by Aranyakananda

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.

This entry was posted in addiction, Buddhism, current events, dharma, God, Hinduism, inspiration, life, meaning of life, philosophy, self help, Vaishnavism, Vishnu and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Swearing

  1. Dhrishti says:

    I love posts like this. Listen to your Buddhist monk in this regard, he’s right.

    This reminds me of my teen years when I was a SUPER devout Christian. A friend, a young gal from another Christian church, used to substitute the words pineapple and banana for any swear word she might have otherwise said. She thought it was both clever and cute, but I disagreed (and still do).

    If you mean to say a swear word, you migt as well actually verbalize it. The thought’s what counts and all that jazz, right?

    I also agree that an aversion can be as detrimental as as addiction… and so I find myself, like you, also striving.

    Om Shanti

  2. Boo says:

    I’m the Monk. And I feel the need to say, he captured the pure essence of what I was trying to convey to him, perfectly. I could not have put it better myself. =)

    It’s funny you use tell the story of someone replacing what they deem a bad word with another word. That’s just like another story I told. A disc jockey once explained, that to the FCC (The Lords of Bad Words) if you establish that Ferris Wheel means something you normally couldn’t say on the radio, that it’s replacing that “bad” word… then you can no longer say Ferris Wheel in that context for the length of that show.

    I find that no different than saying dang, instead of damn, of fudge instead of fuck. It means what you want it to mean.

    No word to me, has any more power to it than the emotion YOU put behind it. There are exceptions. You could in with the greatest of intentions use a racial epithet, and still get your clock cleaned for saying it if someone else heard it out of context.

    These are my thoughts and I lay claim to them all.

    Venerable Bhikkhu Boo Roth

    • treadmarkz says:

      Thank you Boo, I could have added the example of the Ferris wheel myself, but I must have been waiting for you to lay it down for us. 🙂

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