Arvindus

Contemplationam

Language Layers

  • Title: Contemplationam, Language Layers.
  • Author: Arvindus.
  • Publisher: Arvindus.
  • Copyright: © 2021 Arvindus, all rights reserved.
  • Index: 202111181.
  • Edition: html, first edition.

Language is generally defined as "[w]ords and the methods of combining them for the expression of thought",1 and more specifically as "[t]he whole body of words and of methods of combination of words used by a nation, people, or race" and as "a system of conventional spoken or written symbols by means of which human beings, as members of a social group and participants in its culture, express themselves".2, 3 As mentioned in the latter definition language can be divided into spoken language and written language and in this contemplation we shall focus on the first and thus on language as defined as the "[p]ower or faculty of speech".4

Sometimes the term 'language' is also applied to the modes in which animals and plants communicate with each other,5 however this of course does not imply them having the faculty of spoken language, which is the prerogative of humans. And a human is in the ageless wisdom considered as consisting of different principles. For the human unit consists according to this wisdom of monad (or spirit), soul (or consciousness) and personality (or matter).6 This monad is further divided into power, love-wisdom and active intelligence, the soul into spiritual will (atma), intuition (buddhi) and the abstract mind (buddhi-manas) and the personality into the concrete mind or the mental body (kama-manas), the emotional or the astral body and the physical body, which in turn consists of a subtle or etheric physical body and a dense physical body.7 Now considering the subtle physical body and the dense physical body as one principle,8 and considering the threefold monad in its unity (corresponding to the Holy Trinity on a higher level)9 we arrive at a sevenfold division of man.10, 11 Another way to arrive at a sevenfold division is by considering the spiritual will or atma as representing the monad and considering the two constituents of the physical body (dense and subtle) as separate.12, 13

So man is a sevenfold, but he is not the only sevenfold in existence. According to the ageless wisdom basically everything in manifestation unfolds as a sevenfold.14 Following the so called 'Law of Correspondences' or 'Law of Analogy' it may then be interesting to explore language in its correspondences to the sevenfold human constitution.15, 16

Exploring correspondences of the constitution of language with that of man we shall start with what is most familiar to us; the dense physical body. This given in man corresponds with the vocality in language. Besides through vocalizing, linguistic expression is also possible without the use of the vocal cords, as in whispering. This whispering corresponds to the subtle physical or etheric body. Following the line from gross to subtle the next principle in man regards the emotional body. This principle corresponds with intonation in language. Everyone can hear the difference between the speech of a highly emotional person and that of an emotional calm person. These aforementioned parts of language can be said to constitute more or less what academic linguistic sciences call 'the phonetics' of a language.17 Next in line comes the concrete mind or the mental body, and this part in man corresponds to what academic linguistic sciences call 'the syntax' of a language, regarding the arrangements and connections of words.18 These words, singular and together connected and arranged, carry meanings, by academic linguistic sciences called 'semantics',19 and this layer of language corresponds with the abstract mind in man. It is with the abstract mind that meanings are understood. The next level up regards the intuition. This principle in man corresponds to the intention in language. Although certain (dim) reflections of intention are discussed in academic philosophy under the name of 'intentionality'20 the intention of the intuition is at present not part of academic linguistic research. And with the spiritual will being an even higher principle than the intuition it shall be clear that the linguistic correspondence thereof is also not academically discussed. This correspondence regards the significance in language.

That above linguistic intention is posited as corresponding with the intuition and significance with the spiritual will or atma also follows the distinctions that are made in the ageless wisdom between the worlds of symbol, of meaning and of significance.21 In this distinction the world of symbol is linked to the personality, consisting of the dense and subtle physical bodies, the emotional body and the mental body or concrete mind. The world of meaning therein is linked to the soul, and specifically to its understanding and intentional aspects, and it shall be clear that the regarded understanding can be related to the abstract mind and that the intention then must be related to the intuition. "[T]o the intuition" and not 'to the spiritual will' because completing the 'spiritual triad', as the soul is sometimes called,22 the spiritual will is related to the world of significance.23 This significance is in the ageless wisdom frequently mentioned together with purpose,24, 25 and this purpose is there related to the monad,26 so purpose then can be taken as the highest language layer. This purpose can also be taken together with significance in the same manner as atma or spiritual will sometimes is taken together with the monad, and the world of significance can similarly also be extended into the realm of the monad. Where worlds are concerned also the terms 'world of purpose', 'world of values' and 'world of appearances' are used,27 whereby the first relates to the monad, the second to the soul and the third to the personality, and it would be thus not unreasonable to relate the world of significance to the monad and the world of meaning to the soul. Remember that divisions are only given to enable discernment and that principles are rather centres of focus than bordered parts. The key for understanding here lies in seeing the double role of atma or the spiritual will as a soul faculty on the one side and as a representative of the monad on the other side.

Considering all of the above we get an overview as below.

Threefold man Sevenfold man I Sevenfold man II Language layers Academic linguistics Worlds I Worlds II
Monad Monad Spiritual will Purpose     World of purpose
Soul Spiritual will Significance   World of significance World of values
Intuition Intuition Intention   World of meaning
Abstract mind Abstract mind Meaning Semantics
Personality Concrete mind Concrete mind Arrangement Syntaxes World of symbol World of appearances
Emotion Emotion Intonation Phonetics
Physical body Subtle physical body Whispering
Dense physical body Vocality

Figure 1.

So what does the above overview tell us about language? Basically it can be deduced that language originates in a purpose and a significance that clothed in intention and meaning expresses themselves through arrangements, intonations, whisperings and vocalities. Or when considered down-top: A linguistic expression is not just an arranged and intonated sound carrying and conveying meanings, as academic linguistic sciences may consider, but it also has an underlying intention, significance and purpose.

The above deduction can be applied on more than one given. One expressed sentence indeed has vocality, intonation, arrangement, meaning and on deeper levels intention, significance and purpose, but it must be understood that following this line highly abstract levels are entered. And because an abstract is the source of many mutually similar particulars28 it can be understood that many similar expressions may have one meaning, many meanings one intention, many intentions one significance and many significances one purpose.

If all the expressions of one person in one lifetime would be gathered and traced back to their mutual abstract sources perhaps the meaning, intention, significance and even the purpose of that life could be grasped. After all it was stated that language is the prerogative of humans.

But similarly also all the expressions of one entire language could be gathered and traced back to their sources, revealing thus the purpose of that language. After all it are not just individual humans that have souls. If entire nations, races and religions are considered as soul expressions,29, 30 then why not consider languages likewise?31 For Charlemange (747/748-814) had presumably said that "to have a second language is to have a second soul",32 and the above contemplation moves surely in that direction.

Notes
  1. Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0), Oxford University Press, 2009, language, n.1, 2.a.
  2. Ibidem, 1.a.
  3. Encyclopædia Britannica, Ultimate Reference Suite, Version 2015, (software), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2015, language.
  4. Oxford English Dictionary, language, n.1, 2.b.
  5. Ibidem, 1.c.
  6. 'Ageless Wisdom, Triplicities in Man', Index: 201308292.
  7. Ibidem.
  8. Alice A. Bailey, 'The Light of the Soul', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 113-233. "The two parts of the physical vehicle form a unit."
  9. Alice A. Bailey, 'A Treatise on Cosmic Fire', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 259-273. "The Monad stands to him in the position of the Absolute, in the same sense as the undifferentiated Logos stands to the threefold Trinity, to the three Persons of logoic manifestation. The parallel is exact."
  10. Alice A. Bailey, 'Letters on Occult Meditation', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 228-230. "The seven principles of man."
  11. Alice A. Bailey, 'The Rays and the Initiations', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 178-208. "The Monad, the Spiritual Triad and the threefold personality; these constitute another septenate."
  12. 'Letters on Occult Meditation', indic. p. 350-360. "Atma. The Universal Spirit; the divine Monad; the seventh Principle; so called in the septenary constitution of man."
  13. Helena P. Blavatsky, 'The Secret Doctrine, Volume II', in: Theosophical Classics, (CD ROM), Theosophical Publishing House, Manilla, 2002, indic. p. 596.
  14. Helena P. Blavatsky, 'The Secret Doctrine, Volume I', in: Theosophical Classics, (CD ROM), Theosophical Publishing House, Manilla, 2002, indic. p. 152. "Moreover, the one eternal LAW unfolds everything in the (to be) manifested Nature on a sevenfold principle; […]."
  15. 'A Treatise on Cosmic Fire', indic. p. 3-9. "This Law of Correspondences or of Analogy is the interpretive law of the system, and explains God to man."
  16. Alice A. Bailey, 'Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 177-182. "Under the great Law of Correspondences, all that I have here given or indicated can be applied by the student to all forms of life: to a universe, to a solar system, to a planet, to a human being, to any subhuman form and to the tiniest atom of substance (whatever you may mean by that last term!)."
  17. Oxford English Dictionary, phonetics, n. pl.
  18. Ibidem, syntax, 2.a.
  19. Ibidem, semantic, a. and n.
  20. Encyclopædia Britannica, Ultimate Reference Suite, Searle, John, Intentionality and consciousness.
  21. 'The Rays and the Initiations', indic. p. 285-321. "I would ask you also to bear in mind that the world of symbols is that of the personal life, of the phenomenal world as that phrase covers the three worlds of human evolution; the world of meaning is the world in which the soul lives and moves with intention and understanding; the world of significance is the world of the Spiritual Triad, which only confers its freedom fully after the third initiation."
  22. Alice A. Bailey, 'The Light of the Soul', indic. p. xvii-113. "[…] the spiritual Triad or of the soul, […]."
  23. 'Contemplationam, Etymology and Etymosophy Elaborated', Index: 201602271, Further Definitions.
  24. Alice A. Bailey, 'Esoteric Astrology, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume III', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 441-452. "1. Humanity and the will of God. The revelation of the true significance and purpose of that will as it stands behind all world events is needed now as never before."
  25. 'The Rays and the Initiations', indic. p. 285-321. "The significance, the intention, the purpose of it all, and the extent of the divine Idea as it existed in the mind of the "Father," dawned on His soul (not on His mind, but on His soul). […]. A new type of energy became available—the energy of life itself, imbued with purpose and actuated by intention."
  26. Ibidem, indic. p. 25-47.
    "HeadMonadAtmaPurpose
    HeartSoulBuddhiPure reason
    Base of spinePersonalityManasSpiritual activity"
  27. Alice A. Bailey, 'Esoteric Psychology, Volume I', A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume II', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 36-59. "For our purposes in this treatise, we must grasp the fact that the world of appearances is energised by and vibrating to the world of qualities or values, which world, in its turn, is energised by or vibrating to the world of purpose or of will."
  28. 'Contemplationam, Generalities and Particularities in Plato's and Bailey's Philosophies', Index: 202110301.
  29. Alice A. Bailey, 'The Destiny of the Nations', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001, indic. p. 71-92. "The horoscope of a country can, therefore, be either that of the soul of the nation or of the personality of the nation, based on the form aspect; there are no means, as yet, of determining the date, for instance, of the birth of a nation or of a race."
  30. Alice A. Bailey, 'Esoteric Psychology, Volume I', indic. p. 157-170. "Every great religion which arises is under the influence of one or other of the rays, […]."
  31. G. de Purucker, Bron van het Occultisme, Grace F. Knoche (redacteur), Theosophical University Press Agency, Den Haag, 2006, p. vi.
  32. Lera Boroditsky, 'How the Languages We Speak Shape the Ways We Think The FAQs', in: Michael J. Spivey, Ken McRae, Marc F. Joanisse (editors) The Cambridge Handbook of Psycholinguistics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge / New York / et. al., 2012, Ch. 31, p. 3.
Bibliography
  • 'Ageless Wisdom, Triplicities in Man', Index: 201308292.
  • 'Contemplationam, Etymology and Etymosophy Elaborated', Index: 201602271.
  • 'Contemplationam, Generalities and Particularities in Plato's and Bailey's Philosophies', Index: 202110301.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'A Treatise on Cosmic Fire', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'Esoteric Astrology, A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume III', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'Esoteric Psychology, Volume I', A Treatise on the Seven Rays, Volume II', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'Letters on Occult Meditation', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'The Destiny of the Nations', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'The Light of the Soul', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Alice A. Bailey, 'The Rays and the Initiations', in: Twenty-Four Books of Esoteric Philosophy, (CD-ROM, Release 3), Lucis Trust, London / New York, 2001.
  • Helena P. Blavatsky, 'The Secret Doctrine, Volume I', in: Theosophical Classics, (CD ROM), Theosophical Publishing House, Manilla, 2002.
  • Helena P. Blavatsky, 'The Secret Doctrine, Volume II', in: Theosophical Classics, (CD ROM), Theosophical Publishing House, Manilla, 2002.
  • Lera Boroditsky, 'How the Languages We Speak Shape the Ways We Think The FAQs', in: Michael J. Spivey, Ken McRae, Marc F. Joanisse (editors) The Cambridge Handbook of Psycholinguistics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge / New York / et. al., 2012.
  • G. de Purucker, Bron van het Occultisme, Grace F. Knoche (redacteur), Theosophical University Press Agency, Den Haag, 2006.
  • Encyclopædia Britannica, Ultimate Reference Suite, Version 2015, (software), Encyclopædia Britannica, 2015.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0), Oxford University Press, 2009.