The Hidden Teachings on Life and Death
Mar 22, 2023

3 minute read


From Revelations of the Aramaic Jesus (2022) by Neil Douglas-Klotz. For a longer excerpt and more information, please see:

Why consider Jesus’ sayings in this language, much less use them in prayer or meditation?

Language determines our way viewing the world. Languages have different words for the same thing, but also unique words that cannot be put into words in another language. In ancient languages, these unique expressions were all about the way people perceived their relationships to nature, other human beings, and Reality itself (a reality often translated “God”).

Aramaic offers a way of looking at life as an interrelated whole, not simply at spiritual or religious ideas. Things we perceive and think about as opposites, like light and dark, or good and evil, or even maleness and femaleness, are differentiated but not separate from each other in ancient Semitic languages. I will be making this point repeatedly, since it’s a key to understanding Yeshua. Like the ancient Chinese perception of yin and yang, opposites like those above are connected, embedded within a larger field that contains both, rather than being divided from one another as separate “things.”

Just as we see day and night gradually change into one another in nature, so from this view all seeming opposites are really polarities—like our planet’s north and south magnetic poles. Although we can distinguish them to speak about them, they are always in relationship with each other and, from the point of view of a greater reality (in the case of the magnetic poles, their shared magnetic field), unified and interdependent.

In addition, as we shall see, ancient Semitic languages have a very different way of looking at time than the one we normally use. Where we perceive time as separate points on a line designating past, present, and future, Aramaic links past-present-future together. In this view, they all move together in the same greater reality of the “field” called Alaha. While this word is usually translated God, it derives from Semitic roots meaning “yes” and “no”: it relates being and nothingness as part of a greater unity.

Finally, Aramaic perceives entirely differently what we call mind, body, soul, spirit, and emotions. For instance, it doesn’t even have a word for a living “body.” For the past several hundred years Western culture has used the above words to construct a way of looking at human life in which all these ways of experiencing life are separate. Hence, we need to speak of “mind–body approaches” when referencing alternative medicines or somatic psychologies. A native speaker of ancient Aramaic would describe such healing differently, interconnecting what we call the inner and outer worlds.

The ancient Semitic languages, in their vocabulary, tend to distrust outer appearances and prefer to deal with sound rather than sight. These languages focus on what vibrates or radiates from within our “flesh” (Hebrew, basra, Aramaic, besra), rather than on the outer form of “bodies.”[i] In this way of viewing life, to determine whether a string is “in tune,” we listen for the sound it makes, not how it appears. The forms we perceive are not empty shells filled with “spirit,” but are themselves capable of resonating with and conveying the divine breath-spirit, ruha. Whether a living being is “ripe” or not depends on how it acts, not on how it looks.

In the ancient southwest Asia, people perceived each other as vibrating with a particular atmosphere or sound, their shem. It was as though human beings were condensed sound rather than mere outer appearances. The easiest way to connect with the shem of a prophet was to breathe as they were breathing, to get into rhythm with them, to walk in their footsteps, or to intone sound as they were intoning it.

Following this method, praying or meditating using Aramaic allows us to connect directly to Yeshua through his sound to his vibration, rhythm, and atmosphere. Yeshua’s shem is still resonating now, in any moment when we feel his presence.


[i] For more on this, see Thorlief Boman, Hebrew Thought Compared with Greek (1960).


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From Revelations of the Aramaic Jesus (2022) by Neil Douglas-Klotz. For a longer excerpt and more information, please see:

1 Past Reflections