remaining silent
escape logic by escaping language
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muß man schweigen.
What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.
negative thinking > achieving negative goals > remaining silent
For many, it is easier to be awed by the fireworks of words, than cradled and sprung by breath.

Like humans, dumb brutes can be suspicious or fearful, selfish or lethal.  But humans also have the gift of language - we can use words (and other symbols) to reinforce suspicion, amplify violence, and perpetuate hatred and horror.  Labels trigger preconceptions, feedback makes things worse, and language spins nightmares.

When language inhibits change, then perhaps silent change is all that remains.  Instead of the romantic idea of the redemption of speech, we have the renunciation of speech - speaking away.
Not building but drawing A monument is a building with a message to future generations.  Le Corbusier wanted to build a monument that wasn't a monument - but he was prevented from doing so.

negative thinking > examples > negative architecture

Not cooking There are two opposite extremes of cookery values.

The French and the Chinese respect those cooks who make the most elaborate dishes out of the least ingredients.

The Japanese and (traditionally) the British respect those cooks who allow the best ingredients to speak for themselves.

Empty speech [Lacan]
Wu Wei - 
Not monkeying around
Wu Wei is the Chinese for non-action. This is recommended by the Dao De Ching at all levels, from the personal spiritual to the political imperial level.

Wu Wei can be poetically translated as No Monkeying Around. The Chinese character for Wei can be seen as a monkey’s paw.

Rumi-nating "There is a channel between voice and presence,
A way where information flows.

In disciplined silence the channel opens.
With wandering talk it closes."

[Rumi, Unseen Rain (tr J. Moyne & C. Barks, Threshold, 1986) p 25]

Negative theology "Considering that every predicative language is inadequate to the essence, in truth to the hyperessentiality (the being beyond Being) of God; consequently, only a negative (‘apophatic’) attribution can claim to approach God and to prepare for a silent intuition of God." [Derrida]

The DAO that can be told is not the eternal DAO.

We end with the impossible: the monument that is not a monument, the literary text that is not a text, …
Page last updated on February 19th, 2001
Copyright © 2000, 2001 Richard Veryard