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Re: The Virtue of Silence

by neshura (Chaplain)
on Apr 12, 2001 at 01:49 UTC ( #71869=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The Virtue of Silence

I guess everyone else must agree with you, that's why they aren't replying.

I do not agree. Staying silent is not a solution. Don't you think it ironic that you had to break your silence in order to make a point about the virtues of silence?

Community, Communication, Communing...

I applaud your idea about controlling anger and not attacking one's fellow monks. The genteel yet concise way of saying that is "Don't taint the well that you drink from". The addendum is "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." I believe this is what you are saying. The silence in taoism is not about just biting your tongue when you are angry.

I think it a mistake to apply (selectively) Eastern tradition to a Western community. By Western, I do not mean that we are all from the West. What I mean is that there is a core sociocultural engine of iteration, peer review, and incremental progression of knowledge via the mutual sharing of ideas.

The community is the people -- this is the kind of community that's always brainstorming, a somewhat-refined stew of all of our stream of consciousness thoughts on Problem Solving and Technology and Culture. One spark of thought engenders many more. It is probably most derivative of the scientific process that has been in place for centuries in the West. Given that the community feeds on the free exchange of ideas, the question (and the answer) is not about muting people's thoughts.

The question is really about clarity, organization, and quality. One angry comment muddies everything up. One beautifully written and thoughtful comment serves to clarify things that have been muddied -- and it serves to provoke further discussions and iterative ideas that are the life of this community.

Has anyone else played Black & White? If people knew that their angry comments darkened the landscape, turned the trees from lush to jagged, and turned their own avatars into scabby clawed nightmares, would they understand and remember every time they posted?

That said, I do appreciate many Eastern traditions. My favorite quote is as follows:

The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits. When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words is to convey ideas. When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words? He is the one I would like to talk to.

--Chuang-Tzu

e-mail neshura


Comment on Re: The Virtue of Silence
Re: Re: The Virtue of Silence
by TheoPetersen (Priest) on Apr 12, 2001 at 03:17 UTC
    I don't think we disagree at all :)

    Thanks for replying, and amplifying some points. If I thought a vow of silence for all was the answer I certainly wouldn't be replying back. I want the thoughtful comments to flourish and the angry ones to be politely ignored.

    Thanks also for the quote, it's a beaut :)

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