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Words.

“The fish trap exists because of the fish; once you’ve gotten the fish, you can forget the trap. The rabbit snare exists because of the rabbit; once you’ve gotten the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words exist because of meaning; once you’ve gotten the meaning, you can forget the words. Where can I find a man who has forgotten words so I can have a word with him?”

Taoism. Chuang Tzu 26

I always strive keep the above in mind. It is often too easy to get caught up in arguments over definitions, forms and other minutae, while neglecting the real heart of the matter at hand. Whether in discussing religion or politics, ethics or law, words are important. They are often the only means for communicating our ideas. But to grasp the underlying idea is often more important than understanding the words by which it is expressed.

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