The Gospel of John begins saying “In the beginning was the Word”.
In my previous article I analyzed the concept of “beginning” and we explored the fact the “En arkè” actually means: “at the core“.
Now we will focus on another aspect: why the Word?
First of all, let’s notice that the word “existence” comes from Latin “existere” that means to come/stay (“stare”) out (“ex”).
Everything that comes out from nothingness exists, and in a superficial way, this happens through language.
For example, if a one-year old child sees an orange on a table he sees a whole being made of colours and shapes.
When he understands that the round orange object is called “orange”, he sees an orange on something (the table, as he will find out).
So the very name “orange” creates a border that separates it from the table. Words create borders. Words bring things into existence. So, on a deeper level, “The Word” is the symbol, the function of bringing things into existence, by “forcing” Energy into a form.
For the Egyptian, that were using hieroglyphs, this implication of the term “word” was clear.
In fact, as we said, Ra meant “word” (and also “sun”) and “name” was REN, that was written as follows
The sun (RA) shines on the horizon (N) and makes it visible.
Ra, the “Word”, is the light of awareness, and the “Name” is the same light reflecting on an object. This is why the Gospel of John says that the Word is the light of mankind.
The content of perception, the water in the hieroglyph, becomes perceivable because the light of awareness makes it visible. And, this is important, the water reflects the sun, so He can see Himself.
In Hebrew, “SheM”, which means “name”, is also represented by light shining above the horizon.
(Sh) is the symbol of light and fire (as Ra for Egyptians) and (M) represents the horizon (and water).
Also in modern languages we can find traces of this meaning: name (“nome” in Italian, “nombre” in Spanish…) comes from latin “nomen”.
“Nomen” comes from the ancient root “gno”, that refers to knowing and knowledge (“gnoscere”in latin means “to know”, as in modern Italian “conoscere”, “gnosi” means wisdom…).
So etymologically, the “name” of something is what allows us to know it (because it makes it exist for us).
We can find echoes of this archetypal set of symbols in the “magic word”, the word that brings things into existence.
The most famous magic word, “abracadabra”, is believed to come from Hebrew meaning “I create as the word” or “I create as I speak”, (“brah” means to create, “dabar”means both “word” and “to speak”).
We can use a metaphor to describe it. Imagine a child playing on the beach.
The sand is the formless matrix of existence. The child creates forms and as the forms exist, sand is forced into being. A castle can only be a castle and as it exists, the Child can play with it and explore all its possibilities. When the waves bring the castle to its formless state again, the sand is once again open to any possibility.
In this metaphor, the Child is the Word that brings forms out (ex-stare) of the sand and therefore gives them existence.
Also, the Child is the I am, the Sand and the Sea are the Mother. The Sun, symbolizing the Father, gives birth to the day. The day is the “space” in which existence can happen and be perceived.
And at the core, Son, Mother and Father are one.
Going back to the New Testament, “in the beginning (meaning at the core of everything) is the Word” : meaning, following the metaphor, the Child is the origin of existence and it contains the root of existence itself.
The Child, the symbol of awareness – the I am – in the beginning (at the core) is God.
“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind” (John 1, 3-4).
So we may better understand why, as I explored in a previous article, John tells us that the Word, the “I am”, “is the true that enlightens every man that comes in the world” (John 1,9).