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Interreligious dialogue : Detachement > from words

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M ahamati, the Tathagatas do not teach a doctrine that is dependent
upon letters. As to letters, their being or non-being is not attainable;
it is otherwise with thought that is never dependent upon letters. Again,
Mahamati, anyone that discourses on a truth that is dependent upon letters
is a mere prattler because truth is beyond letters. For this reason, it
is declared in the canonical text by myself and other Buddhas and
bodhisattvas that not a letter is uttered or answered by the Tathagatas.
For what reason? Because truths are not dependent on letters....

Therefore, Mahamati, let the son or daughter of a good family take
good heed not to get attached to words as being in perfect conformity with
meaning, because truth is not of the letter. Be not like the one who
looks at the fingertip. When a man with his fingertip points out
something to somebody, the fingertip may be taken wrongly for the thing
pointed at. In like manner, simple and ignorant people are unable even
unto their death to abandon the idea that in the fingertip of words there
is the meaning itself, and will not grasp ultimate reality because of
their intent clinging to words, which are no more than the fingertip....
Be not like one who, grasping his own fingertip, sees the meaning there.
You should rather energetically discipline yourself to get at the meaning
itself.





Buddhism / Mahayana 4351 | 
Lankavatara Sutra 76 







T hat wisdom (which all men by their very nature desire to know and consequently seek after with such great affection of mind) is known in no other way than that it is higher than all knowledge and utterly unknowable and unspeakable in all language. It is unintelligible to all understanding, immeasurable by all measure, improportionable by every proportion, incomparable by all comparison, infigurable by all figuration, unformable by all. formation, ... imimaginable by all imagination, ... inapprehensible in all apprehension and unaffirmable in all affirmation, undeniable in all negation, indoubtable in ail doubt, inopinionable in all opinion; and because in all speech it is inexpressible, there can be no limit to the means of expressing it, being incognitable in all cognition…




Christianity / Catholicism 3829 | 
De sapientia; Dolan, 1962; pp. 105-106 







W ordiness and intellection.
The more with them the further astray we go;
Away, therefore, with wordiness and intellection,
And there is no place where we cannot pass freely.





Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 3755 | 
Hsin-hsin ming “Inscription on the Self of the Self”, Suzuki, 1960, pp. 76-82 







W hile still alive, be therefore assiduous in practicing meditation. ... As your self-reflection grows deeper and deeper, the moment will surely come upon you when the spiritual flower will suddenly burst into bloom, illuminating the entire universe.

This is the moment when you can transform this vast earth into solid gold, and the great rivers into an ocean of milk. What a satisfaction this is then to your daily life! Since this is so, do not waste your time with words or phrases, or by searching for Truth in books; for the Truth is not to be found there. ... They consist of mere words, which will be of no use to you at the moment of your death.





Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 3750 | 
in Suzuki, 1970; pp. 23-24 







M y heart was drawn out of all worldly concerns and placed in God in such a manner that I could neither think of nor see anything except God. Whether I spoke or ate, or whatever I did, it did not prevent my heart from always being in God.




Christianity / Catholicism 3445 | 
Complete Works. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1993, p. 169 







N o matter how far the understanding of the soul is able to stretch itself, that is nothing in comparison to what it experiences when it is lifted beyond itself and placed in the bosom of God. Then the soul understands, finds its delight, and rests in the divine goodness; it cannot bring back any report of this, because it is completely beyond what the intelligence can conceive, and beyond words; but in this state the soul swims.




Christianity / Catholicism 3442 | 
Complete Works. Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 1993, p. 208 







T he soul can attain to the secrecy which is in God, where the mystery of unity beyond understanding and speech is celebrated, only when it has gone not only beyond the categories of vice and ignorance and of falsehood and wickedness - the vices which are opposite to virtue and knowledge and truth and goodness - but even, if one may say this, beyond the categories of virtue itself and of knowledge and truth and goodness as they are known to us. In the Kingdom of the Spirit of God, which lies beyond our senses and intellectual concepts and virtues, everything exists in a different way. It exists truly.




Christianity / Orthodoxy 3369 | 
Hymn of Entry, p. 102 







T he ultimate Truth is beyond words. Doctrines are words. They're not the Way. The Way is wordless. Words are illusions… Don't cling to appearances, and you'll break through all barriers…




Buddhism / Mahayana / Zen (Chan) 3243 | 
The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Trans. Red Pine. New York: North Point Press, 1987. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Trans. Red Pine. New York: North Point Press, 1987, p. 31 







I 've given up on my brain.
I've torn the cloth to shreds
and thrown it away.

If you're not completely naked,
wrap your beautiful robe of words
around you,

and sleep.





Islam / Sufism 2930 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.116 







S peech is priceless if you speak with knowledge. Weigh it in the scales of the heart before it comes from the mouth.




Others Beliefs / Litterature 2902 | 
Essential Sufism, by James Fadiman & Robert Frager, Harper SanFrancisco, p.81 







I t is written: "An altar of earth thou shalt make unto Me . . . And if thou make Me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stones, for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast profaned it."
The altar of earth is the altar of silence, which pleases God beyond all else. But if you do make an altar of words, do not hew and chisel them, for such artifice would profane it.





Judaism / Hassidism 2750 | 
Martin Buber’s ten rungs, collected Hassidic saying, p.30 







N ot through discourse, not through the intellect,
Not even through study of the scriptures
Can the Self be realized. The Self reveals
Himself to the one who longs for the Self.
Those who long for the Self with all their heart
Are chosen by the Self as his own.

Not by the weak, not by the unearnest,
Not by those who practice wrong disciplines
Can the Self be realized. The Self reveals
Himself as the Lord of Love to the one
Who practices right disciplines.





Hinduism 2653 | 
Mundaka Upanishad, translated by Eknath Easwaran, 1987; Nilgiri Press, Tomales, California 







T he sun radiates its splendor spontaneously on all alike and with no words of explanation; in like manner do the Tathagatas radiate the Truth of Noble Wisdom with no recourse to words and to all alike




Buddhism / Mahayana 2613 | 
Ch XII, p.348, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







T he self-realisation of Noble Wisdom by all the Tathagatas is the same as my own self-realisation of Noble Wisdom; there is no more, no less, no difference; and all the Tathagatas bear witness that the state of self-realisation is free from words and discriminations and has nothing to do with the dualistic way of speaking, that is, all beings receive the teachings of the Tathagatas through self-realisation of Noble Wisdom, not through words of discrimination.

C





Buddhism / Mahayana 2611 | 
Ch XII, p.348, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







T hough they all honor, praise and esteem me, they do not fully understand the meaning and significance of the words they use; not having their own self-realization of Truth they cling to the words of their canonical books, or to what has been told them, or to what they have imagined, and fail to see that the name they are using is only one of the many names of the Tathagata. In their studies they follow the mere words of the text vainly trying to gain the true meaning, instead of having confidence in the one "text" where self-confirming Truth is revealed, that is, having confidence in the self-realization of Noble Wisdom.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2605 | 
Ch XII, p.344, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







T herefore, let every disciple take good heed not to become attached to words as being in perfect conformity with meaning, because Truth is not in the Letters.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2582 | 
Ch.IV, p.311, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







T he Tathagatas do not teach a Dharma that is dependent upon letters. Anyone who teaches
a doctrine that is dependent upon letters and words is a mere prattler, because Truth is beyond letters and words and books.
This does not mean that words and books never declare what is in conformity with meaning and truth, but it means that words and books are dependent upon discriminations, while meaning and truth are not; moreover, words and books are subject to the interpretation of individual minds, while meaning and truth are not.





Buddhism / Mahayana 2580 | 
Ch.IV, p.311, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







B ut if a man becomes attached to the literal meaning of words and holds fast to the illusion that words and meaning are in agreement, especially in such things as Nirvana which is unborn and un-dying, or as to distinctions of the Vehicles, the five Dharmas, the three self-natures, then he will fail to understand the true meaning and will become entangled in assertions and refutations.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2579 | 
Ch.IV, p.310, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







M ahamati, you and all the Bodhisattvas must seek for this inner self-realization of Noble Wisdom, and not be captivated by word-teaching.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2556 | 
Ch.II, p.293, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







W ords and sentences are produced by the law of causation and are mutually conditioning, they cannot express highest Reality. Moreover, in highest Reality there are no differentiations to be discriminated and there is nothing to be predicated in regard to it. Highest Reality is an exalted state of bliss, it is not a state of word-discrimination and it cannot be entered into by mere statements concerning it. The Tathagatas have a better way of teaching, namely, through self-realization of Noble Wisdom.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2547 | 
Ch.II, p.287, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







D iscrimination of meaning is based upon the false-imagination that these sweet sounds which we call words and which are dependent upon whatever subjects they are supposed to stand for, and which subjects are supposed to be self-existent, all of which is on error. Disciples should be on their guard against the seductions of words and sentences and their illusive meanings, for by them the ignorant and the dull-witted become entangled and helpless as an elephant floundering about in the deep mud.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2546 | 
Ch.II, p.286, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







W ords are an artificial creation;
[…] No, Mahamati, the validity of things is independent of the validity of words.





Buddhism / Mahayana 2545 | 
Ch.II, p.286, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







B ut the way of instruction presented by the Tathagatas is not based on assertions and refutations by means of words and logic.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2543 | 
Ch.II, p.284, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible 







T herefore the actuality of things cannot be equated with their names, and names in their true meanings cannot be matched by things. This being so, absolute truth remains tranquil outside of any elucidation through names. How can it be expressed by letters and words?




Buddhism / Mahayana 2295 | 
Seng Chao, Treatises, The emptiness of the Unreal, Ch.2, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 21. 







T he universe and I exist together, and all things and I are one. Since all things are one, what room is there for speech?




Daoism 2223 | 
Chuang Tzu, chapter II, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 8. 







T rue words are not beautiful
Beautiful words are not true
A good man does not argue;
He who argues is not a good man.
A wise man has no extensive knowledge;
He who has extensive knowledge is not a wise man.





Daoism 2213 | 
Laozi 81, in Wing-Tsit Chan, Chinese Philosophy, Chapter 7. 





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