Thanks for your explanation. I think I have a better understanding of what
you are saying, although there are now some new things that I need to
understand. As this is a meditation forum, I would like to place this
discussion in the context of meditation.
When you meditate, you may experience things that you have never experienced
before. Since these are not common, everyday experiences, you may not have
the exact words to express your experience. We want to communicate our
experience, so what do we do? We could create new words. Unfortunately, for
some of us, our language skills are not so deep that we can create new words
easily. How many of us have ever created a new word that became generally
What we generally do is take a practical approach and select words which
best fit our meaning and qualify them when we feel that what may be
understood goes outside of our meaning. I think we have a sense that words
are tools that we use to communicate.
Human interaction has a natural efficiency. We simply would not last long if
we did not have this efficiency. That is why, for instance, Eskimos have so
many words for snow. Human interaction also evolves as new experiences are
shared. If we created new words for every shade in every new experience, we
would soon be flooded with new words and communication would become
So where does that leave us? I think we can use existing words in new ways
if we believe the receiver will understand the new use to our satisfaction.
This is how words naturally evolve. If there is any confusion in the new use
of words, our natural desire for efficiency will adjust either the word or
its connotation and denotation. This will happen much faster than any formal
process of definition. Our desire to communicate should not wait for a
generally acceptable word to be created.
Coming back to your post, can you give me an example of where "...a skeptic
has misused words to prove the nonexistence of the original phenomena when
its postulated characteristics can not be observed..."?
Also, can you help me in an aspect of meditation I want to describe? In my
inner sounds meditation, I experience something that has some of the
features of movement. When I focus on a sound, that sound appears to come
closer, while other sounds appear to recede. It feels like I am moving
towards the sound I am focusing on, even though there is no physical
movement. What word or words could I use to describe this experience?
Thanks again for your comments...Tony
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 4:09 PM
Subject: [Meditation Society of America] More on "lying shame"
In a message dated 10/1/2002 9:51:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time, "Tony" <
> I could not quite understand your post. Could you explain it for me
Words that have well-defined and well-known acceptable meanings (in this
"energy") are misused to apply to things that they really don't, and people
extrapolate from known characteristics of the item identified ("energy") to
prognosticate unobserved phenomena that just don't happen. Instead of
communicating the person misusing the term spreads confusion or disbelief.
Such misuse has been used by skeptics in many arena as proof of nonexistence
of the original phenomena when there postulated characteristics can not be
Personally, I would much rather that a new word be used that didn't have the
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