This excerpt is too long to conscientiously include in the upcoming post I was going to cite it in, so I’m shaving it off and leaving it here.
Needless to say, the spiritual aspirations of ascetical practices and the cultivation of interior stillness are so far removed from our rabidly online existence and culture of online commenting that it seems clear that the very virtues that most of these fora lack and need are at massive cross-purposes with them.
The excerpt below is of interest in looking at various motives for writing, or not writing, and at least one kind of concern and purpose that runs afoul, in principle if not in practice, of the purposes that can often attend to writing. Also of concern is the understanding of words, and speaking, and the highest aims one ascribes to both — and whether writing is ever more than a proxy for that.
This formulation is, perhaps, approaching what many today would consider extreme (in rhetoric, if not in actual sentiment — though it is not far from the attitude of those who pull out of social media altogether, or who get rid of their cell phones), but for that very reason, helpful.