A friend of mine recently told me about the book, Prayers of the Cosmos by Neil Douglas-Klotz. It’s a book that translates probably what are the best-loved prayers of Jesus based on the Aramaic language. Specifically, Mr. Douglas-Klotz focuses on the Lord’s Prayer and the Beatitudes, drawing on his study of ancient languages to give us different ideas of what Jesus may have meant when He said those prayers.
The fascinating thing about Aramaic is that, depending on how you sound the various words, they can mean different things! I believe, to some extent, Hebrew may be similar – which seems to be close to Aramaic. And even in my extremely limited awareness of Hebrew there seem to be some similarities to Aramaic. Consider, for instance, that the word for “peace” in Aramaic is “shlama.” Isn’t that pretty similar to Hebrew “shalom”? I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the roots are the same – and Douglas-Klotz makes mention of several roots of Aramaic words as he cites various interpretations of the lines of these prayers.
In his book, The Hebrew Tongue Restored (which I have not completed reading), author Fabre d’Olivet discusses the uncertainty of exactly how the Hebrew language came into being. Douglas-Klotz says that at the time of Jesus, Hebrew was a temple language. The “common people” all spoke Aramaic.
There are significant differences between the Aramaic meaning of the words and the Greek from which the Bible was mostly translated. Greek was similar to our modern-day languages in that it was a lot more definitive. One word meant one thing and was not layered in the same way as Aramaic.
I find this very interesting after having read the book, The Great Initiates, in which author Édouard Schuré refers to three levels of meaning in the initiatory schools of Hermes, Orpheus and Moses. At first, in reading that, I thought this was due to the teachings, and that somehow one had to be taking the initiations and part of the “inner circle” to be let in on the different levels.
But now, after reading that Aramaic words can be interpreted in different ways, often deepening the root meaning, it makes sense that these levels weren’t part of the initiatory teachings. It was the language itself!
Being a sound healer, consider this interpretation of the Beatitude that reads in the usual Bible, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”:
“Healthy are those who strike the note that unites; they shall be remembered as rays of the One Unity.”
And here’s what Douglas-Klotz says about the Aramaic word translated as “children”: “…. [it] refers to any embodiment, emanation or active production from that which was only potential before.” (pg. 66)
May that which you do this day and in days to come invite fruitful manifestations from the potential of all-that-can-be.
Susan C. Moyer, MSW
Is a sound healer and transformational coach. She has 25+ years experience in using alternate states of consciousness to access deeper healing on all levels: physical, psychological, mental and spiritual.