What Labels Do You Wear?

labelsIda Lawrence, Contributor
Waking Times

Today I’d like to talk about what we’re talking about. Terminology: doctors have their own that only they understand, lawyers have theirs, schoolbooks compete for the ‘most boring’ crown, and psychologists have some nice big words to make simple things sound complex, businesses have their very specific terminology, farmers have theirs, and ‘urban’ just has terminology fun.

Religions definitely invented plenty of new terms and probably argued about the meaning of them for a hundred years or so. Who knows… maybe they’re still arguing about what the soul is. And ‘New Age’ has its own terminology too; concepts that we either understand, or we cruise on past pretending that we understand.

A few months ago one of my family members told me, “I like what you write but do you have to use terms like the matrix? What are you talking about… the matrix movie? That’s the only thing that turns me off about your blog.” I figured he had a legitimate complaint, so I started using ‘system’ or ‘control system’. We know what we mean by ‘matrix’, but our definition isn’t in the dictionary. What is in the dictionary has to do with math, or something nebulous, like a form from which something else forms.

The other day I watched the TV personality Bill Nye have some fun with the New Age use of the term – the universe. The joke was that the universe has been newly defined as a ‘force’ that has the ability to communicate with and give guidance to white women in their twenties. I found it to be a very funny commentary, and I understood exactly why he was having fun with the term. It isn’t an easy one to figure out.

Hopefully we’ll always be able to laugh at ourselves and appreciate a joke… especially if it’s irreverent and it takes down our ‘seriousness’ about ourselves. People can make up new terms or new meanings for terms any time they want to… it’s one of our creative privileges with language. The down sides would be that you could limit your audience to those in the know, or, limit yourself in order to fit into a label, or, create a ‘trigger word’ problem that closes minds.

I actually wrote an article about ‘the universe’ some months ago, entitled “The Big Kahuna in the Sky.” Do we mean that the universe is a wish fulfiller, or something akin to the ‘all-powerful who knows what I’m thinking’ God of my childhood? In the article I tried to work my way through the question, and really didn’t come up with an answer that satisfied me.

  • But, considering the fact that we seem to understand what we’re talking about, the universe, to us, might just be the communications of the soul, intuition, prescience, synchronicity, feeling or sensing energy, or being in touch with the higher self. Truthfully, the way we receive some of the information that we take in is mystical… we’re open, it’s out there, we pick up on it. It’s wise to honor that.

    So, ‘the universe’ is understandable to us, and not so clear to people who would like to understand us.

    There’s another term that I wonder about, and this one I’m a little uncomfortable with. Maybe that says something about me, but, what really are light workers? Is it a job title? I don’t think so, but I’ve heard it in reference to healers, teachers, energy workers, life coaches and so on. Maybe a light worker is simply someone who is on the spiritual path, learning about, and working on uncovering the light within. That would make them a light worker.

    But in any case, light worker sounds kind of ‘special’ and that brings me to another person who has fun with New Age trends and labels, JP Sears. He coined the term ‘ultra spiritual’, and he carefully explained that the point is not to actually be spiritual, but to be ‘seen’ as more spiritual than anyone else. He hasn’t taken on the light worker term as yet, but it could be down the road. In his ultra spiritual videos he offers one hilarious scene after another and some of it is well targeted. If nothing else, it makes us think.

    Moving back to my family member whose opinion is valuable to me, in that he is open-minded and interested. There are some terms I find comfortable that might not be comfortable to him. One that is easily a trigger, yet easily explained, is ‘ascension’.

    Disclaimer: We’re not talking about the faithful ‘ascending’ to somewhere off-world, leaving the rest here to suffer. That’s a little too magical and cold-hearted for most people

    To me, ‘ascension’ refers to a fairly large number of people reaching a level of expanded consciousness wherein they understand the inherent connection of all living things, they are aware of themselves as consciousness in physical form, and they know that consciousness is woven through quite a bit more than three dimensions. My family member could really appreciate this, as he’s into theoretical physics and open to metaphysics. So, all it takes for him to ‘get it’ is an explanation of the term.

    I actually believe ascension is in process, which brings me to another term: paradigm shift. When a large enough number of people reach a new way of understanding, this will be a paradigm shift. It’s a meaningful term and one that fits with what’s happening.

    Here’s another term that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, as to me it speaks of spiritual maturity. I believe it was Soren Dreier who coined ‘heart people’, and it was in an article of his that I first heard it. I wondered, “Who are the heart people,” but of course they are us… just us growing up.

    We think of consciousness as being seated in the mind, and it is. But can the Light of consciousness be at home in the heart as well? Yes – the heart-centered journey is quite an old one, revealed in poetry and in esoteric religious understanding. It seems to me that ‘heart-centered’ is what we are growing up into. It’s private, honorable, responsible, healing, grounded in the physical and manifested in relationships.

    Here’s a quote from one of Albert Einstein’s letters to his daughter: “There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.”

    Within the heart-centered journey, we can step away from some of the practices that we’ve been so religiously engaged in. We don’t need to therapeutically re-live the past anymore. We can stop worrying about every negative thought or disruptive emotion. We can depart from the dominance of the intellect, and direct our trust and our love to our own innocent and loving heart, our own Light.

    Example: Every day we are guided by intentions and faced with choices and decisions. If, when making a decision, we consider this question: “What is the choice that will best serve my own heart,” the answer will be liberating and doable, not only benefiting ourselves, but it will benefit and serve to liberate all.

    Now, maybe we can finish up with one more term: ‘awaken’. The word would actually be directed toward someone like my family member, who is a mature adult enjoying success in the business world. But… he doesn’t need to awaken. Although he might appear to be asleep, he’s observant and he’s interested. We don’t want to turn him off and we probably won’t. He’s very attracted to the truth so that gives him staying power.

    To conclude… this world seems to have a need for special descriptive terms and labels that work well in memes and sound bytes but serve to make our communications shallow. No word can contain the depth and height and meaning of a human being evolving and expanding in consciousness, except perhaps what Einstein said… LOVE.

    About the Author

    Ida Lawrence is an author, blogger, copywriter and editor based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has authored two books on racial justice and human rights, and numerous articles on human rights, self-empowerment and related subjects. Ida is also a certified Tai Chi instructor with a special interest in helping seniors and the disabled with Tai Chi and Chi Kung practices modified for their use. Her goal in life has been to find answers to the question of ‘why’ and then to explore the question of ‘what is’. More of her work is available at her personal blog, http://talk2momz.com/.

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