The Chinese Character xin
depicts a man beside the sign for "word." Ezra Pound defined this as "Fidelity to the given word. The man here standing by his word." North Point Press describes this idea in a book of essays by Wendell Berry, as follows:Such fidelity to the word, as evidenced by clarity of meaning and intent, would go far to reconnect language to life. Without a renewed sense of language we cannot hope to restore balance, harmony, and coherence to our lives, our land, and our communities, for these must be joined "as marriage joins them -- in words by which a man or woman can stand, words confirmable in acts."
Sometimes the nature of these forums allows a certain degeneracy of language - and at times it becomes necessary to re-establish, in time honored martial tradition, an accountability, not only for actions but also for words. I have been waiting for your response to Van Canna Sensei's riposte to your inflammatory and insulting remarks. Cultured warrior that he is, he gave you an incredible reprieve and a chance to redeem your somewhat hasty words - I don't believe you fully appreciate the magnanimity of his actions. As a newcomer to this website and to these forums - a degree of politeness is called for, and, while we as moderators and with most all of the participants are advocates of free speech and the right to self expression - I now politely insist that you re-evaluate your hasty entry into these halls of discourse and consider your personal accountability to your words. Wendell Berry writes of "language that is diminished by subjectivity, which ends in meaninglessness." Your posts Tensin/Gerald-san, contain such language.
Again, let me re-state a position I believe is held by all of the moderators on this site: we welcome dissenting opinion as a vehicle to productive discussion. However, speaking for myself, I find at times that I question some of the loosely volleyed verbal assaults unleashed on these cyber pages as incomplete and incomprehensible pedantic fluff. I hold with Mr. Berry's definition of a complete and comprehensible statement as meeting three conditions:
1) It must designate its object precisely.
2) Its speaker must stand by it, must believe it, be accountable for it, and be willing to act on it.
3) The relation of speaker, word, and object must be conventional: the community must know what it is.
Tensin/Gerald-san, I do not see your posts fitting those requirements very well. Perhaps I am grossly misunderstanding your intent - hence statement #3. If you truly wish to be a participant in meaningful verbal interchange, I suggest the following:
1) A bit more clarity in your language - hence those of us in the community with any type of ethnic heritage that has received racial slurs regarding hairstyle will not take offense when you are referring to some "Elvis" joke.
2) When expressing an idea to a community you are not familiar with, it might be beneficial to do as previously suggested and "lurk" a bit to acquaint yourself with the "who's who in Uechi-ryu" before going off half-cocked and shooting yourself in the foot!
3) Lastly and no less importantly, know that you will be held accountable for your words - some of us feel more strongly than others about this, and know this Tensin/Gerald-san, not only do you need to believe what you say, which I think that you do, you must be willing to act on it
- I for one am ready to "kumite" if that's what you are looking for - I will act upon every word I say here - since my 1st post on these forums, I speak from the heart, with respect, and will back it up to the end.
[This message has been edited by Lori (edited 11-10-98).]