The Verb “to be”

In a kind of paradox, beingness – which is the essense of infinite space and possibilities – has a relative in language – the verb “to be” – which is one of the root causes of violence.

When we say “I am a German.” or “You are a mother.” these sentences appear to have validity in an absolute sense – not only in the moment here and now. This language appears to point to a static truth. It ossifies and limits us in some way onto a certain role or quality and it ignores the deeper truth, that we are never one thing along, the world is fundamentally interconnected and the illusion created is one of separateness.

Language forms consciousness and consciousness forms language. In giraffe mode of hearing we can hear beyond the words, but when we are in normal mode, we hear with jackal ears. That is the normal way of the world.

So “You are a liar” refers to the other and puts a label on this person, in giraffe we can hear the truth that this person is probably having a need for honesty or some other needs, and they express it in this tragic way, requesting something from us in a unconscious way.

Listen to this 4 minute excerpt from Marshall Rosenberg on the verb to be. During his work as a mediator he encountered languages that do not have the verb “to be”. So people were translating his language into a language that pays tribute to the dynamic nature of our reality.

The Verb "To Be" - A Root of Ignorance/Delusions/Misunderstandings - Marshall Rosenberg