“Long ago, people and animals and spirits and plants all communicated in the same way. Then something happened. After that, we had to talk to each other in human speech. But we retained the ‘old language’ for dreams and for communicating with spirits and animals and plants.
When we say 'god' in English, we are using a noun, and easily imagining him as a person, a separate entity somehow fixed in time and space (an old man with a beard, for example, as in 'May He watch over us'The toughest question from Europeans that Native Americans have ever had was “Who is your (noun) god?” Comparatively speaking, English is very noun-heavy, forcing its speakers to utter at least one noun-phrase per sentence in order to make sense. We need nouns, and the noun-phrases they are part of, in order to make complete sentences. Referring traditionally to persons, places and things (including concepts), nouns can be seen as temporary snapshots of a flux of activity. These snapshots are the basis upon which cultural modes of logic and reasoning are based. When we say “god” in English, we are using a noun, and easily imagining him as a person, a separate entity somehow fixed in time and space (an old man with a beard, for example, as in “May He watch over us.” Imagine what a different reading of the Bible one would have if the word “he” or “him” was substituted systematically with “it” in referring to god – “It is watching over you” does not have the same ring to it. Does it? From the Native American point of view, the word “god” as a noun is a grammatically induced hallucination like the dummy “it” in “it is raining.” The closest Lakhota equivalent is tanka wakan, which is an adjectival-verbal construction. This phrase has routinely been mistranslated as the “Great Mystery” but is better glossed as “the Great Mysteriousing.” Such mistranslation is not trivial as it obscures the deep differences between a verb-based and a noun-based worldview. Why is this iconic image expressed in English so hard to construe in indigenous language terms? Many indigenous languages rarely use nouns and are much more verb-centered. Sakej Henerson, a Canadian researcher on Native Law, says his people (Cheyenne Nation) can speak Mikmaq, an eastern Algonquian language, all day without uttering a single noun. The Hopi term “rehpi” means “flashed” and would be properly used when, say, one saw lightning in the sky, without any implication at all that “something” flashed: The flashing and “what” is flashing are coterminous. English-speakers can attempt to step back from the way English has colonized their imaginations and turned everything into a noun. This is, in large measure, an exercise in “getting back to the roots.” The root word that we translate as “god” from the Hebrew Bible is actually a verbal expression, YHWY is one transliteration – “I am.” The shamanic, originally verbal, insights of the Old Testament prophets have been translated into nouns in the transition to modernity, a now familiar pattern. “But, what if god were a verb, an unfolding dynamic processing,” writes Bronson, “Perhaps it would be harder to fight and kill as so many have done in the name of 'god' if the native view were more widely held. Verbal thinking is complementary, dynamic and contextual, rather than dichotomous, static and universal. Problem situations and people are much harder to categorize as ‘things’ that one must confront and destroy in a verbal-based reasoning with fully animate subjects.”
The time has finally arrived to decipher the history of mankind encoded in the myths and legends and that Bangla of all the languages carries the attributes that makes it the potential key to those mysteriesThe paucity of space forces us to forego with any more examples offered by Khan and Chakravarti of how the verb-based semantics system helps us open layers after layers of meaning of a word. The writer of this piece has recently made some sketches of a few episodes of the human history encoded in myths and epics using the verb-based semantics system and the findings in almost all the cases contradict and even negate the understanding of those myths and epics currently available in the mainstream epistemological world. The findings have not been shared before as his conclusions might outrage mainstream academia. However, he hopes a few examples of his findings may not be too obnoxious: 1. Every deva (or ang-el, where “el” means a divine entity) have their seats or corresponding points inside us. Michael’s seat is in the eyes and thus is related to the Sun, Gabriel’s is in the tongue and so with communication, Azrael’s is in the nose and thus with breathing, Rafael’s is in the ears, i.e., with the realm of sound. The seat of chaos or uncreated nature is in the Muladhar, Eros’s seat is in Swadishtana, Fire’s is in the naval, Vishnu’s in the heart, Akasha’s in the throat, the full moon's in the Ajna, Siva’s in the crown (with the nectar and poison of his moon and serpents dripping from the Lalana Chakra), and the seat of the unspeakable One is in the Higher Heart. 2. The myths and epics are but the history of humanity encoded following its fall from a state of unity into individualism through accumulation of the surplus production -- Punji (private and state-owned capital that first commenced through hoarding of the fat of the meat -> Punj -> punji = capital). 3. First, the state capital led by the organizational entity called Daksha [that which instituted repetitive work for production] deviated from the natural state of collective existence, which resulted in the conflict between Siva and Daksha during the Daksha Jagna (or the institutionalization of the division of labor that saw the end of Sati, the first spouse/Sakti of Siva). 4. Many centuries later, the Vedas composed by Bedes (gypsies)/Bedus (desert nomads) and internalized by the Brahmins came to prominence and started promoting the private sector. Ravana was the biggest public sector entity, when Rama entered the scene and took the side of private capital. Rama was banished by the state capital of Ajodhya. But, at the end, through a prolonged war, the private capital came into dominance over the state capital that had accumulated a huge number of sycophants and beneficiaries including the intellectual bureaucrats (pundits, priests, advisers and technocrats, in addition to the muscle power of military forces to keep everything in check. The toiling masses would get the mere leftovers of such bureaucratic capital. Finally, the then reformist campaign of Rama won, and private-sector capital came to be the leading form of capital, not forgetting the bank capital represented by Kuber. 5. At the end of the Dwapara Yuga, the private sector again became too greedy, with Krishna, the black money, and Arjuna, the white, went through a long and devastating war with the public sector capital represented by Duryodhana and is brothers. Thus the private sector with the guidance of the black money defeated the state capitalism in the great war of Kurukshetra. Of course, at that time it was a positive and benevolent act of freeing people from the bureaucratic suckers of the state capital – almost similar to the Perestroika led by Gorvachev. But, during the war, the stance of Balarama, a brother of Krishna and an incarnation of Ananta Sesha aka Ananta Naga, sometimes translated as “the Endless One,” was totally neutral. When Bhima, prompted by Krishna, defeated Duryodhyana by dealing him a blow below the navel with his mace, Balarama cried in disgust, as hitting at the opponent’s body below the naval was considered unethical and un-chivalrous. From a number of other similar events described to have had taken place in the wars led by Rama and Krishna, we can surmise that the private-sector capital has never been shy of breaking moral codes to ensure victory over its chief rival, the public sector.