How does the Gaelic Language effect its users? asks — Anraí O’ Ruadhain
The language we speak influences the way we think. So claimed linguists Sapir and Worf in the 1930′s. A Feb 2011 article in Scientific American :’How Language Shapes Though’ reaffirms that theory. The extensive literature on ‘music therapy’ & ‘sound healing’ at Amazon and Google underlies a belief that we are affected by sound. An Oireachtas report of 2006 ‘’Defining Music Therapy’’ claimed music therapy offers huge potential.
If we are affected by sound vibrations and if different languages sound differently ,we could also expect that our daily language has an influence. Speech and instrument sound vibrations can modulate other energy fields to a state of harmony ,as happens with sound and music therapy. Mystics attribute subtle effects to various speech sounds and sacred chant. Each letter sound excites a different inner quality or meaning. Different languages are different energetic mouldings of personal being. They ultimately confer different personal gifts.
Why does the Gaelic language,that we know as Gaeilge in Ireland and Gaedhlig in Scotland, sound different from English?. It uses 20% more vowels than English. It has a higher percentage of words ending in a vowel or ‘n’. It uses over twice as many ‘a’ letters, about twice as many ‘i’ letters, and half as many ‘e’ and ‘t’ letters compared to English. It is a highly inflected idiomatic language. The Gaelic Verb typically precedes Subject & Object in sentences, as in Welsh and Biblical Hebrew. As gaelic verbs precede nouns and pronouns in sentences, a greater sense of energy moving, flowing,doing,creating or being is engendered.
A verb focused language with extra resonance facilitates a sense of unity and connection with an all pervasive unified field of energy and intelligence as understood by physicists and mystics.
As a greater percentage of Gaelic nouns end in a vowel or ‘n’ a sense of resonating energy is enhanced. Listen and compare the sounds of ‘arán’ and ‘bread’.
A Noun focused language with less resonance tends to stimulate a perception of separate material objects, of this that these those, of things and egos separate from the vastness of energy life and being.
The letter ‘A’ is the most frequent letter in Gaeilge. It is also most frequent in Welsh, Basque, Sanscrit,Tibetan, Hawian,Aramaic and Maori, and in words that are sacred in various cultures ancient and modern:Dia,Daghda ,Isa,Yeshua,Allah,Wakantanka,Ahura Mazda,Pacha Mama, Paraatman,Saraswati,Brahma,Tara,Shiva,Ra, uQuamata, Aten,Yahweh ,Asherah, amen,alaha,alleluia,swaha,namaha.
The sound of ’A’ is very natural. Its a baby’s call. Its the sound of lover’s bliss. It’s the sound of laughter. The sound of ‘A’ when chanted is believed by mystics to have a purifying effect and to cultivate feelings of love and compassion. Ref:Native American mystic,author shaman Joseph Rael and Tibetan Lama Tenzin Wangyal.
The organizers of ‘ world sound healing day’ encourage people to chant ‘ah’ for at least 5 minutes at noon on valentines day annually.
The Gaelic Vocative greeting uses ‘a’ before the personal name. eg- ‘a Sheáin’ or ‘a Bhríd ‘ instead of ‘John’ or ‘hi Breege’. Gaelic lovers use warm endearing phrases ‘a ghrá’ , ‘a mhuirnín mo chroí’ or ‘a stóirín’. The letter ‘i’ ,sounded as ‘eee’ is the 2nd most frequent letter in Gaeilge. Its sound resonance is believed to foster intuitive awareness.
Gaelscoil children & Welsh speaking children outperform. Gaelic speakers comprise a higher percentage of high income earners and a lower percentage of unemployed relative to non-speakers in Ireland. Gaelic speakers also produce a wealth of creative writing & song. Folklore and hagiography bear witness to Irish and Scots Gaelic speaking saints druids and poets as wonder workers, healers, and prophets.
Gaeilge is an ideal language for poets, bards, lovers and mystics. Its potent resonances are ideal for singing, storytelling drama and sacred ritual. Its resonances enrich the heart mind and spirit. They enhance creative imagination.
Having Gaeilge as a mother tongue or in Gaelscoill is extra beneficial as it sows the seeds of greater potential. Recent evidence suggests such children do better at maths and english. Bilingual Canadians were said to delay the onset of senile dementia by 4 years. Bilingually raised children have higher IQs. A highly inflected idiomatic language would be expected to excite more of the brain.
The Gaelic world has over a hundred different greetings that confer blessings on persons and events. It has proverbs, protection prayers, healing charms,funeral keens and a great wealth of poetry, song, legend and story. Gaelic wonder and fairy tales have multiple metaphoric meanings, Those many tales infused listeners with moral principles and insights that could help later in life. They were a form of folk therapy. They deserve closer attention these days. Gaelic song and drama can offer a more enjoyable way of learning, and can raise children’s self esteem and confidence. Sean-nós singing ,lilting ,music, dance and drama classes bilingual books & CD’s can assist learning. ‘
Tá Brón orm’ literally ‘ there is sadness on me’ exemplifies how emotions are referred to in Gaelic. It’s better than affirming oneself as sad, what is on me now can be off me later. Shop names in old style curvaceous Gaelic letters are eye catching and attractive.
The Irish forsook a language and sacred traditions more deeply connected to their spiritual roots and the energies of life, because of outside forces both political and religious.
The resulting spiritual frustration is partly compensated for by alcoholic spirits and drugs. We had apathy,low self esteem and indifference associated with Gaeilge. Gaeltacht parents raised children in English. Today African and East European children are often better at Gaeilge. Its time to heal the post colonial neurosis.
Going forward we can raise our happy healthy holy fun index by having extra fonn féile,filíocht regardless of widget making economic stats. We can make the music of what best happens in Gaelic and still count our beans in either language. We can inflame the inner muse anew. Go mbeidh taitneamh as fuinneamh na Gaeilge ó neamh anuas. Is é sin an t-amhrán is fearr a tharlódh. Is é sin sonáid an ‘via’ grá.
Appendix: Random Observations & Ideas.
Descending frequency of letter use: Gaeilge-aihnero- ,English–etaoins-, German–enirsah- ref -’cryptology’ ‘letter frequency’ in Google A occurs 26% of the time in Hawian.19% of the time in Gaeilge,& 8% of the time in English. E occurs 12% of the time in English and 7% of the time in Gaeilge. i occurs 13% of the time in Gaeilge and 7% of the time on English. T is at 5% in Gaeilge and 9% in English.
We have the wholesome meaning Gaelic words -,glan,bán,naofa.grá,carthanacht áthas sásta. Abroad we have amour, viva, alegria, agape, salamalikum. .
Carl Jung’s ‘spiritus contra spiritum’. suggests that frustration of spirit is compensated for by alcoholic spirits and drugs Too much of making widgets, selling tvs, counting beans 24/7, plain idleness or scientific materialism can frustrate our spirit with overindulgence of drugs and alcohol.
Keening women called -Mná Caointe were once a feature at funerals of Gaelic speakers before the custom was stamped out by the Church. Gaelic keens comprised spontaneously sung poetic verse extolling the virtues of the departed and refrains of lamentation– like ”och ochón ó‘’ It most likely assisted the bereaved in coming to terms with the loss of a dear one. Some archaic societies such as the Tibetan believe that keening and proper grieving helps both the bereaved and the departed soul on its next journey in the ‘bardos’. Ref ‘Gnéithe den Chaointeoireacht’ and ‘Caointe agus Seancheolta Eile’ by Breandan Ó Madagáin & The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche
The Gaelic version of John’s Gospel -John 1:1-3 refers to God as a Verb. ‘Bhí an Briathar ann í dtús báire agus bhí an Briathar in éineacht le Dia agus ba Dia an Briathar’. Bhí sé an í dtus baire in éineacht le Dia Rinneadh an uile ní tríd agus gan é ní dhearnadh aon ní dá ndearnadh’. As the word ‘Briathar’ meaning ‘Verb’ is used instead of ‘Focal’ meaning ‘Word’ This can be translated as ’In the beginning was the Verb and the Verb was with God and the Verb was God’. It(the Verb) was in the beginning with God and without it was nothing made that was made’. Note the initial verb ‘bhí’ meaning ‘was’ .and ‘ba’ also meaning ‘was’ Rabbi David Cooper in his book ‘God is a Verb’ also claimed God is a dynamic process better called ‘Goding’
An unbounded all pervasive energetic Verb God is a saner notion than a sky noun God standing on a cloud separate from ourselves. Celtic Spirituality both druidic and Christian was non dualistic.
God The original Greek of John’s Gospel said ‘in the beginning was the Logos’. ‘Logos’ has the meaning intentful active creative intelligence. The stoic philosophers regarded logos as the divine animating principle pervading the universe
‘Verb’ is a better translation of Logos than Word. . Google: ‘observer effect’,’ non- locality’, ‘wholeness and implicate order’. E=mc2 ‘uncertainty principle’
Note: neamh meaning heaven is common to fuinneamh neamhteoranta taitneamh neamhní respectively meaning energy, unbounded, enjoyment ,nothingness.
I think the ancient gaels knew something about the underlying fabric of the universe.
Yeats said they knew it all.
Note the Gaelic word for environment is comhsaol. It’s a combination of ‘comh’ and ‘saol’ meaning respectively common and world.
Sound’ ‘Being and Vibration’ by Joseph Rael.