Re: [SanghaOnline] Strong Words
- 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
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.
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
> Thank you.
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