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The very word “myth” means “silence” in ancient Greek: the myth—the mysteries—constitutes that about which we must remain silent. Men are silent—the strong, silent type; and so men guard the mysteries. To be wise is to understand the myth—to understand silence, to hold your peace. If you speak—as the masses speak—you will be partial and conceal the totality, a totality that cannot be expressed in words.

If you praise it, you blame it; if you blame it, you praise it—if you build it up, you burn it down; if you burn it down, you build it up. The only way to escape the dialectical interchange is to be silent—if you intervene, you will attain the opposite to your conscious intention. Only a wise man—as with the farmer in the Chinese parable who meets misfortune and good luck alike with “We’ll see”—knows that liberation is to step outside the interplay.

To be silent is to reflect the mystery, the mystery cannot be expressed because it has withdrawn itself—since it has become tiny, as small as a mustard seed, it is invisible to most people. It speaks to us all the time, it speaks with its silence—the loud sound most difficult to hear. When we mirror the mystery, become silent, we become procreative—the creator withdraws; emptiness is fullness. Hence the sages efface even their names, become the sound of silence. Only the man with no name can create; and yet they call the silent one “anti-hero” (recognised in the mirror).

When the masses talk, they lose the silence—they must fill in the gaps, too anxious to receive the mystery (women, that is). In politics, the left proposes—being feminine—and the right opposes, with silence, being masculine. The right has nothing to propose because it respects the mystery—the mystery that pervades all activity, from oil prospecting to religion—that holds that creation occurs in silence and cannot be fully described. Wittgenstein: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” If you refuse to remain silent—silence is violence, the activists chant—then there can be no creation. The creation is too vast to encompass in language: it can be experienced, it can be pointed to—as the finger points in Zen; the babblers look at the finger—few look at what it points to.

Art reflects the mystery: the mystery is a fountain that gives and gives without condition, to create is pleasure—silence is the greatest creative pleasure. To give without condition is to love—love is a silent mystery; its silence is the husk that guards the seed.


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