I have for a long time had an interest in ‘people’. This is what led me to do a Psychology Degree in the early 90’s and I was always invested in understanding what drove people to do what they do. I have always been intrigued in how people work, interact and perhaps ultimately I was looking to try and establish a way towards a form of best behaviour because I felt that everyone has ‘goodness’ in them. I still believe this to be the case although the last 30+ years has led me to places where I felt that goodness was illusive, I still think that there is ‘hope’.
In Hinduism the word Namasté means “I bow to the divine in you”, and in some of the writing I sign off using this word. It came about because I liked the sound of it, it was used in a lot of the texts, podcasts and videos I was consuming and I understood it to be a word with a deep and valuable message embedded in it.
Firstly, while it still has a ‘spiritual’ meaning for me and one that I am not ashamed to express, I am more aligned to the power behind the use of the word. The word has an energy and intention to it, perhaps a bit like “God Bless You” but with a more individualistic slant and less of a deity based one. My interest is in people and and the inclusion of many paths to enlightenment and the word and its meaning encompasses the seeking of ‘gnosis’ (knowledge) whether it, for you, included (G)god(S) or not. In all honesty if I am looking to seek hope and wholeness and everyone is on the same path then I am not going to throw the baby out with the bath water over a word, connotation or not.
Secondly, the definition of Namasté is important because it recognises a connection between you and me. Us and the world. The world and the universe. By recognising the ‘divine’ in you I am recognising the spark of humanity that may also lay underneath layers of past and present experience (good or bad) and those that are in me. It allows me to remember that I am not alone and that I am part of a collective whole that is called humanity. By me recognising that in YOU, I too may have that reflected back on me and this opens me to the opportunity to see and be part of the goodness in everything. I can step away from fear, doubt and withdrawal from any negative self-talk and step towards OUR shared humanity, whatever it looks like.
So by using the word Namasté, I am trying to connect to you, me, and if there is, a force yet seen. So for me there is a power in this simple seven letter word, but there is no fear for me in its use, even in its Hindu etymology, because it’s used with an intention and is very much from the heart. Words have the power to move and to energise as long as the intent is sound. In this case this simple word has been very important to me and has made an immense difference to my life.