Owen Barfield’s wonderful study of History in English Words (1926; revised 1953) is more than a compilation of vocabulary items from the English lexicon since 500 AD along with their etymologies: It is a study in changes of meaning across millennia although Barfield (1898 - 1997) confines the chronological compass of the last three chapters to the same number of centuries, more or less. In addition to being more than a mere compilation, History in English words is also a critical diagnosis of the peculiarly modern mentality, which the author sees as the outcome of a centuries-long process that he calls internalization.
Jay Dyer - The solution lies in the alteration of man’s heart, intimately bound up with his nous, which involves a change of perspective and life where God is no longer suppressed and forgotten, metanoia.
Hidden deep in the mists of time is a truth we have almost completely forgotten. The words that make up human languages possess real power, especially what James Hillman called “big words.” These kinds of words have inherent substance, being powers unto themselves. Some examples are words like “Being,” “Spirit,” “Justice,” “Truth,” and God.” We once capitalized these words to imbue them with power. Our Western scientific and philosophic traditions have hammered away at the innate power of such words, via nominalism, until now they are merely viewed as labels for things, devoid of any substance of their own whatsoever. It was partly nominalism that resulted in Nietzsche’s declaration of the death of God. By Nietzsche’s day, the word, “God,” had been emptied of all its previous potency in human language.
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