The dangers of presenting doctrines of meditation and realisation in words

One of the dangers of presenting doctrines of meditation and realisation in words is that they become identified with the words. When they are translated the new words do not correspond exactly to the translated words. There is a gradual dilution and a spreading vagueness.

There is however a language not in words which can convey the meanings exactly. One may wonder how this can be and an example may make it clearer.

First of all, in a limited field. The digits 2,4 and 8 have no actual pronunciation; they are read by a speaker in his own language which is not comprehensible to a foreigner who does not know it. The line 2 x 4 = 8 could be read by a German zweimal vier ist acht; the words will not be understood by those who do not know German. But the digits convey and exact meaning all over the world. The mathematical language has no actual pronunciation yet it conveys exact meaning. But of course the field is narrow, because specialised.

Another example is the fact that Chinese from the north cannot speak with those from the southwest or the southeast. Their pronunciation of the words varies too much. Nevertheless if they are literate they can communicate by writing. The Chinese character symbols, like mathematical symbols carry meaning regardless of the different sounds.

The Japanese again, read a Chinese character-symbol in two or three different ways remote from any Chinese pronunciation, still it is possible to communicate by using the written characters. I had a experience of this during the war.

© Trevor Leggett

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