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June 27, 2020 / Congau


One word. Then silence. The seed was sown. No more was needed.

They understood what it meant, and it opened a flood of thought in their mind. Only they could not say it since it had already been said. With that one word. Adding another word would subtract from the meaning. The richness of thought would be compromised. Therefore silence.

“Brevity is the soul of wit,” said the man who left a volume of greatness. His words are loaded with meaning; his plays are interpreted and reinterpreted and masses of brick-sized books have been piled on top of each other to try to express what he has already said. It’s hard to be silent.

“In the beginning was the word.” A biblical sentence with multiple meanings and yet with only one meaning: In the beginning was the essence of it all.

The word is the essence; it is more essential than the object it denotes, for that petty object is full of irrelevant accidents.

The word may contain an idea that can potentially expand ad infinitum. Trying to relate its entire meaning by means of intricate explanations risks getting you ever farther away from the wealth of its essence and gets you entangled in details of decreasing relevance. Then talking will get you nowhere and the more you say the less you say.

The human language is a poor device. It fails to express our thoughts. The best we can do is to indicate our meaning by simple words that have an approximate common connotation and then just hope we will not be too badly misunderstood.

The less said, the more said. The essence should not be watered down. It is all there in that one succinct expression. Say it. Hear it. Think it. It is what it really is: It.

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