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The Scope of Language —Bhikkhu Sujato

Linked Discourses 22

6. Involvement

62. The Scope of Language

1.1At Sāvatthī.

1.2“Mendicants, there are these three scopes of language, terminology, and descriptions. They’re uncorrupted, as they have been since the beginning. They’re not being corrupted now, nor will they be. Sensible ascetics and brahmins don’t look down on them. 1.3What three? 1.4When form has passed, ceased, and perished, its designation, label, and description is ‘was’. 1.5It’s not ‘is’ or ‘will be’.

2.1When feeling … 2.2

3.1perception …

3.2choices … 3.3

4.1consciousness has passed, ceased, and perished, its designation, label, and description is ‘was’. 4.2It’s not ‘is’ or ‘will be’.

5.1When form is not yet born, and has not yet appeared, its designation, label, and description is ‘will be’. 5.2It’s not ‘is’ or ‘was’.

6.1When feeling … 6.2

7.1perception …

7.2choices … 7.3

8.1consciousness is not yet born, and has not yet appeared, its designation, label, and description is ‘will be’. 8.2It’s not ‘is’ or ‘was’.

9.1When form has been born, and has appeared, its designation, label, and description is ‘is’. 9.2It’s not ‘was’ or ‘will be’.

10.1When feeling … 10.2

11.1perception …

11.2choices … 11.3

12.1consciousness has been born, and has appeared, its designation, label, and description is ‘is’. 12.2It’s not ‘was’ or ‘will be’.

13.1These are the three scopes of language, terminology, and descriptions. They’re uncorrupted, as they have been since the beginning. They’re not being corrupted now, nor will they be. Sensible ascetics and brahmins don’t look down on them.

13.2Even those wanderers of the past, Vassa and Bhañña of Ukkalā, who taught the doctrines of no-cause, inaction, and nihilism, didn’t imagine that these three scopes of language should be criticized or rejected. 13.3Why is that? 13.4For fear of being blamed, criticized, and faulted.”

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