The following record seems to follow with a certain logic the whole question of communication; for it deals with the differences in language. In spite of its deprecation of the utility of words, the little essay is a gem of extemporization.
"Words as you know them are always following limpingly behind the winged thing they would express and which they can never overtake. They can but fix glimpses, shadows. The thing they can sit down to examine is already a shell from which life has all but flown. That is why an expression in words is always lacking in the vital principle; why it fixes merely a thing that has ceased to move. An idea that in living always moves, and can itself be embodied only in a thing that is similarly fluid.
"The language one must speak in telling of the higher and spiritual essentials is made up, not of words, but of those moving, everchanging things known as actions. We have often told you in one way or another that the mere intellectual formulation is nothing. It expresses nothing, and in final analysis it conveys nothing of value to the only true auditor of the deeper human life, which is man's real speech. It is because of this truth that we have in times past, bunglingly urged you to 'make it so', and have urged you to act more on impulse. Impulsive action is the instantaneous and directest expression of that which, when unperverted by false habit, comes to you from primal sources. It is then undiluted by passage through the fixed and stationary medium of words by which reflective wisdom formulates. One might almost say that the language we who are advanced into a more liberated spiritual medium hear from your side is the language, not of this reflective deliberation but of your actions.
"By that, however, you must not always understand that the sometimes deflected or distorted physical manifestations of those actions, nor must you fall into the error of substituting a histrionic 'intention' as the reality - I mean the sort of 'intention' hell is supposed to be paved with. But you must all have known those unfortunate people whose desire is to love, to be kind, to enjoy the affection of those about them but who nevertheless, by some fatal twist of inhibition or unlucky quirk of temperament antagonize and repel and live in wistful solitude. This is an illustration of what I mean when I said that the physical manifestation does not always represent the deed.
"Action is a language we speak and understand; a fluid flowing language, ever changing, ever moving in company with that which it expresses. That is why we look, not to formulated belief for our encouragement of progress, but to the moving force within which causes a man to do or to refrain from that which comes to his hands. The one is an arrestment, a fixing perhaps of a dead thing, while the living thing wings its way out of sight; the other is an expression of what man perceives, though he may not intellectually know. In the ultimate freeing from a mechanism temporarily useful there comes a time when this language of action is a natural method of expression and communication between entities, when one does not say, 'I love', but loves; when movement follows rhythym beautifully; when the construction of thought - which, you must remember, is a reality, is a joyous fashioning.
"There are two examples under your eyes of instant translation into action of direct impulses; a flock of birds in evolution; and a school of fish. You have often seen a dense mass of such birds as sandpipers or pigeons wheeling, turning and changing direction in close formation with all the speed and precision of a perfect drill. The hesitation of a tenth of a second by any single member must inevitably throw the whole into jostling confusion. There is manifestly no room for the communication of an idea through any medium required for expression, no matter how simple or instantaneous, that translation through a mechanism- such as a brain. The expression must of itself be the action. It is not a question of receiving an impulse and deciding to act on it; or of receiving an impulse and diverting it into the groove of even long-established habit. It is, to repeat, necessarily the accompanying external manifestation, in direct expression, of the impulse.
"What the impulse signifies in bird life is not the question here. It is sufficient to say that it is not without its meaning; that the apparently aimless rapid twinklings through space are, not too fancifully, phrases of the directer language of which we lately spoke. The illustration is mentioned, not as an important thesis, but as an enriching corollary to our other talk.
"Impulsive action in the case of the human entity in earth life must not be confused with the following of a whim. Whim is merely the product of capricious desire. It should not be too difficult to distinguish that which wells up spontaneously out of the inner being from that which merely flashes across the surface, illuminating perhaps a desirable possibility.
"At first it may be almost impossible to obtain that flexibility of spirit which will receive accurately and undistorted the real impulse from the depths of being - the impulse which will translate itself into the sure action that is its expression. One stammers and hesitates and uses wrong words and awkward phrases in attempting any new or little accustomed language. One who tries blindly to follow impulse in action will make many blunders and mistakes. This will occur for two reasons; first, because of the distortion or perversion of habit of thought or doubt of experience; and, second because the first and pure impulse is not brought to the conscious attention before it has been diluted. Thought for all its mechanical nature, is extraordinarily swift, and fairly before the flash of perception has reached the consciousness it may unconsciously interpose a hundred considerations that modify it. What we think is pure impulse has thus become a hybrid before it reaches its expression in action. Only with practice and with mistake can fluency and accuracy in this languages as in all others, be obtained. But this should not discourage the attempt.
"Let this consideration hearten you; if you will review the decisions, and the results of those decisions, to which you have come by painful intellectual process, which you have weighed and measured and balanced and considered, you will if you are honest - be forced to admit that the proportion of mistakes has been as great and as disasterous and as little shot through with success as could possibly attend even the blind following of all you might suspect to be impulse.
"But do not lose sight of the fact that the intellect is a useful tool. With it, in its analytical aspect, you are enabled after the fact to analyze and parse the construction so to speak, of the expression you have made in the directer language. Not to question its wisdom or unwisdom, but to search back unflinchingly to the original naked impulse which you have clothed in the expression of action. Determine, if you can, whether that expression has been a true one, whether you have actually followed the real first impulse, or a perversion or dilution, and try to see if in actual fact an accurate following in action of the real first impulse would not have placed you in the path of wisdom. By this means little by little your command both of your perception and your ability in accurate expression will grow.
"It is almost impossible to introduce through this inflexible medium all the modifying and explanatory qualities necessary to a satisfactory complete exposition. I must call your attention briefly to the fact that the intellect has its undisputed field of activity in that which concerns it. It is a physical thing, and it is created to deal with physical things. It would be absurd to act on impulse in the common acceptance of the term when dealing with the correlations and vagaries of physical crises. Experience plus reason must guide you through conscious intellectual thinking. Solve the difficulty with the tool that is adapted to it. But in dealing with affairs that you may loosely designate as moral or spiritual, which includes your relations with yourself, with your fellow beings and with the greater unities, then the tool you must use, the language you must speak in order to be understood where you must be understood, is the direct expression of which we are told.
"This is very fragmentary, open to many doubts and questionings. It is necessarily so because of the fact that it is translated from that identical, flexible, closely corresponding language into an alien tongue, as one should turn Shakespeare into Chinook. But the central idea is there; and being entertained, even if not completely understood, must force its own expression in its own proper tongue."