On Shrinking

The more uniform and repetitive the conversation, the more any alternative or outlying opinion sounds like irrational extremism.

The more everyone is encouraged to speak, the less most people have to say — and the less audible above the din is anyone who does have something to say.

The more everyone assumes that we all know what is true, the less anyone learns how to defend a truth, or appreciates how difficult and rare it is to find such a thing.

The more we rely on labels and isms to define ourselves and our opponents, the less we understand either ourselves or them. 

The more we trust our enlightened view, the less are we capable of discerning the dimly lit rooms and gardens of the past, where men unlike ourselves talked for hours and hours about being and becoming; and hence the more do the very concepts of greatness and eternity recede from our vision.

The more we believe we have the world at our fingertips, the less we touch.

The more we employ language only as an instrument of training and consensus, the less it is understood as it was by the ancients, namely as the communication of one’s breath, which is to say of one’s psyche, one’s life; and hence the less we are able to give persuasive evidence of being alive at all.

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