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November 22, 2006


The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.

The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.

The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.

Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.

-Chuang Tzu

Posted by joegrohens at November 22, 2006 05:04 PM


Nice! There is never enough words to convey ideas. Isn't the whole point in a never-ending search for the right words, which becomes an experience???

Etinoi language has separate words for the varieties of loss: loss of a small object (most likely misplaced); loss of a large object (most likely destroyed or stolen); loss of a person, exactly as we mean it in English, by death; loss of a situation or a way of life - one's job for example; loss of a state of mind or being, such as security, contentment, success. And each of those distinct words for loss can be modified by suffixes that indicate whether the thing lost can possibly be regained - t a n f o s-o u d e, the misplaced object found, or t a n f a n o r i-o u d e, success somehow regained - or it is lost for good: t a n f e n d i-n o u d e.
Still, none of the words seems to be to the point when the loss is part of one's own experience. So keep going...

Posted by: yucia [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 4, 2006 06:23 PM

The very definition of Gong, and so many applications - Tango, martial arts, life! I can't decide whether the last sentence is a thought-provoking paradox or just an irritating translation, though. Share the source?

Posted by: nikki [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 7, 2006 02:39 PM

Hi Nikki -

I no longer remember where I got this translation from -- I just plucked it from some online page as it went by. I googled the first line just now, and dozens of sites are reprinting the same translation.

Yes, I think the last line is quite paradoxical! :-)

Posted by: joey grohens [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 18, 2006 12:43 PM

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