Silence Is No Nonsense


    I am in absolute faith that whatever a person may be or may believe oneself to be, one is in fact, always and everywhere, a manifestation of consciousness. And this is why it is not possible for anyone to pretend to be conscious. A full analysis of all phenomena of any form of human experience will evidently prove this. That there is such consciousness is certain but what it is is beyond all speech and thought. All thought and speech issued forth only from this consciousness whose existence is the precondition for all speech and thought. No speech or thought can express what this consciousness is because they themselves are expressed through this consciousness. This is where we encounter silence.

    The tools for understanding and expressing this phenomenon of consciousness have to come from, not within this (viz. speech and language) but from without, from outside this. This clearly indicates that expressing consciousness needs a language or a symbolic medium higher than this sensory language and so obviously beyond its comprehension capacity. Here it’s again pertinent to mention Wittgenstein for the ethical position he assigns or consigns to the ineffable (metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, logical form, pictorial form, etc.), meaning that which is too great or too beautiful to express in words. When \”reality is compared with propositions\” it is the form of propositions that determines the shape of reality (and not the other way round).

    The issue of realism (vs. anti-realism) in his magnum opus must address the question of the limits of language and the more the more specific question of what there is (or is not) beyond language. Subsequently, interpreters of the Tractatus Logico Philosophicus have moved on to questioning the very presence of metaphysics within the book and the status of the propositions of the book themselves. Wittgenstein preaches silence as regards anything that is of importance, including the final solution to the problems of philosophy.

    ‘Nonsense’ has become the paradigm of interpretative discussion on Wittgenstein during the last decade of the 20th century. Beyond the bounds of language lies ‘nonsense’ and Wittgenstein bans traditional metaphysics in that area. The indecisiveness arises concerning the question of what it is that inhabits that realm of nonsense since Wittgenstein does seem to be saying that there is something there to be shown (rather than said) and he characterizes it as the ‘mystical’. More recent readings tend to take nonsense more seriously as exactly that – nonsense.

    Therefore maximum we can proceed in the common human capacity – in experiencing, comprehending and expressing (or at best trying to do so) consciousness is to be silent. Silence speaks aloud as nothing else does and is the most expressive of all expressions. It’s like nature, either one understands nature or one does not understand nature. Thus, silence is golden, even if philosophy, thought and the human mind has created the greatest noise in its never-ending and continuous doctrinal clash between the idealists and the materialists, both in the Orient as well as in the Occident.

    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra, 1975 Odisha born, a Delhi University Post Graduate in Social Sciences, with a professional career in banking for around two decades, is engaged in creative writing and with film society. As on date he has two English poetry collections published, “Farewell To Kalpana Saikia” (Author’s Press, New Delhi) and “Bathing Ghat At Kotipalli” (Athena Books, Bhubaneswar). He has published English Essays, Poetry and Short Stories with English language magazine of Kendriya Sahitya Academy, Indian Literature and few others. He also does English subtitling for Odia language films. He is single and lives with his parents in Bhubaneswar.
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