Through years of foraging in the dictionary, I have discovered and digested some power-packed verbal morsels that have helped sustain me through the rigors of my personal heroes’ journey. I am offering small tastes to you here of some delicious food-for-thought in hopes of inspiring your own further foraging in the other Good Book about the Word – at this most sacred time of year in this most mysterious year in our history.
The first of these words is purusha, which may be familiar to practitioners of Hindu philosophy. It refers to our unique, undying essence, which has neither beginning nor end. Strangely, however, the sound of this word – as you shall soon see and hear – has highly intriguing rePercussions.
Consider next the word theocrasy. No doubt it sounds familiar to you – but chances are you’re thinking of theocracy – in which Church and State dictate united and governmental policy is said to be divinely-guided:
The alternate theocrasy
– spelled with an S and not a C –
is not in every dictionary, which is, itself, a commentary.
For theocrasy means union of
the personal soul with God above.
So, what need have we for admonitions
– taboos, decrees and prohibitions –
when All our guaranteed admission
to the Promised Land,
This brings us now to the curious word parousia, which sounds so much like purusha. When written with a lowercase ‘p’ it means “the presence in anything of the idea after which it was formed.” In other words – as is regularly affirmed at the Agape International Spiritual Center – “I come from a divine and perfect idea held in the mind of God.” This perfect idea is your parousia – even if you have no idea what it is.
Just as the complete instructions for a Giant Sequoia are spelled-out in code in its pinhead-sized seed, so our parousia – the divine blueprint for our fully realized Self – is also present within us. The question then becomes, ‘How do we activate the unfoldment of this seed-potential?’
Some seeds are timed in Nature to sprout only after two cycles of frost and thaw. Others require a forest fire to break free from their shells and begin to germinate.
Similarly, it is often not until we are up against seemingly insurmountable odds that our latent potential has the requisite impetus to actualize – like a kernel of corn that undergoes an irreversible metamorphosis at just the right temperature.
Just such a challenge now faces the whole human race as our personal and global issues – along with the planet, itself – heat up to unprecedented degrees. Under this heat and pressure, more people than ever before are embarking on a healing journey in search of greater wholeness.
That’s where the word theodicy comes in. I’ve seen it defined as “a vindication of the goodness of God in relation to the existence of evil.”
Personally, I believe theodicy is the purpose of the odyssey we all undertake from birth: to transform hardship, loss and suffering into wisdom, compassion and transcendent joy – thereby proving that who we are as Spirit-in-the-Flesh is greater than anything that can afflict us humanly. It is the people who succeed in becoming Victors of truly dire Circumstances that have the power to inspire us through the ages.
One of the many trials we must all undergo in the odyssey of theodicy is the challenge to stay kind and conscious in the face of great insult and hardships. That’s why I’m so very fond of the word eudemonism. It sounds so satisfyingly diabolical while actually meaning quite the opposite.
Eudemonics is an ethical doctrine that is based on the fact that happiness is the by-product of right action. It’s like the ancient saying, ‘Virtue is its own reward.’ However, it rings far truer for me than that uninspiring cliché, which belongs side-by-side with the Golden Rule – something everyone knows but too few practice by-heart.
With the recent discovery of ‘mirror neurons,’ we now have new reason to act eudemonically: Science has proven that by giving joy to others we induce it in ourselves. Of course, it also works the other way around.
Based on this evidence I’d like to propose a ‘Platinum Rule’ to inspire enlightened self-interest: We do unto ourselves as we do onto others. It cannot be otherwise. Perhaps that’s why Service sounds like Serve-Us.
This brings us now to entelechy, pronounced in-tell-a-key. It means the actualization of our essential potential (parousia) – which is our deepest reason for being and thus our greatest source of joy.
Many people believe our primary purpose relates to our potential to give and receive selfless Love (hence, the utility of understanding eudemonics and how the love we share with others replenishes our own hearts). Our secondary purpose may involve an actual gift, interest or talent that we are impelled to share in the world.
Entelechy also means the inner impulse that urges us toward Self-Actualization. And surely the impulse to transcend – from the terrestrial to the celestial – is at least as strong in humans as it is in caterpillars.
This brings us finally back around to Parousia. When capitalized, its meaning changes from “the presence in anything of the idea after which it was formed” to Advent – also known as the Second Coming.
So, what if the long-awaited Second Coming isn’t really about one extraordinary Super-Hero coming to save us from ourselves – for a second time? What if it’s actually about our individual and collective awakening to our eternal essence (purusha); our conscious connection with our Source (theocrasy); our journey of victory over adversity (theodicy) – ultimately leading to the actualization (entelechy) of our essential potential (parousia)?
What if it also requires that we act in ways that benefit others and simultaneously lift our own spirits (eudemonism)? Wouldn’t that be enough to totally transform the world overnight for the better?
We human beings are actually omnificent creatures. Though few of us have ever heard this word before, we all possess – “unlimited powers of creation.” Some may dismiss this as wild and wishful imaginings. But we have already amply demonstrated that we possess full destructive power. So the opposite must be equally true.
In John 14:12, Christ is quoted as saying to us: ‘Greater things than these shall ye do.’ Wouldn’t we all have to ‘Come To’ (Parousia), achieve our entelechy, and make the most enlightened use of our unlimited creative powers to prove this to be true?
If not Now – at the end of 2012 – then, for Christ’s Sake when?
This is It!
Now is the Time to Begin to Be-You-To-Full!
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Distinguished English Linguist Laurel Airica (www.laurelairica.com) is a writer-poet who dances with words through her WordMagic performances, presentations and seminars – while also offering her editing and Intuitive Empowerment Counseling services to clients worldwide. Laurel will be speaking at the TED-X Malibu on Dec. 2nd. See calendar listing for details.
This article also appears in the Nov/Dec 2012 issue of Awareness Magazine (www.awarenessmag.com)
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