Friday, February 28, 2014


It is a very easy, a very simple thing to have an opinion, in my experience. It is even easier to take offense to other peoples' opinions, to the point that it happens every day. We call them different things, syllogisms, facts, statistics, absolute truth. However, when we get down to what's really happening, we are relying on our senses to tell us how the world is, and we are relying on our feelings and our ability to think logically and perceive adequately to tell us correctly about reality.

Sometimes, we are confronted with facts that contradict what we think are the facts. We can then choose how we want to respond. Elementary, but necessary to point out, when the natural reaction may seem to be the only choice, whether it be oppositional defiance, discerning debate, passive acceptance, or any number of other things.

Regardless, we end up in dissonance, and that's a beautiful thing. It should not be sacrificed to maintain some level of peace or discretion or to, above all things (apparently), avoid bothering others. They may not act offended, they may simply approach you with smug self-assuredness coming from any number of factors, or they may simply dismiss you using clever words, so that any response ends up sounding trite or desperate. Ostracization, attacks on credibility, ad hominem, the infamous gish gallop, condescension, and any number of other things are extremely effective at getting a mob on your side.

It's extremely fashionable to be intelligently revolutionary, and I think in our many words we have forgotten the value of silence. I have felt it quite often when I would express what I think or feel about a topic, and receive no feedback whatsoever. It was so nonexistent, in fact, that I was left to speculate why this was even the case. Silence, in this case, said more than any number of words could have. Sometimes, you let it speak for you, whether you intend for it to or not. Sometimes, you don't know what to say, or you don't want to say something so that you don't hurt another person, so you hold your tongue, and that very act says everything about how you feel and what you think, especially if it contrasts with what you do say. The contrast says it all, makes what you don't say deafeningly, violently loud.

I took a long break from writing here, and was bothered by my own silence. I had become used to making a post when I felt strongly about a topic, and when I found myself in need of a break, it drove me crazy for a time. Then, at a certain point, something in me broke, and I found that the silence was therapeutic, even with that desire to write and be heard there, now free of the pretentious wants that I ended up with. Because sometimes, in our many words, in our cursory examination of philosophies and logic and science and religion and politics and art and our ability to express ourselves to anyone and everyone, we forget that we also have the ability to hold our tongue, the ability to let the facts speak for themselves, the ability to not start the adversarial process so familiar to human nature by putting forward our opinion and demanding that people agree or be mocked, to the point where it becomes trite and meaningless to discuss anything at all.

Sometimes, the best dissonance comes from holding out tongue, observing, gaining understanding, and not attempting to exert our power over others. The power is in the silence, the dissonance happens without our attempt to explain it all, fix it all, revolutionize it all.

I do wonder, however, if the destiny of humanity is to end up with everything having been said, so we all stand around a road traveled so many times in silence, with nothing else to do, nothing else to say. However, that day is certainly not today, and we may yet end our own existence or end up discovering boundless new knowledge and gaining new abilities we cannot yet dream of. After all, in the grand scheme of things, are we even the most interesting life in the universe? I have no idea, but it does make me wonder why we get so upset over the smallest things, like who tweeted what about who, or whether this celebrity is being rude, or whatever other random things happen to get us all fired up, as if we enjoy being offended, like being angry, get off on being united against the evil of the moment, to feel as if we have some contrived spiritual purpose. If we'd slow down, stop multitasking 5 things at once constantly, exist and enjoy the one life we get a little, and be excellent at what we do, we could be so much more.

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