Right Speech

Triangles works consciously and constructively with the power of thought. Speech also reflects the power of thought, and words reveal the contents of the mind, which are conditioned by thought and desire. Right speech, one of the steps on the Noble Eight-fold Path of the Buddha, is a timeless virtue which helps to bring right relations to God and to each other.

Today, words can reach vast numbers of people, they flash across the airwaves via text, email and mobile phone; our innermost thoughts can be revealed to a wide audience. Words flow so freely that their power may be underestimated yet, we may recall that “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. All things were made by Him…” (John I. 1:2.)  God spoke and the worlds were made.

The purpose of speech is to express thoughts in word form and communicate with others. Words that are sent forth with the energies of love, compassion, tolerance and goodwill help to build trust between peoples and forge right human relations. Words that wound create separating walls that become barriers to right relations.

Speech may be instinctive and emotional and not “thought through”, it may be measured and “mindful” or a mixture of both aspects. At a higher level there is a quality of speech that flows from the soul which communicates its purpose and intention through its instrument – the threefold personality. Thoughtful and reflective speech is heard from those who have achieved an inner reflective silence insulated from the background noise of the market place.

An examination of history up to the present times reveals the power of speech. Used rightly it is a force for good. Consider Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, the inspiring oratory of Winston Churchill, the magnetic power of Martin Luther King, the wisdom of Nelson Mandela, the compassion of the Dalai Lama. In contrast to this there are the wounding and destructive words of those who deny the reality of the one human family, made up of many diverse races and cultures. Human unity may seem like an idealistic notion, but think of the diverse sounds of a great symphony and compare that to the many different sounds and voices needed for a complete and whole humanity.

Let us also reflect on the analogy of the seed, where in the silence and darkness of the soil, it magically germinates to produce a beautiful plant or flower. The energy generated through the ages by groups working with concentrated silence is like a seed in the collective mind and heart. Imagine the silent monastic orders down the ages as a seed, or the silent prayer, meditation and reflective thought of so many creative and intuitive people. In the Pythagorean order neophytes were not permitted to speak for two years; they had to earn the right to speak through reticence.

Wherever we come across right speech we can be sure that the words flow from the Soul or higher Self. Such words serve the greater good and contribute their quota of constructive energy to human progress.