The meaning of waves is the ocean. That sounds like a poetic way of speaking, but it really isn’t. The concept of meaning is itself undefined, and there is no literal use of it to contrast with any other sort of use. We can inquire of the meaning of birds, or of a symphony, or of creation, or of an historical event with just as much legitimacy as we inquire after the meaning of a word.

The ocean births, supports, shapes, exhausts and reabsorbs its waves. Everything in the ocean is part of every one of its waves. Everything of all oceans past and future is part of every present wave. The meaning of waves is the ocean.

The meaning of what you say is your life. Your words are the waves of your life. This is not a poetic way of speaking, unless all language is poetry. Your life in all its complexity and contrariety births, supports, shapes, exhausts and reabsorbs your words.

We do not ‘understand’ the meaning of Christ’s words by acquiring their definition, nor even by fitting them into some community of other words, some body of doctrine. The meaning of Christ’s words is the life of Christ, which is life itself.

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