Aphorisms on Silence

Speech as the void. – We cannot remain silent because there is a problem. We speak because there is the void.

Silence as speech. – Silence refers to an objective state of quietness, while reticence is a subjective situation behind which there lies a subject’s will to be silent. The former is a natural situation; the latter is the deed of a subject. One could speak about silence, its causes and effects; but silence itself is speechless. Reticence is, on the other hand, a speech without words. When one chooses not to speak, s/he chooses to speak in another language.

Silence as ressentiment. – Silence is not necessarily meant to be an approval. It might, on the contrary, conserve in itself a bitter kind of resentment and denial for its full-fledged expression in the future, “when the dice falls in one’s favor.”

Silence as the ultimate rejection. – One criticizes only those who one loves best. For those who one abhors, it is best to be silent.

The oath. – I will remain silent until I deserve to speak!

Silence as manners. – One who keeps silent long enough acquires the right to speak.

What is difficult?. – What is difficult? To keep silent! To keep silent even about one’s silence! To hide your silence behind your speech! To keep silent by speaking!

A question. – How to speak by keeping silent?

Nietzsche, silence, and style. – What are the main features of our style? Or, how do we write, that is, how do we fight?

1. We aim at the grand style, that is, to speak innocently and cynically or to remain silent.

2 We only speak when we must, and only about those things that we have overcome.

3. We waited and kept silent long enough to deserve to speak, now we’ve unlearned to keep silent; we have become utterance altogether.

4 Yet, we speak silently; our words are those brought about on dove’s feet.

5. The arrival of our silent speech heralds the coming of the storm, we are the silence before the storm.

Reading as difficult. – Reading is difficult, because keeping silent is difficult.

Noble and ascetic garrulity. – From time to time, both nobles and ascetics do not keep silent at the expense of their own interests. There is a difference between these two types of garrulity. While the former occurs due to a flow of spirit, the latter derives from its ebb.

Silence as promise. – Is not the promise that is made silently the most earnest promise?  Does not the “sovereign human being” promise not only “reluctantly, rarely, slowly,” but also silently?

My promise. – My promise is a silent promise and it is the promise of silence.

Music and silence. – What does music require most other than silence? Who are great musicians other than the masters of silence?

Overcoming noise by noise. – It is our tragedy that we, the urban people, can overcome noise only by the help of another noise. Although the latter is invoked for being more tolerable, we inwardly know that no type of noise could replace the sublimity of silence.

The cure. – You ask from me the cure for your illness? Although we have barely diagnosed your illness, a vital symptom manifests itself openly: Weariness! Fortunately, you have a strong will to health. Then, whatever your illness is, I will prescribe a medication that is most effective against weariness, that is, the medication of pain which must be taken regularly with a silent stance. Bigger the pain, better the gain. Thus, endure your sufferings in silence and silently seek for higher sufferings!

Death as silence. – What is death? An eternal silence that cannot be heard and listened to.

Our task. – Our task is to become the uncompromising advocates of the chirping and singing of life against the abysmal silence of death.

My recipe of happiness. – The Spartan discipline, the Pythagorean silence, the Sufi solitude, and efficiency (virtu) in the Renaissance style.

Coptic-8th Century

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