[Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying [confused] (lemmett at talk21.com)

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Sun Jun 6 22:24:34 MDT 2010

On Jun 6, 2010, at 6:15 PM, Mitchell Ginsberg wrote:

> But it's a good idea. I could have saved a lot of trouble in school if in reply to a question of what I thought of Aristotle, I had just offered up a web link (but those were the days before the internet) to The Philosopher's text in the original Greek. Neat! (if I may apply an old word to a new short-cut).

One of the treasured stories in Quaker history is about one of the earliest Quakers, Margaret Fell, who eventually became George Fox's wife. She was very adept at quoting the bible and supplying a scripture for every occasion. One time George Fox listened to her preaching and praised her for her homiletic skills. Then he said "We know very well that thou canst quote scripture. But what dost THOU say?" The phrase "What dost THOU say?" has become a kind of Quaker mantra that gets invoked whenever someone manifests a fondness for āptavacana.

These days my colleagues and I are finding that term papers come in to us with "bibliographies" consisting almost entirely of URLs to websites. I guess we need a neologist to coin the term "webliography" for such lists of sources. The great danger with over-reliance on the Internet, as we old fogeys know, is that we can get into the habit of quoting or pointing to others' words, thereby deserving to have the ghost of George Fox pop up to whisper in our ear "But what dost THOU say?" 

Of course on buddha-l, if anyone dares to say anything in his or her own words, someone pops up and says "Can you cite me a two-thousand-year-old text to back up your thoughts?" That's what I say. Unfortunately, I can't cite any suttas to legitimate my claims.

Richard Hayes

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