these presumptions are largely unexamined, they lead to ill-conceived and ultimately confusing and disappointing practices.

The word intention is a good example. This word, central to Field theory, is not unique to Field theory. it shows up in the writings of Esther Hicks/Abraham, Neal Donald Walsch, and Wayne Dyer, to name a few. But in none of these writings do you find a precise definition of that word. It is used more or less conversationally.

In Field theory, on the other hand, we stipulate a precise definition, and understand intention to mean "that structure of consciousness comprising what we take to be real" and "that which which we identify." The clarity that this single precise definition alone brings to practice cannot be overstated, effectively taking the conversation about consciousness-as-cause to a new, far more thoughtful and thorough level. Perhaps this is why students with extensive backgrounds in the New Age models have described Field theory as "the next step" and "the graduate school of consciousness study."

It is important to say what we mean and mean what we say. This doesn't mean that speaking is the same thing as intending. Far from it, for we certainly can say one thing while believing something else. That said, our language tends to reflect our beliefs, such that being mindful of what we say has the practical importance of being mindful of what we believe, and this alone can make us more aware. For example, I've noticed that parents often say to young children who reach for something that they are not allowed to have, such as, say a pepper shaker or a box of matches, "You don't want that." This is a careless use of language, because careful language is precise, and precision implies accuracy and therefore correctness, and correctness is the twin of truth. It is not true that the child does not want the thing. It is true that he or she is not allowed to have it. And the effect of this carelessness with language is that the child is sent a message of contradiction, because children are pure receptivity, and stand ready to accept as true whatever they're told by the people they love. In this way, innocently but no less unfortunately, we pass along to our children legacies of contradiction, and contradiction, as Field theory tells us, leads to suffering.

Such a small thing—yet "God is in the details," and as chaos theory tells us, it is the small things that throw the levers of being this way or that. We see how important it is to use words thoughtfully when dealing with something mundane and at hand. Doesn't it follow that such care with language—both in thinking and speaking—would be at least as important when we're dealing with matters as subtle and profound as consciousness-as-cause?

This week, why not make an experiment—and this can be fun, it doesn't have involve nervous self-watching—of bringing a new awareness to whether you're saying what you mean and meaning what you say? Such an experiment has an immediate effect on consciousness for the better. It reveals blind spots, opens up new choices, and brings home the idea that we're responsible for the choices we make even when we make them unwittingly. Watching our language can open up a new world for us in surprising ways, because it is the little things, the details, the truthfulness of something said or left unsaid, that make all the difference. As D.H. Lawrence writes in his poem, We Are Transmitters:

Give, and it shall be given unto you
is still the truth about life.
But giving life is not so easy.
It doesn't mean handing it out to some mean fool,
or letting the living dead eat you up.
It means kindling the life-quality where it was not,
even if it's only in the whiteness of a washed pocket-handkerchief.

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