The Devi is in the Details

29 April 2024 0 Comment(s)

How often have you heard an expression and wanted to know more about its meaning and roots?

For many years ‘The devil is in the details’ was one such idiom which aroused my interest each time I heard or used it. Now with thanks to the internet it is much easier to find more background information on any question, as we all know.

What I just found before writing this and which interestingly synchronises with what I was about to write and used to think to myself is…. that it should be ‘God is in the details’. Well apparently that’s how the expression started before it was adjusted to the more well known Demonic version!

What I discovered a few years back which you may or may not know, is that the Old English word ‘demon’ stems from the Latin daemon and/or Greek daimōn ~ ‘deity, genius’, ‘supernatural being’ or ‘spirit’.

So I prefer to say ‘The Devi Is In the Details!’, where Devi means ‘shiny’, ‘exalted’, ‘heavenly being’, ‘divine being’, ‘anything of excellence’, (Wikipedia) and ‘is also one of the Sanskrit terms used to indicate a deity in Hinduism. Deva is a masculine term; the feminine equivalent is Devi. The word is a cognate with Latin deus (“god”) and Greek Zeus.’

When we practice Taiji (Tai Chi), the ‘Inches’ are the equivalent of finding the Devi – the precise minutiae which affect the overall result. Any underlying faults in the foundations of the structure will affect the entire formation, whereby the fault lines running from the ground to the sky will also magnify the imbalances leading to all sorts of issues later down (or rather up) the line.

When we practice any art or science, the Devi will always be in the details.

The more you look, the more you see.

The yogic tradition and practice of samyama (concentration-meditation-absorption) teaches that in order to know an ‘object’ all that you need to do is study it. The knowledge and ‘nature’ of this object will reveal itself to you as you progressively merge with it. This is perhaps tricky for the ‘egological’ mind to grasp yet, when in a deep state of trance, this knowing arises similar to downloading a bundle of information on the internet on to your hard drive. You can learn the entire Spanish language by downloading a ‘Speak Spanish’ book and studying it progressively. The difference is that with meditation, this knowledge seems to arise instantly from within (although admittedly the process of being able to attain such clarity may have taken many years) and although it may be difficult to communicate to others, one intuitively understands the deeper meaning behind the object/subject. It may take a while to be able to segment this information in order to impart the wisdom of the essence of the topic to others but, with a little practice and once again knowing that the information ‘lies within’, all you gotta do is relax and flow..relax and flow…:)

Matt Gluck

April 2024


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