February 2014 By Punya Srivastava What happens to us when we use foul language? Does it pull down our vibrations and affect our spiritual growth, asks Punya Srivastava The first time I uttered a swear word, my friend’s jaw dropped. Her expression told me that I had arrived, that too in style. That moment, I guess, was my initiation into cussing. Till my graduation years, I never swore. I would invariably hold back my tongue, reminding myself that it was utterly ungracious to mouth such words. I had grown up in an environment where tempers flew, and profanity was the norm. I grew up detesting that language, and promised myself that I would not ever let it contaminate my tongue. The devil, however, caught me from behind, and without realising it, I was peppering my language with swear words during extreme reactions. However, this is not a sanctimonious take on the morality of those who indulge in profanity, because at some point of time in our lives, we all have done it. The question here is why do we need to do it? And what effect does it have on our psyche? Why do we do it? There are two types of users. The first one makes the occasional use of swear words to let off steam; the second habitually indulges in it, making it a part of their vocabulary. “I speak the choicest of abuses when I am angry. It acts as a vent to my anger,” says Kritika Sinha, a media person from Delhi. “I use swear words as a weapon against lechers and roadside romeos. I feel a sense of empowerment when I put them down by verbally abusing them,” says Anjali Srivastava, a final-year student from TISS, Mumbai. “Using the F-word has become so common these days. I do not have any qualms about using it within my circle. It is a mere descriptive expression – an adjective more than a swear word today,” shrugs Vaibhav Gupta, a banker from Delhi. The first two use profanity to vent out their anger, pain and frustration. The last does not even see it as profanity. On whom is the impact greater? Since it is the motivation rather than the word itself that carries the energy, the impact of the words will be stronger in the first two cases. For Vaibhav, the words, if used to address a friend, may even be an endearment! But whichever way people use swear words, it does cloud their energy field. According to Pulkit Sharma, clinical psychologist and psychoanalytical therapist, Imago – Centre for Self, New Delhi, people generally use these words to deal with their sense of pain and anger by telling themselves and the world that they are strong. Such words are generally associated with a display of aggressive strength. People who feel weak within are attracted to these words, and slowly develop the habit. “Using swear words is a quick fix for pain and anger but not a lasting one. The person feels somewhat relieved by using abusive language but over time there is a dependence on it, and this causes a negative effect on the person’s psyche,” he adds. “Using any kind of negative language pollutes the aura which eventually pollutes the person’s mind or psyche. Also, using dirty words and shouting at people is like throwing garbage on the person. This is a major negative karma,” echoes Anupama Sharma, energy healer with Yoga Prana Vidya, Delhi. According to her, the fact that swearing alleviates anger is an illusion. It has been experienced that people who meditate often have a calmer mind. When we meditate we develop the potential to think in a wider perspective – from our own point of view, from the other person’s point of view, and from a neutral point of view. It is possible only when we calm down. Anger only leads to destruction – destruction outside and also inner destruction, which takes time to heal. Meditation heals. When the mind and body are healed, a person is able to understand better about matters, and does not get affected by trivial issues. Impact on the psyche Pulkit shares an instance about a teenager who took to using foul words to overcome his emotional pain. Avinash, a 19-year-old teenager, was always on a short fuse. He had difficulty in containing his anger, and often lashed out at others with verbal abuse. This habit grew stronger over time, and he became more and more angry. He started focusing exclusively on negative experiences in relationships. His girlfriend and other friends felt that he was difficult to please. They felt victimised by his anger, and slowly distanced themselves from him. He became lonely and severely depressed. His parents were worried when he started becoming withdrawn, and brought him for counselling. It became apparent that Avinash had suffered from intense emotional pain as a child due to excessive bullying at school. Over time he developed the habit of using swear words to feel strong and deal with the pain. Once he worked through his feelings of emotional pain, Avinash gave up this habit, and could relate to others in a better manner. The best example to understand the impact of energy variation on the mind is when visiting a temple. The energy that you feel when you enter a temple fills you with peace and serenity because of the chants and mantras recited every day countless times. On the other hand, when you enter a house where the inmates are constantly fighting or using foul language, you will find the energy to be contentious. In the same way, the more profane our language, the further away we move from peace and joy. According to Yoya Vallee, a Yugoslavian researcher with the Spiritual Science Research Foundation, our ego is activated when swearing. The researcher has come out with diagrams that illustrate the harmful subtle effects of using foul language. According to her findings, the vibrations of the swear words draws distressing energy from the environment. A ring of that distressing energy is activated in the subconscious mind, affecting the person’s consciousness, and eventually polluting his environment. The habitual use of profanity would attract more negativity, she observed. Another point that Yoya noted was that a person indulging in profanity gradually loses touch with his higher consciousness due to traits such as selfishness, being judgmental, or lack of respect. Does intent matter? Interestingly, Dr. Seema Anand, founder of Look Beyond India, and an energy healer in Delhi, offers another point of view on profanity. According to her, swear words do not have any bearing on the person uttering them nor on the one subjected to. “Words like crap, damn, shit, hell do not bear any connotation. They are just an outlet to your emotions. When spoken with emotion, they help you get rid of those emotions. However, phrases like ‘pain in the neck’ or ‘pain in the back’ do resonate with energy. People who are in the continuous habit of uttering them might find themselves suffering from disorders like cervical spondylosis,” she says. Dr. Anand scanned the energy of some of the swear words and concluded that these words do not have any vibration. “Transference of energy happens when someone ‘sends’ it to you. Hence, merely saying ‘screw you’ will not have any effect but saying ‘I wish you a screwed life’ with an intention of causing harm will definitely have an effect. That is because it has taken the shape of a curse,” she adds. Overcoming the habit The best way to overcome this habit is to be mindful. It is an effective way to deal with anger. Observe your pain and experience it, but do not act on it. Mindfulness prevents anger and heals the pain. Using effective communication skills is another option. Try to explain to people that you are hurt without attacking their self-esteem. You will be surprised by the empathic responses that you may get. According to Anupama, our solar plexus chakra, situated in the middle of the rib area, gets over activated causing anger. “Yoga Prana Vidya can help in the complete understanding of the chakras, and their relative functions in the body. There are simple techniques that can be learnt regarding healing your complete body. Even simple breathing exercises can be used in case of anger and anxiety. Apart from healing, there are a number of meditations that are extremely beneficial,” she shares. Another way out is to pray for the offender instead of swearing at him. This allows the heart to soften towards them, and heal from the damage done to it. It also helps to minimise exposure to verbal abusive content, because foul company will only make the problem become stronger again. If you want something to go away, then you must stop feeding it, and starve it. Feed the good in you and starve the bad.
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