Words are important. Since ancient times people have realised this.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition it is believed that God spoke creation into existence. From the ancient Jewish texts specifically grew Kabbalistic mysticism, which believed that the letters in the Hebrew alphabet had actual power to influence creation. The most well-known manifestation of this is in the golem-myth. Golems were creatures crafted from clay and, so the legend goes, brought to life by words inscribed on their foreheads. And did you know the standard incantation for stage magicians, “Abracadabra“, is derived from the Hebrew words meaning, “I create what I speak”?
In Japan there is the belief called Kotodama which teaches that mystical power dwells in words and names. And we can find similar beliefs in in the ancient Egyptian and Babylonian religions, as well as the more mystical branches of many modern-day religions.
The idea has also been used in fiction. Continue reading “On owning your words”