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Re: Language

Oct 20, 1996 04:01 PM
by Dr. A.M.Bain

In message <>, Bart Lidofsky
<> writes
>       It is my contention that there are concepts that are so ingrained into
>a culture that those who belong to the culture don't even realize that
>they are there. Even within the TS; when someone states that the TS has
>no dogma, and I reply, "Yes it does: it assumes that there IS a
>brotherhood of humanity", I am frequently rebuffed, "That's not a dogma,
>that's the truth!". Or they accuse me of not believing in it (an
>unfortunate tendency of far too many people is to equate defending a
>(dis)belief with holding that (dis)belief).

Yes, It does not take much observation to see that this, at least, is

> The gender non-neutral
>language (in my opinion, from my studies) is almost certainly due to the
>fact that virtually nobody even had the concept of pronouns sustaining
>inequality at that time.

Almost certainly they didn't have such a concept, and in the 19th
century there was, therefore, no problem arising.  In this latter end of
the 20th century, however, people do have an increasing sense of
pronouns sustaining inequality (as you put it) - hence the need for
change in order for theosophical ideals to reach out to more people, and
in particular the people who will ignore theosophy because they are put
off at the very door by the wording.  Their response, it could be
argued, is unconscious, a reflex action based upon their perception of
the language used.  Maybe so, *but they still walk away.*  Surely (sigh
again) it is time that we spoke to people in *their* everyday language,
and not that of 120 years ago?

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