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My Word!

Heath Synnestvedt invites us to join his musing about words. With playfulness and irony, Heath suggests that the use and meaning of words have an important effect both on how we experience and respond to reality. (Heath intends the use of lower case “i”) -Editor

Irrelevant Pre-ramble

“Bless you,” Paddington said when a lady at the table next to his coughed. She had sneezed earlier when he was beyond the proper range for public blessing.

On his way out of the cafe he paused to wonder whether he ought to have paid more than the price of the cocoa for the privilege of sitting in such a fine spot for watching the passersby. “Next time I'll go for the Knickerbocker Glory.”

But he didn't. And again he didn't. It wasn't good for him, and besides, he wouldn't eat it all, or so he once was told.

Eventually holes began to form in his brain and likewise in his memory. Decisions got confusing unless someone helped him, and tasks that used to be second nature were now as mysterious as the cloud forests of Darkest Peru seemed to the Brown family.

“Bless you!” he called out across the room. He no longer read the newspaper.

The next day there was a boy in suspenders and a straw hat wearing a steady frown. Or maybe it was a week later. “Is that bad? I'm so stupid,” Paddington often said aloud when he stumbled over time.

“May I get you the Knickerbocker Glory?” he said reaching into his pocket for an empty wallet, “They're not good for me, but you look young and healthy; it wouldn't hurt you!"

-The preceeding was no fault of Michael Bond.


Lord, what can it mean to honor Your name?

What is Your name?

In Hebrew Yehowa יהוה was not to be uttered by the people, so sacred was it held to be. When Moses asked who to say had sent him, he was told to say that “I Am” had sent him.

Is it too much of a stretch to consider that right under our noses in everyday speech lies a power worthy of very deliberate use?

To Be or Not To Be?

When we speak of states or conditions of states of the body and mind we use the verb 'to be.'

“How are you?”

I am tired. I am hungry. I am fed up with insurance companies.


So of course we usually hide what we see as the 'truth' of the How of ourselves and instead respond like a push-button Hallmark card, “I'm fine, thanks. And you?”

Or if it's the streets of the City of Brothahly Love it would be more like this:

“How y'Doin'!”

“'S'Up,” underneath which may lie a litany of complaints.


What if there is no such thing as 'to be tired?'

What if 'being naughty' is an absurd mis-match of words that has no place in clear thought? Test this idea for a while and imagine it could be.

What, then; have i never been tired? Don't i believe in tiredness?

Please leave belief out of this conversation. It is not welcome yet; let us tidy the house first.

Additional Constructions

In the Spanish and French languages, among others, there is a construction i recommend emulating. They use 'I have hunger, I have sleep(-iness), I have heat/cold.' Spanish also offers two choices for the verb 'to be:' one temporal and one which equates a declaration that something Is So.

Of course i have experienced tiredness. That has nothing to do with Being.

And naughtiness? That, like 'weeds,' is a term that growed-up children apply to vitality they may not know how to embrace or direct.

3rd Person Narrative

“Kai's turn to like some apple.”

It was many months ago when Heath heard this. What a charming declaration!

"Why do children speak in the third person?"

The question above is a link to the same at, which Heath followed and found that it was still unanswered.

Here's his turn to need an answer:

Thoughts are not 'me-own,' as any truly 'creative' person can tell you. They come from something beyond one's own identity or even volition. What may be harder to accept or demonstrate is that feelings themselves are equally non-local and absolute of property law.

In other words, my feeling and your feeling are separable only to the degree that you and i deny our common humanity.

This is one way to express the lovableness of infants, that their perspective begins outside of themselves as a matter of course, since their experience of themselves is devoid of linguistic expressibility until this is offered by those around them.

i.e. they don't take themselves, their thoughts, or their feelings personally. Wisdom, no?

1st Person

Then there is the foundation for individual responsibility prevalent in our English language. A few weeks ago, for example, “I missed a box” when i was delivering produce to multiple recipients. Soon i found it among the boxes at the next site. Speaking Spanish i have occasionally heard the awkwardness of my communications when painting verbal pictures of these and similar events. Recently it was pointed-out to me by another non-native Spanish speaker that native speakers would have said it very differently.

Of course! What i ought to have said to mimic their phrasing 'translates' directly to English like this:

“A few weeks ago a box was lost to me... Soon it appeared among the boxes at the next site.” In an English-derived world it was something i alone did and anything i might have done to prevent it is now an obligation for future situations of the sort. In a Spanish-derived world it was missing in reference to me, though not necessarily through my agency.

So why this childlike construction? In some situations it would be very useful to be adept at forming our thoughts in this manner. Clearly there is value in responsibility, yet it is so easily mangled by the hammer of blame. This is where the two views taken together can approach a really holistic paradigm, one that can weather the storms of false conscience and thrive in a world abundant with judgments and opinions. Thus we may both understand our friends like the aging Paddington and take it upon ourselves to release any blame when it enters our inner world.


Two universal spheres flow out from the Divine; the sphere of Procreation and the sphere of Protecting that which has been Procreated.

Evil is not among these.

In fact there is no such thing.

Evil does not Exist

In theory, of course, i would readily agree with most of my readers that this or that thing that someone has done appears 'evil' if i were to have done it, but in life this is impracticable due to the infinite nature of the context for any action. How much further beyond my grasp a whole human Being! What constitutes a 'bad man?'

Is it one of those guys in prison uniforms or business suits who glories in his past and future crimes?

Is it someone in a history book who sported a funny mustache? Or someone in a fantasy story whose humanity is conveniently ignored? Is it a lonely little nobody you call your naughty self when you're considering the dessert menu? Who gave you the gavel? How can you genuinely claim to account for all the possible manifestations of grace and mercy and say that nope, in this case God couldn't help you/her/him?

No. There is no evil absolute of my own interpretation and labeling of the world around me. It is the verbal manifestation of my propensity as a social primate to bond with some and exclude others. It no longer seems useful to accord it the language of power, the language of BEING. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is only one of the trees out there. Kids never be mean; they mean well whenever given a choice. What can i do? Give up knowing and be open to seeing and hearing.

There are endless approaches to modifying behaviors of children and adults alike, and very few of them involve declaring certain actions bad, wrong, or evil. I leave it to you to experiment on yourselves and then others.


Any God worthy of a name simply IS so far above condemnation that in prayerfulness i seek to understand:

  • Anger as Bottled Pain Leaking
  • Sadness as evidence of an ability to transform Anger and/or release other stuck emotions
  • Tiredness as evidence of Self-imposed Limitations yet to be uncovered and released
  • Sloth as a healthy case of Terrible Two-ness in the As-Of-Self
  • Gluttony as a lingering dedication to “Finish Everything On Your Plate or you don't get dessert!” It's saying 'Yes' to life!
  • Vanity as admirably feigned Self-esteem, an occasional indicator of insecurity seeking an opportunity to be given meaningful work to accomplish ('Get a life' and these three previous will disappear)
  • Lust as a compass pointing to what is most missing in our spirit, our own Being
  • Lying and Deceit as the Sphere of Protection wanting something of Trust
  • Theft as the Courage to think (and move) things 'outside the box'... just wanting in an awareness of Others
  • and genuine Fear as a flag marking the Treasure of the Heart

These are suggestions only. The range of possible interpretations is vast.

“I'm afraid i won't be able to make it to the...” ...WHATEVUH!

“You will when you believe.”

The human being is in himself temporal and the Lord in Himself eternal, and only the temporal can proceed from man, and from the Lord only the eternal. Man, we said, is in himself temporal and the Lord in Himself eternal. Since only what is in a person can proceed from him, nothing can proceed from man except what is temporal, and nothing from the Lord except what is eternal. For the infinite cannot proceed from the finite; that it can is a contradiction. The infinite, however, can proceed from the finite, still not from the finite but from the infinite by the finite. In turn, what is finite cannot proceed from the infinite; this is also a contradiction; it can be produced from the infinite and this is creation and not proceeding. On this subject see Angelic Wisdom about Divine Love and Wisdom, from beginning to end. If then the finite proceeds from the Lord, as it does in many ways with man, it proceeds not from the Lord but from man, and can be said to do so from the Lord by man, because it so appears.

This may be clarified by these words of the Lord:

“Let your communication be, Yea, yea, Nay, nay, what is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). (Divine Providence 219:2-3)

Love and Blessings fill you to overflowing!

Yes! You!

Heath Thapelo E.S.

Heath Emanuel Synnestvedt, an inveterate sinner, has hopes for a future in which to form new habits. He enjoys Skype, other people's houses, and wild animals. He experiences a very high ratio of pleasant dreams to unpleasant ones. He gathers, cooks and bakes frequently, especially when too tired to sleep or simply when conditions suggest. He pursues an intimate connection with Providence and practices Consciousness. He fights gravity on any inclined plane, inviting a state of near-continual cognitive dissonance.

Reader Comments (2)

Thanks Heath! Great to hear your thoughts. I found the practice section really useful. I find that it helps me deal with my unwonted behavior more effectively if I have compassion for myself and an understanding of what actaully hurts inside me. This list helps to identify what you see as the hurt beneath each behavior and so in using it, I can more quickly identify what is going on and be free to choose rationally how I want to act and respond to life. So thanks for putting in the work of thinking through this and communicating it to me.

November 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJanine

Dearest Brother, (not indeed to dis the others, and I say that for those listening),

I see your compassion (that is, my spiritual eyes see a quality in the written thoughts of your spirit which my interpreter interprets as "compassion." And now that the nature of my natural language is somewhat qualified, I continue in nature as though it were spirit.)
I see your wise pursuit of fresh wilderness views. And yes, there will always be wilderness!
I feel your stretching toward mercy and the rest of us.
I have knowledge you are deep, deeper than a well, and I am washed with gratitude that you chose this day to come up and take a cobble out of the side of the well's shaft and again another from another place, and again another, and draw and reach me with dew on the grass where I am meditating in the field. A few beads caught the sun's low angle with a flash of a star, sending deftly into my contemplative eye.

Paddington makes me smile, really because of you. Like the you in the Paddington is what delights me, and I have enough contentment with that that I stir not to garner further delight from Paddington outside of you - well, there might be Becca and Aunt Janis...kind of like "the infinite proceeding from the finite, still not from the finite but from the infinite by the finite"? Like Snowman (our beloved stuffed anima) holds the love and spirit of Landon and Rory and Mom et al. Was I just telling you on the phone how I had over-stuffed due perhaps to uncontrollably enhungering conversation last night? And still I would never get near a Knickerbocker Glory in such a state. Way too dangerous. Been there. Been on the couch groaning.

The thread that bound me into your article is "kids never be mean." A gift that Coach once gave me, a doorway, an invitation, a bump: "I think it's possible for us to be as strict with ourselves as we are accepting of others." I love that idea. I've got child. Big time. I dearly want to be it, so much so that I am willing to suffer. I want to be soft with others, but not because I'm jelly. I want to be rippling muscle. Can you picture my dragon breathing? Have you seen me leap and kick my warrior palm? Before coming back from Kenya, I watched 8 full episodes of Jackie Chan. It fed my fighting spirit, my uncompromisingly simple child, my physical commitment and resolve. David was teaching my hands.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIsaac Synnestvedt
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