In this debut Epic Beauty post we lay the foundational groundwork for the journey ahead by establishing a basis in truth at the fundamental level of meaning. The focus here in Part 1: Semantics in Truth will be on the broad need for a return to truth in meaning, while in parts 2 and 3 we will concentrate on wholistic definitions for the essential concepts of Nature and beauty.
On the surface, meaning, Nature, and beauty are simple concepts we are all familiar with.
Yet in their esoteric aspects lay secrets to revealing the timeless natural beauty within one’s Self and the universal purpose of life we all share.
A Map to the Journey Ahead
To begin, we will stake out the foundation for realizing our individual and collective responsibility for embodying the beauty we would all like to experience in the world.
This includes illuminating the crucial need to repair our means of communication at the fundamental level of meaning.
We then dig into the work of repairing the rot in our collective ability to communicate, align, and harmonize with our shared purpose.
Such will be an ongoing process of establishing honest and wholistic definitions of vital concepts which have been robbed of their true meaning, and thus their ultimate power in our lives.
It will include reestablishing the importance of the marginalized field of semantics to exemplify the critical need for honest and accurate definitions in this age of information overload.
Definition and context are of course key to communication; however they are generally taken for granted and frequently falsely assumed to regrettable effect.
In response, we begin a consistent theme of exploring essential definitions for the sake of promoting optimal understanding and re-connection with our shared Sacred Source of inspiration and values.
This first of three debut posts consists of fundamental prep work for the overall mission of the Epic Beauty journey, on which we hope you will join us.
Namely, that purpose is to realize the universal remedy of harmonizing with our Natural state of (epic) health and beauty – in its infinitude within and beyond the physical.
The Paradox of Truth
There is a universal Truth that we will thoroughly explore on our literary journey, and that of life: the closer we get to objective Truth, the more paradoxical it appears.
Such is echoed in all ancient religions, perhaps most succinctly in Taoist and Zen teachings.
...As for the world,
The more restrictions and prohibitions there are,
The poorer the people will be.
The more sharp weapons people have in a country,
The bigger the disorder will be.
The more clever and cunning people are,
The stranger the events will be.
The more laws and commands there are,
The more thieves and robbers there will be.
Therefore the sage says:
I do not act,
And people become reformed by themselves.
I am at peace,
And people become fair by themselves.
I do not interfere,
And people become rich by themselves.
Tao Te CHing, Lao Tzu
In kind, understanding how to best govern our individual lives and society at large is somewhat of a paradox in that individual freedom is essential to expressing our unique beauty – and creating a free and prosperous society.
We have all heard the potentially misleading maxim: “freedom isn’t free” – which is true, but not in the sense that it necessarily costs money.
The cost of freedom is responsibility for one’s actions – sadly, a price many feel oppressed or unwilling to pay.
The Individual as the Fractal Unit of the Whole
While the need for Truth and meaning is generally widespread, no change comes about spontaneously within a society. Every human innovation or change ever created was first born at the level of individual consciousness.
Fortunately however, relatively rapid change in a population is possible through the critical mass effect (similar to "the hundredth monkey principle"), wherein a relatively low number of individuals spark a near instantaneous shift in consciousness within their species.
Fittingly, as individuals, our freedom and responsibility reside in our thoughts, words, and actions, which are also our direct interface with our communities and larger collective.
Therefore, as the sovereign unit within the collective, aligning ourselves with the harmony and beauty we see in the Natural world is how we mirror and create it within society.
It has become somewhat cliché, yet seldom put into practice, and so we will remind readers (and ourselves) that we must all “start with ourselves” to “be the change we want to see in the world.”
Restoring honest meaning and real connection in our lives is fundamental to initiating the change we would all like to see.
Obviously, the worldly context of current events can appear quite chaotic and grim. Fortunately, with a bit of intuitive wisdom, we can each shine the light of Truth and reason on a meaningful path forward through the divine labyrinth of life.
Why: The Natural Necessity of Sovereignty and Community (Common-Unity)
Sovereignty of the individual is a prerequisite to true beauty because without it we cannot express the uniqueness which we were all born into this world to share.
Thus, individual freedom is the key to both expressing our unique beauty and creating a thriving collective simply because it is the basis for our natural and social hierarchies alike.
In other words, sovereignty is founded at the level of individual human consciousness – not that of a cell or organ, nor a tribe or nation.
The trap of “collectivist” ideologies is that any and all of the natural rights which compose individual freedom can be “reasoned” away for the benefit of others as an illusory “greater good.”
For instance: The air, water, or food that any one individual consumes could be said to be subtracted from the supply of others who could claim to need it more (“the greater good”).
Of course, such could be said by anyone, to anyone, resulting in a downward spiral of conflict and nihilism. Clearly, that is not what we are here for.
The point is that the definition of what constitutes “the greater good” must be made at the individual level – and not be imposed by others unless they justly act to equally protect individual freedom for all.
And to be clear, individual freedom (sovereignty) does not include the “freedom” to infringe on that of others.
Authoritarian or supposed “collectivist” (mob) rule which negates individual freedom is the path of destruction in disguise as one of the many artificial “isms" which snuff beauty out of individuals and society for the sake of illusory control.
Community as the Union of Sovereign Purpose
It is no secret that as humans we are social creatures. No one can really dispute that communicating and working together are central to our collective status at the top of the food chain.
Likewise, pressing societal challenges can only be resolved with general cooperation around common goals and values.
Even the most anti-social among us relies on others to some degree, as we are all downstream on a shared planet.
Clearly, we each have the choice to work in harmony with the Natural order of life – or not.
It is high time to recognize that choosing the latter option constitutes the current trend of forsaking our interdependence down a path of individual and collective ruin.
We kindly opt for the former.
Lighting the Shadows: The Postmodern Turn on the Timeless Plot Twist
A new technological twist on the timeless human drama has emerged: our basic means of communication – the basis of community and civilization – have become largely displaced by convenience and corrupted by compounding ignorance and ideology.
Surely humans have struggled to communicate their shared goals and values in the past. Indeed, much of history is defined by conflict, but never in recorded history has the human race been so powerful and so ideologically fractured.
It has gotten to the point that a significant portion of us are so fed-up with society that they brazenly work to “burn it all down” – while others scheme quietly in the shadows to do the same.
Even worse, we nearly all ignorantly or begrudgingly support effectually similar destructive practices by “voting” for them with our dollars.
Regardless of the hyperbole and shortsightedness of the outliers, we all have shared needs and aspirations.
It’s easy to forget in this age of shorthand and sarcasm that it was sincere, nuanced, and precise communication that allowed us to co-create the amazingly advanced systems on which humanity now depends.
Accordingly, the degradation of our ability to communicate (and thus cooperate) has brought us to the cusp of destroying everything we have collectively accomplished since the birth of civilization.
It sounds hyperbolic, yet it is quite undeniable that there are relatively tiny groups of people who have control over sufficient stashes of weapons of mass destruction to initiate a global meltdown. And they are by no means the only global threat.
As a minor testament to our higher human nature, a lack of a critical mass to detonate such weapons remains intact as perhaps the last fail-safe.
Realizing Harmony: It All Starts with Awareness
Throughout the Epic Beauty journey a case will be made that collective human perception is the most powerful force on earth. Accordingly, our individual perception is our most powerful contribution.
For now, you may call it an assumption, or simply decide to give y(our) Self due credit.
Individual and collective perception can be channeled into harmony with the Natural order of beauty we see reflected in the natural world; or it can devolve into an impetus for conflict and destruction.
The fulcrum between the two scenarios is individual awareness. Awareness forms our perception and communication links us as individuals into the collective.
With sufficient contemplation, harmony – as evidenced in Nature all around us – becomes self-evident as the precursor to the true beauty we all want to experience.
And thus expanding awareness of Natural harmonious solutions is the practical golden thread you will find woven throughout Epic Beauty.
Semantics in Discourse: The Decay of Language and Meaning
Quite ironically, the common definition for semantics – the study and science of meaning – has been covertly turned on its head.
The colloquial definition seems to be generally inferred from hearing intellectual-types utter phrases such as “I’m not going to get into semantics with you.”
Given the fact that semantics in fact comprises the actual meaning of the words we use, such a statement basically means: “effectively communicating with you is not worth my time;" or more commonly: “we agree to disagree;" or the all too familiar: “f- you!”
Given the state of mainstream media, it is empirically clear that the field of semantics has been so degraded that it has become practically synonymous with ‘trivial’ or ‘a waste of time.’
Sadly, it’s no longer rhetorical to ask: is the meaning of the words we use really trivial?
Clearly it is not – even though some will flex their free will to disagree.
Still, in reality, further reflection on the common practices within advertising and discourse reveals the systematic devaluation of language and meaning.
It is understandable to not necessarily want to get into a ‘study of meaning’ on a topic considering the typical too-busy lifestyle and cursory communication we have all grown accustomed to.
And in all fairness, in the world of sound bites and click-bait, it is easy to forget that all communication comes down to a matter of definition and interpretation.
Colossal and minor misunderstandings alike are perpetuated simply because parties assume differing definitions of the same words; what’s more, nearly every word holds multiple “official” definitions – with some being dramatically opposed in a given context.
Worse is the fact that there are professional master-manipulators whom have made an art and science out of exploiting humanity via subjective, contorted, and corrupted definitions.
For example: “dog whistle” rhetoric that means one thing to the masses, but esoterically quite another to those “in the know.”
Of course it is not necessarily unethical to use such rhetoric or layers of meaning in words, but it becomes unethical when wielded with intent to deceive or exploit.
Indeed, there are entire industries devoted to manipulating the masses into supporting products and practices which erode everyone’s health, happiness, and freedom.
Meanwhile, it is no coincidence that, “practically” speaking, the definition of semantics has become a linguistic hair-splitting waste of time.
Semantics in Truth: Laying the Groundwork to (Epic) Understanding and Communication
In truth, definition and meaning are of foundational and monumental importance to the accurate communication of ideas – something on which all relationships, communities, and civilizations depend.
Clearly, until two parties have established a sufficient degree of mutual reference and understanding no worthwhile communication or cooperation can occur.
Certain terms carry such weight in a given context that how they are defined and interpreted determines a Boolean result of true / false or success / failure.
As such, getting to the heart (Truth) of a matter, in many instances, is not only worth the time, it is imperative.
Accordingly, honest and worthy definitions of many crucial terms and concepts will be explored and articulated throughout Epic Beauty posts.
Such concepts will be those that have been largely dishonored and obscured by superficial use such as: Nature and beauty (parts 2 and 3 respectively of this debut trilogy), health, freedom, and love.
A Taste of the Fascinating Esoteric Side of Semantics
As one might guess, there is actually much more to semantics than wrote definitions and meanings of words.
Words have immense power, as alluded to by maxims such as: “the pen is mightier than the sword,” “word is bond,” and perhaps most emphatically: “in the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1).
While many are turned away by sectarian references, there is a consistent unifying theme among nearly all ancient religions around the power of the word or sound.
Clearly, religious institutions, along with all social constructs, have been compromised to varying (large) degree by agents of corruption (dis-harmony).
However, we do a disservice to ourselves and Truth, if we let such immoral messengers repel us from the veracity of the sacred messages they co-opt as cover for their corruption.
For anyone versed in such ancient truths it should raise a red flag when media and certain ideologies try to devalue words and their meaning (not to mention objective reality).
Etymology, or the history of words, becomes quite fascinating when one realizes the power in words – particularly when coupled with a basic understanding of the power of sound.
Words of course create sequences of sounds when spoken, but what many do not realize is that the meanings and sounds of words were not arbitrarily created.
The root syllables of words have long histories which span numerous ancient cultures.
Despite relatively minor variations (over millennia), root sounds and their meanings have endured to be endlessly combined to build the words and languages we are familiar with and many we are not.
The Origin of Meaning in Sound
Obviously we are flirting with giant topic of discussion which extends well beyond the scope of one article, but where ancient cultures and modern science connect seems to be an ideal point of focus.
The languages and cultures of India are widely agreed to be of the oldest on record.
In particular, Sanskrit and Hinduism have a strong overlap in the use of mantras and chants, and all ancient religions seem to congregate around the power of sound in their use of hymns and songs of some form.
What many do not realize is the “Aum” or “Om” of the Hindu and Yogic traditions is the equivalent to "the Word" (Logos) of The Bible.
It is thought of as the representation of the seed sound of all creation, what some call God, although no word or symbol of human construction can truly define such an ineffable concept or omniscient power.
What we likely can all conceive of is the power of our favorite songs, and beautiful music in general – even though what constitutes such beauty is somewhat subjective.
Even if we do not care for a specific genre of music, or religion, nearly everyone that can hear knows a beautiful voice when they hear it.
Objectively speaking, a beautiful singing voice has many components, but perhaps the primary one is pitch / tone control. An ability to hone-in on and replicate harmonic frequencies resonates with us at a visceral and even soul level.
Interestingly, this is true even for songs in languages we do not understand – even more so for many because they are not distracted by a story line or assigning meaning to the words.
In many examples of lyrics in a foreign tongue, the meaning and story line can be reliably inferred by tone, tempo, timbre, etc.
In addition to the many rich and intuitive cultural traditions around music, there is ample scientific evidence of the power of sound in the forms of music, mantra, and affirmations to alter consciousness.
Cymatics: Sound Visualized into Natural Primordial Form
Here, we will hone-in on the field of cymatics because it demonstrably and irrefutably supports the premise of objective form (meaning) originating from specific sounds (frequency).
Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration. It remains a relatively obscure field today; however the implication of cymatic effects is uniquely universal.
As mentioned, numerous ancient religions, and even The Big Bang and other scientific theories, point to sound as the origin of all creation.
Amazingly, cymatics gives us an easily replicated visual display of exactly how sound affects matter and brings “order out of chaos.”
The video clip below is from the original film Cymatics, Bringing Matter to Life with Sound, by Hans Jenny, the scientist who coined the term cymatics in the 1970's. It offers a basic overview cymatics and the primordial power of sound, along with a profoundly thought provoking introduction.
The patterns actually get more complex as higher harmonic pitch is used, and even become dynamic mandalas with perfect geometric shapes!
You can see a more theatrical display of the potential of cymatics in the video below.
It is clear from even a cursory review of cymatic effects that sound is fundamental to Nature and the creation of form and matter as we know it.
Accordingly, sound creates meaning in the most basic sense and thus, as representations of sounds, our words and tone have intrinsic meaning whether we realize it or not.
Therefore, disconnecting our words from their natural meaning and intent has profound consequences on us as individuals and a collective by creating disharmony at the most fundamental level.
The implications of this knowledge are vast to say the least. We will greatly expound on the repercussions of cymatics and the essential harmony within Nature along our journey.
In part 2 of The Natural Foundations of Beauty we explore the definition of Nature as generally referred throughout Epic Beauty posts. Outlining a wholistic definition of Nature is the next step toward a definition of true beauty, as we will explore in part 3.
You will find such beauty to be wholistic in perspective, innate in all life, and hiding – right under your nose…
We recommend the following links if you are interested in learning more about cymatics:
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