22 Dec 2009

Random Thoughts: Language

I believe that everyone has their own language and their own religion.  In this post, I am gonna talk only about language.

If you have ever seriously discussed anything with me, you might already know that I look at things from a different viewpoint than the mythical "common person."  When I say something, my friends usually find it hard to agree with it; but after I explain what I really mean, most of the times they say "Oh you're talking about that!  Yeah, maybe you're right, but I don't care about that (and it's useless to think about all that)."

I once told a friend that she respects other people.  In my usage "respect" has a completely different meaning than what she understands by the same word.  She disagreed, and thought I could never understand her.  Being the adamant kid I am, I like to stick to the meaning I give to that word.  It makes communication a little hard, I agree; but I try to compress more meaning into one word, and such a compression helps me think easier.

I heard Gautama Buddha invented Pali language for his teachings because he didn't want to use any existing language as that would lead to confusion: he wanted to use new words and a new language because all he was talking were new ideas.  I am, I like to think, doing pretty much the same: but I reuse words from languages I know.  It makes sense to me for now at least, because philosophy is an area where you travel alone.  Well, not exactly.  You need people to talk to: people who don't agree with your ideas.  Telling your ideas to people is the way you learn your own ideas.   But the learning and seeking is a task you do alone.  And the discoveries are your own personal discoveries.  Like Hesse says in Siddhartha: wisdom cannot be passed from one person to another.

I feel shy to read what I have just said: I am saying that I'm doing what Buddha did!  Well, to think of it in a different way, saying "I play cricket" and "I am Sachin" are two completely different things.  I am doing what Buddha did, but at my own levels with my own abilities.  He sought understanding and wisdom and so am I.  Until a few days back I wouldn't have accepted it if someone called me a philosopher: but today, I think I am a philosopher.  A philosopher who doesn't have a philosophy yet.  Although formulating a set of philosophies is definitely not the goal I am working towards.

1 comment:

  1. Everyone has perceptions. Perceptions when put down and gets accepted by a group it transforms itself into a philosophy.

    I totally accept your say about words, their abstractions and their meaning.