For the Greeks logos meant many things, including (according to F. E. Peters) "speech, account, reason, definition, rational faculty, proportion" (110). For the Pre-Socratic Heraclitus, logos was "an underlying organizational principle of the universe" (Peters 111); for Plato, it was the opposite of mythos--a true account of the nature of things; for Aristotle, it became roughly equivalent to reason itself.

For Barfield, logos names the "faint awareness of creative activity alike in nature and man" which remained after the decline of original participation (SA 185). Coleridge called the logos "the evolver" (WCT 150). Barfield calls it "the depth of all theology."

In Greek, Barfield points out, it "always meant both 'word' and the creative faculty in human beings--'Reason,' as it is often translated--which expresses itself by making and using words" (HEW 113). And yet the philological evidence suggests that the concept of the logos was the product of the evolution of consciousness:

The philosophic problem of an opposition between "subjective" and "objective" was not heard of until the time of the Stoics, and on the other hand it is in this same sect that we first meet with a theory of the divine Logos. Men begin to be conscious of an indwelling creative principle, precisely as they begin to feel themselves detached from it. (RCA 127)

It was thus only "as the Greek spirit emerged from that more thorough-going intermingling with the Spirit--or Spirits--of nature, which gave rise to the rich imaginations of their Mythologies" that the Greeks "evolved their doctrine of the Logos . . . the creative Word, which informs both man and nature." (XXXXX)

Contemporary ignorance of the shaping power of the logos--an obliviousness which, Barfield shows, began with the Romans--leads to an idolatrous, reductionistic understanding of evolution, as Burgeon explains in Unancestral Voice:

"Either all things were made, and are sustained, by the Logos, or they were not. If they were, then the Logos is, in some way, the transforming agent underlying the changes in both nature and history. The ordinary theory of evolution is what it is because by the time men first became aware of evolution they no longer knew anything of that transforming agent. And it is that very ignorance for which Rome is responsible at the bar of history." (99)

See in particular "Philosophy and Religion" (HEW 96-117), "Philology and the Incarnation" (RM 228-36), Saving the Appearances, Chaps. XXII, XXIII, XXIV.