Black Swan

by monax

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary our English word swan probably means literally “the singing bird.” Concerning other languages Philologist Jaan Puhvel writes, ‘Words for “swan” are frequently akin to terms for whiteness.’ From the Greek and Sanskrit to the Russian and Latin the words for “swan” evoke the color “white.”

The phrase “black swan” has a curious history. It can be traced back to the Roman poet Juvenal (late first century) who wrote of “a rare bird in the lands, like a black swan” (rara avis in terris nigroque simillima cygno). Now when the “black swan” phrase was coined in English there was this assumption that black swans did not exist. So in sixteenth century London Juvenal’s expression became a popular metaphor for something impossible—something nonexistent. However toward the dawn of the eighteenth century a Dutch explorer discovered black swans in Australia. So then this old “black swan” idea morphed into different conceptual meanings. In fact, this event—this discovery of black swans—spawned all sorts of philosophical and theoretical problems.

Spiritual Abuse is one of those Black Swans. The blind assumption for some is this: Spiritual Abuse does not occur in my church or denomination. Then the broken and abused—call them Black Swans or Sheep—of these churches and denominations discover each other and become empowered with voices, megaphones, www technologies and such. And now collectively this once presumed nonexistent chimera has connected, and the formation of something big is on the horizon. Who knew this Singing Shepherdess would be on the cutting wing of a Black Swan.

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