Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Unity flames -

When I went to Nepal, I was surprised that there was no word for thank you in the Nepalese language.  Performances of art and music were considered spiritual.  There was no clapping or need for names on the program.   Now, I pick up the book Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes, Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle by Daniel L. Everett.


“One of the things about Piraha that immediately fascinated me was the lack of what linguists call “phatic” communication – communication that primarily functions to maintain social and interpersonal channels, to recognize or stroke, as some refer to it, one’s interlocutor.  Expressions like hello, goodbye, how are you?, I’m sorry, you’re welcome, and thank you don’t express or elicit new information about the world so much as they maintain goodwill and mutual respect. The Piraha culture does not require this kind of communication.  Piraha sentences are either requests for information (questions), assertions of new information (declarations) or commands, by and large. There are no words for thanks, I’m sorry, and so on.”


I think the language we use with others is the language we use with ourselves.  If we are constantly in a state of counting and accounting, how does that affect our lives?  Mother Theresa spoke of the loneliness of people in the United States.   Does continual thanking distance us, separate?  The Nepalese view what they do, what we would say thank you for, as life, as process, as flow.  They don’t need praise or censure.  Energy circulates, lives. 


I consider that today as we enter even further into darkness. Is there a place to accept that our mood may darken or lift, even as our desires and needs, when perceived as one giving and receiving, unite in a perception of dark and light as one?


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