Fool’s Words

redlotusreflectLotus from murk blooms

Muddy water sliding off

Crimson petals stunning


There is an old saying (I am fond of them) that says “Better to stay silent and be thought a fool than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”  Dozen others from a score of cultures exists.  The basic premise is that the more a person knows, hopefully the more they know when to say it.  The Tao points to the idea that letting go of knowledge is one path to enlightenment. 

 Whether this is a direct meaning and as the Bible says “Approach the Lord as a child” or a call to simply to learn the difference between what can be said and what should be said is a question for scholars and philosophers.  I will say that on occasion, I find it difficult not to prove myself a fool.  It is a difficult lesson to learn, especially in the American culture where small talk and filling the silence is almost a societal norm.  If you are reading this, there are some who say that the blog is the 21st century version of salon, pulpit, and soapbox all rolled into one.

The question then becomes, do you speak lightly or not at all.  One of the reasons I started this particular blog and moved the retreat into a virtual arena is to allow a certain flavor of speaking becomes habit.  As with much of the Tao and attendant literature,   the whole situation becomes a paradox of action through non-action.    

Personally, I believe this is a matter of introspection and self-examination, thought before speech.  Are the words you speak not only true but also helpful?   Is there simplicity to the speech?  Or as is usually want, are a multitude of words and symbols and concepts used to create a picture that soon becomes as murky as the pond and as confused as a knot of windblown string fought from the hands of a child (see what I mean)?    


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