The Word, The Name
There are intimate relationships among words, sound, meaning, breath and the Divine. True words have an enduring power; false words have no power in the long run. The Word of God as reflected in holy and inspired texts is something very powerful, creative and energetic. It is not merely a conceptual formulation and opinion, but rather something from the Creative Source of existence itself. The Names of God are similar in their essence and their fundamental role for creating, sustaining and expanding a relationship between humans and the Creator. The Word or The Name helps us to fix our consciousness on Reality, renewing our contact with the Inward Center, stabilizing our communion with Spirit. To have such a tool that fixes our consciousness on Reality is no small thing.
Quranic, Vedic, Old and New Testaments, and the words for initiation into the Eleusinian mysteries refer to the creative and sustaining nature of Divine Sounds. We are encouraged to savor the sound of the Word we hear during meditation, reflection and prayer, like a tasty fruit. Mevlana tells us the Word is nutriment and food for our souls. In the Gospels, the Word is also referred to as Breath. Once the Holy Breath reaches a human, it stays there. With that embodied Breath, we become Its Essence. They say in Sufism: the murid (student) is fed by the words of the murshad (teacher) or the words of sohbet (the Teachings). This refers to that same process of Spirit entering the Soul.
The heart and self of a human being who takes a Divine Name and faithfully Remembers God while reflecting with it will, if there is some sincerity in the practice, be illuminated by the Name. This is true with any of the Divine Names. The most comprehensive Divine Name, Allah, is a sort of Divine multivitamin, providing complete nourishment.
In Remembrance of God or zhikr, every Word is a fresh impulse of Divine Reality. Every repetition of The Word or Name pulses toward Reconnection. We learn that the difference between one who does zhikr and one who doesn’t is the difference between the living and the dead. The Name and the Named are one. It is not two beings. When one says the Name one is the Name.
With repetition of the Names, the Divine intelligence works things out every step of the way. Knowing is immediate and instantaneous. The Divine allows knowing without a lot of the process that was formerly relied upon to know. Work with the Names may bring peace with uncertainty and acceptance of not knowing. The Divine takes care of a lot of things for the one who has entrusted him or herself in the Relationship with the Word, the Name.
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