In one of my last posts, I mentioned thoughts, words and deeds. That post was mostly about thoughts and deeds, and words really didn’t play into it. But this one, the third and final in a series of “Things I Am Currently Struggling To Knock Off” is about words. Naughty words. Profanity.
I recently spoke about this with a new friend who is a Buddhist monk. And he is not afraid to drop some colorful language on occasion. But the way he explained it (and I do mean explained, not rationalized) was that all words are just thought constructs and when it comes down to it no mere word is any more profane than another. So it seems to me that it is the thought we attach to the words that counts. That is the only way a word choice can really leave a karmic imprint. Sometimes words of different types are necessary, even the profane ones, said my Buddhist friend. Putting this into a Hindu construct, well, I suppose sometimes such strong language could be a duty. After all, as one of my other friends recently blogged, helping someone does not always involve making them like you.
I found this very interesting. Again not because it helps me rationalize my own speech patterns, but because it really does make sense. Rational without the rationalizing, shall we say.
Surely I can use strong language when need be without using a select few which society has deemed lewd. But even “not swearing” (along with the “not drinking pop” and “not eating meat” which I wrote about in the two previous posts) can become addictions or at least focuses of our attention and energy. So really with profanity it is just a matter of being much more selective in my usage.
When it comes to drinking caffeine and using certain language, I strive for temperance, while “not eating meat” is a very strong conviction which I do not plan to simply temper. If I slip, from time to time, I slip.
I continue to strive.