A magical vision is hidden in the Irish language – we need to rediscover it

A single word can unlock the richness in our lives, landscapes and ways of seeing

The Irish language  derives from a world in which the unseen is as real as the seen. Photograph: Istock

The Irish language derives from a world in which the unseen is as real as the seen. Photograph: Istock

What if we’ve been looking at Irish through the wrong lens all these years? Rather than it being a subject that causes heartache in schools might it actually be a periscope into our psyche and our souls? A path towards an entirely fresh way of seeing reality, transforming existence from a predictable and quantifiable 3-D dimension into a vacillating, multi-dimensional realm with the potential of bleed-throughs from other parallel worlds.

First, there are some truths about the language that need to be acknowledged, though the grammarians and language academics might not agree. 1 Irish derives from a world in which the unseen is as real as the seen; 2 it acknowledges the existence of other dimensions; 3 it is based on an understanding that nature and the land are vibrant, sentient beings; 4 at its most potent can be a language of incantation, meaning that it has (or might have) the potential to summon up wishes, behaviours, people and things.

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