In the old
books they talk about nama-rupa, name and form. Words
are nama-rupa, right? Ideas are nama-rupa. Now this
is not really God. These are human concoctions, something
you make out of nothing. So naturally, words by themselves,
that is, the objective words that we speak or write,
have no inherent meaning. The meaning is a manufactured
thing. There is no reality in the word itself.
As you know, the study of Semantics has gone into this problem very deeply. We know that it is not the actual word but the concept which we attach to the word that creates most of our difficulties. The spiritual approach to this problem of words is that we have to go from the form to the Formless. We have to go to the infinite through the finite. So at the beginning, we have to give a form to something. For example, at the beginning we say that God has a form. Then we go deep within and we see that God is not a human being or a mental being but a vast, infinite Consciousness. For a beginner on the spiritual path, a form is absolutely necessary; the form is everything to him. Then he goes beyond the form to the Formless. He can get the infinite Consciousness, he can feel God, the infinite Consciousness. But again, God, being infinite, can also be finite. Otherwise, He is not infinite. He is omnipotent because He can be in the atom and at the same time in the vast universe. Through the form we have to go to the Formless. Through the finite we have to go to the infinite. Indeed, this is the divine logic. Form at the beginning has a peerless value, but not necessarily at the end.
Again, it is not the word by itself that has an intrinsic value, but what it conveys. Certain spiritual words are surcharged with a meaning or a condition or a consciousness that has developed in them from thousands of years of a special spiritual usage. When we enter deep into the significance of such a word, and reveal the very breath of the word and manifest its inner urge on the outer level, then the word fulfills its purpose, both inwardly and outwardly.