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(25) Kokkino

I realised why I get so many synchronicities with the Brothers Grimm though none at all with the Bible. The clue is in kabbalah—literally. Kabbalah means “oral tradition” or “received oral tradition”: the magic, as with tantra, lies in the spoken word. The written word is dead—or almost completely dead; it only has any value when it transcribes the spoken. This conforms with the observation by Socrates that the written word corrupts—it destroys the memory; only the spoken word is worth anything at all—just as desert tribes have a rich oral tradition and excellent memories. How much can you really remember today when you are surrounded by the written word everywhere? You have forgotten everything.

This is connected to nobility: in olden times, knights and priests usually couldn’t read or write—to read or write was a minor job, a job for scholar-slaves. If you absolutely had to write something down, you could summon a scholar-scribe to make a note—to be an amanuensis (literally, “a slave at handwriting”). The logos really is spoken. Wisdom isn’t written, it’s spoken—and now that the nobles and priests have gone we are governed by scholar-pedants who cannot speak straight (they only know how to write, they are grammar pedants).

To write well you really need to be able to speak well, writing is just transcription; and, as it happens, I went to a school called “the oratory”—it was literally about speech; and I always excelled at public speaking—there is nobody better than me at a good speech because, as a barrister once observed, I speak from the heart (the school’s motto: “Cor ad Cor Loquitur”). Most people calculate: “Consider your audience,” they say in English classes, they told my mother at polytechnic—consider how to manipulate, consider how to lie. If you do that you will never tell people what you see, never speak the truth—it will just be an act to manipulate them; no magic, no truth.

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