During the second week of Advent our etheric forces come under the spotlight. Our etheric forces, our life-forces, carry an impression of everything we think, do, and say. We should always delay what we do or say and closely monitor what we think. Do we think things through sufficiently before forming opinions? Weighty matters can never be decided until we cogitate for at least three days and sometimes for seven days.
The adverse forces always want us to speak and act before we think, to be spontaneous. During this second week of Advent we can take note of how many times, after a hasty action, we hear or say the words, “I didn’t think …”. We can take advice from Plato’s Virtues of Temperance and Prudence, ensuring that discretion and moderation underlie what we say and what we do. In particular, every effort should be made to be dignified in our speech. The hindering forces specifically target our speech and our expression and delight in its degradation.
There is a wonderful book published in 2004 call Death Sentence – The Decay of Public Language by the Australian author Don Watson. He explains how corporate jargon invades our life. It is devoid of feeling and uses terms invented in the departments of large corporations that only they understand. It always evades the truth and degrades language which, after all, as we have been considering, is the Logos, the Word. It represents a deterioration of truth. Don Watson says, “It enrages, depresses, humiliates, confuses. It leaves us speechless.” “It has its origins in the subjection or control of one by another.”
Don Watson is therefore suggesting that modern language is eroding our freedom. We may be free to speak our minds, but the tools by which we can do this are in decline. Language is decayed.
In this atmosphere we struggle to speak to each other with feeling and with thoughtfulness. We must look for ways to ensure that our speech has sense and meaning, otherwise it is best to remain silent. Through Plato’s Virtues of temperance and prudence – discretion and moderation – we will achieve harmony and succeed in the second Advent trial.