Friday, January 14, 2011

following the -path

"Sociopath," "psychopath," "homeopath," "osteopath:" An online etymological dictionary describes the suffix "-path" this way:

Suffix used in modern formations to mean "one suffering from" (a disease or condition), also "one versed in" (a certain type of treatment), from Gk. -pathes, from pathos "suffering" (see pathos).
Using this definition, the one who is "well-versed in" might equally just be "suffering from."

Buddhists follow the path. I'll concede it's not used as a suffix, but the definitions of that suffix strike me as information Buddhists might want to include as they follow the path...

Well-versed in and ...

Suffering from.


  1. i need to get this off my chest.

    last month, my grandmother fell sick. really sick. i was supposed, as per normal, to bring her to see the doctor, but i was sick too, if not sicker. so my uncle, her eldest son came and drove her and me to the clinic. on her way back, for some unknown reason, my grandmother was being helped by my uncle across a drain which she normally could managed, and suddenly she just couldn't. she slipped, fell into the drain, and brought my uncle down. i went to help them, and tripped myself, and accidentally broke my nose. blood splattered all over the floor.

    a neighbour saw my grandmother fall, the next morning when the neighbour returned to the scene, she saw my blood on the floor and told the neighbours that my grandmother had a really bad fall and her blood was all over the place.

    my uncle her son simply laughed off the entire incident, while i saw my grandmother hurt and felt wretched. i suddenly feel that there are some suffering in life which no spoken dharma can alleviate.

  2. "there are some suffering in life which no spoken dharma can alleviate."

    Very good. To my mind, this points to the fact that Buddhism as a practice is not just some feel-good endeavor. It points to the necessity for practice. It points out that no belief system or drug can ever assure peace because beliefs and drugs are both limited, whereas Buddhism is not.

    It's as if life offered the lesson, "Life sucks." And sometimes it does. No philosophy or religion can change that. The old Zen teacher Ta Hui once said approximately, "I have always taken a great vow that I would rather spend an eternity in hell than to portray this Dharma as a human emotion." This vow, however hard, is a vow any of us must attend to. There is nothing wrong with emotions, but actualizing the source of those emotions is important.

    Thanks very much.

  3. feels like magic.

    i suddenly feel like rahula speaking to his compassionate father, or ananda speaking to his wise lord, and for some unexplanable reason, it seem to be the reason why all my endeavours to set up a blog to spread a zen practice in my smaller village never quite took off after several attempts. am i right to put in this dilbert-ian comic manner, there are areas which the bosses cannot oversee personally, yet the junior executives sees and knows it, but like blind students who know only black and white, but not the full picture, they grind their teeth each day and pray for divine intervention.

    thanks brother.

    humbly and respectfully