Words, Barfield reminds,
are not what they appear to be. "The full meaning of words are flashing,
iridescent shapes like flames-- ever-flickering vestiges of the slowly
evolving consciousness beneath them. To the Locke-Müller-France
way of thinking, on the contrary, they appear as solid chunks with definite
boundaries and limits, to which other chunks may be added as occasion arises"
(PD 75). Words "are not solid as stones are, but rather as human
faces, which sometimes change their form as the inner man changes, and
sometimes, remaining practically unaltered, express with the same configuration
a different personality" (HEW 82).