Wisdom of obscurity

When fundamental conceptions are at stake in a disagreement, things get serious.

Then the discourse goes from normal discourse on established common ground to abnormal discourse where the ground itself is contested — and not only for that particular subject, but for one’s very subjectivity and for one’s enworldment.

Here our philosophical self-preservation instincts kick in. Those spiritual self-preservation instincts manifest as inner angst and outer moral indignation.

This kind of discourse the furthest thing from playful — unless we include under the heading of “play” contemptuous mockery, in which case,  the talk stops being discourse.


At certain depths of understanding, it is wise to stop talking and to turn to symbol, poetry, ritual — to the blessed ambiguity of non-explicit speech.

This is the practical wisdom of tradition.


Once traditions break down — once the traditional distancing formalities and taboos wear thin — once faiths are overexposed — everything gradually becomes symptomatic of bad faith.

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