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Words are Spells

Healing the world through our healing language. Words by James McCrae





“Matter is simply a concept. The world is made of language.” – Terence McKenna


What are the building blocks of reality? A scientist, looking through a physical lens, might say atoms of particles. A mathematician might say the universe is made of numbers. Leading edge thinkers in neuroscience have theorized that consciousness is actually more fundamental than space and time (a “new” science which mirrors ancient beliefs of shamanism and Vedic texts).


If true, then what informs and shapes our consciousness? More than anything else, it is language. As Joan Didion said, “the ability to think for one self depends on the mastery of the language.” Language maintains the borders of consciousness. That which is unspeakable is unknowable. Language is a magic spell (which is why we “spell” words) which guides the experience of consciousness. Words are keys which can be used to open doors or lock them. A president uses words to declare war. A revolutionary uses words to declare independence. The words of a prophet inspire peace.


Our modern language, exemplified in public discourse, is in disarray. Television and social media reward bickering and argumentative thinking. We are painted into a corner by weaponized language, dividing us into binary categories that do not reflect the multi-dimensional nature of the human experience. Our natural reaction might be to “fight back” by inserting our own perspective into the argument, but this only adds fuel to the fire.


In order to heal a world that is programmed with bad language, we must elevate the tone of the conversation by restoring the nuanced languages of poetry and myth. Language exists on a spectrum between metaphor and dogma. Poetic language invites us to expand our awareness beyond linear, binary thinking. Contractual language attempts to bind us to the terms of the agreement.


In certain cases, contractual (i.e. dogmatic) language is helpful, but it has infiltrated the public discourse like an invasive species, boxing us into narrow, hyper-rational thinking. Nobody argues about which novel, song, or movie is “correct.” Some are better crafted than others, but it would be a mistake to consider any work of art to be definitely true or false. It’s a matter of style and taste.


Before religions were hardened into dogma, I believe they began as poetry – myths which offered ideas to inspire expansive thinking, not contractual documents to be obeyed under threat or punishment. Like every novel is “true,” every religion is also true. One myth does not negate the validity of another, but collectively they offer a spectrum of perspectives to entertain and learn from.



“The culture cannot evolve faster than the language. The language is the flashlight that shows the path.” – Terence McKenna


Before we heal our world, we must heal our words by attuning ourselves to a better vibration. What if we stopped using language only as a means to an end, spitting lifeless data and arguments, and instead brought poetry and worship back to our common speech – a communication deeper than dogmatic definitions?


If words are truly, spells then every person is a magician casting vibrational frequency into the world through the alchemy of language. What spells are you casting? What seeds are you planting?


Instead of giving your valuable energy and awareness to rigid and disempowering narratives, use the seeds of your imagination, word and art to plant a new reality. Become the magician and mythmaker. Start casting better spells.




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