[The Lord of Silence: general index]

20    The Plus and Minus of Silence

As speaking can be either fruitful and positive or barren and negative, so also can silence be plus or minus.

Here are a few examples of the plusses welcomed by God:

+ when silence is used as a pure tool in the search for spiritual truth and God.
+ when silence is used as a means of communication between people who are otherwise distant and out of touch.
+ when silence is kept in the place of words expressing calumny, judgment, condemnation, insult, hate, envy or plain discouragement.
+ when silence is not the absence of words but the avoidance of words that do not carry the seeds of life on the wind.

Silence is not acceptable to God when it is used:

- to avoid telling the truth.
- to withhold precious information.
- to abandon a person in danger.
- to avoid witnessing against a powerful person.
- through cowardice as in cases of honor.
- to wash one's hands of a complicated problem.
- to cover up egotism, falsity, or corruption.

And you: have you decided whether your silence shall be a plus or a minus in your whole life?

Verbania, 20 VI 1991

All good philosophy is but the handmaid to religion.

Francis Bacon, The Advancement of Learning, II, xxii.

Translation by George T. Peck

[Original Italian]

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