On Silence

Silence is bad when it becomes an end in itself, and not a means to achieve some higher ideal. Monks are silent to learn how to listen better, not to unlearn how to speak. Silence pursued for silence’s sake is often tyrannical: it suppresses thought and would also demand silence from others; it fosters indolence; it dulls the mind and emotions. Keeping silence where one must speak is to refuse to live authentically; in the face of evil it is to be its accomplice.


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