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Re: [SanghaOnline] Strong Words

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  • Khammai Dhammasami
    Words, or indeed language is about conceptualisation. There are words and vocabularies in a language as far as members of that language group can
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 23, 2003
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      Words, or indeed language is about conceptualisation. There are words and
      vocabularies in a language as far as members of that language group can
      conceptualise. conceptualisation is done through social interaction, study,
      philosophising (including expression of meditation experiences) etc.

      To define if a particular word is strong or weak depends on the concept of the
      people in that language group.

      Based on the above observation, the English word "believe" is weak, and
      not a strong one. this is clear when native speakers express "I believe", which
      means they are not sure. " I hope" is even weaker. "Expect" on the other hand
      is sure and strong. " I understand...." and " I am convinced ..." are in fact
      strong words.

      A belief is merely a belief as far as the English expression goes. Once it is
      verified, it is more than a belief, and in fact becomes a truth.

      A belief may be called saddha in Pali, and its verb form is saddah(a). This
      word is found to be in use also by non-Buddhists who believed in their teacher and his teaching. We need to remember that " belief/believe " is not a part of
      the seven factors of englightenment. This means at enlightement level, the
      expression "believe" may no longer be required.

      "Seeing" is a word that could be much stronger in Buddhist terminology. So,
      the English word " I see" could be a strong one, despite its different
      application in English.


      With metta,

      Ven. Dhammasami

      In message <20030123020005.93471.qmail@...> SanghaOnline@yahoogroups.com writes:
      > Dear Venerable sirs,
      >
      > I must admit that I am pretty sensitive to strong
      > words eg believe. I remember once I was attending a
      > Sunday School lesson, which my Sunday School teacher
      > told the class about the strength of certain words,
      > and in one case, believe. I remember that believe is
      > a very strong word to describe some experiences which
      > may or may not be accurate for our senses have limited
      > ability to really comprehend the nature of some
      > phenomena. Thus I strongly feel/am convinced that
      > this word can only be reserved to individuals who have
      > gain insight or attained Nibbana. I would rather use
      > the word 'convince' as there isn't any catch or need
      > to really hold on to certain 'believes'.
      >
      > Some other words which I encountered in everyday life
      > are 'pray' and 'transference of merits'. Please
      > advise.
      >
      > Thank you.
      >
      > Kevin
      >
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