Silence & Suffering

Ars Poetica V (personal lyric, cont.)

Speech is among the most fundamental ways we have to connecting our selves to other selves.

This is what Gregory Orr can tell us about silence & suffering

There are silences that are positive and powerful and willed by the self, but many silences have a destructive origin and destructive consequences: They are the result of shame or fear or inhibition:

  • Shame

In the silence of shame we imagine that others would recoil in disgust if they knew our story. Or we can be inhibited by the sense that our experience has no significance or value.

  • Fear

We feel we are still in danger from hurtful people – or: we will hurt other people by speaking.

  • Oblivion

A feeling that cherished people have vanished and we are powerless to recover them.

mary-mattingly-2

Mary Mattingly: Floating a Boulder (2012)

Often silences are connected to a sense that survival depends on them – that we will be stronger by being silent. Or that being silent is the only way we can survive; to endure our suffering we must not speak (not even to ourselves).

BUT THE TRUTH IS THAT THIS SILENCE MAKES US THE VICTIM – NOT THE MASTER – OF OUR EXPERIENCES.

To suffer in silence (like grieving in silence) is destructive of the self since it means walling off aspects of experiences and the emotions connected with them.

 


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