Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Whereof one cannot speak...

... thereof one must be silent .Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951)

Those expecting a long blog post based upon the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Ludwig Wittgenstein's early work of philosophy and highly influential in the formation of the philosophies of Logical Positivism) are going to be disappointed.  I am just using the quote to say that I've not had much to say lately, so I have taken Ludwig's advice and kept quiet.

If you do want to find out more, there are links to the Wikipedia articles above, and you can buy Wittgenstein's Tractatus here or go straight for his magnum opus the Philosophical Investigations (which incidentially refutes a lot of the claims made in his earlier work) and buy that here...

That was a longer preamble than planned.

Anyway, the long and short of this is to say that I've been taking a post-Christmas break, I've had some time with family and I've not (in case you haven't noticed) prioritised time here on the blog, or with my usual Social Media updates.

I've missed it, but it's not been a priority.  And I suspect that says something about 'online life'.  I am a communicator, or rather I love to communicate - to converse, to share, to discuss and debate.  I am not always a good communicator, sometimes responses to emails and letters slip by me, sometimes I forget to let people know in good time what I would like them to contribute to, for instance, an event; this is partly because my natural inclination is to do things at the last minute.  I like spontaneity, a bit of risk, a slight adrenalin buzz even.  At any event from a talk to a sermon or worship leading I like to feel confident in what I am doing but not over-prepared.  I tend to work to deadlines, I rarely hand things in late but will often be right up to the wire in submitting a piece of work or a report.  I may well spend most of a week reflecting on a Biblical passage for a sermon, reading around the passage, looking up information and opinion on it, linking the ideas that come from the passage with contemporary events or items in the news or local issues, but usually I will not actually write a thing until after whatever appointment I have had on a Saturday evening.  It'll be ready and fresh and (hopefully) dynamic on a Sunday - at least that is how I justify it to myself!

But that doesn't distract from the love I have of communicating and sharing, and the feedback that comes from a good hearty debate/discussion/argument.  One of the frustrations I have in life is when what should be a mutual exchange becomes one person shouting at another, I enjoy the riposte, the sharpening of opinion, openness to changing one's mind, the need to justify an opinion - what we might callt he accountability of a discussion.  It's one of the reasons I have veered towards Twitter, as the feedback is quick and feels less like shouting out into the air and hoping someone will respond, which is sometimes the image I have of blogging.

Yesterday someone who I follow on Twitter shared a post which left me physically shaken;  heart pounding, head aching stuff.  It was the ranting of an uninformed opinionated oddball at someone who I don't actually find terribly likable but for whom I felt a great deal of sympathy at the end - it was Piers Morgan being berated by Talk Radio Jock Alex Jones.  This is how not to debate, shouting skewed facts at another person with no reference to anything but one's own ego.  I'm not going to link to it here (though it was tempting) but it has made me think a lot about communication and just how bad people with an opinion and minimal grasp on reality can be at it!  Please note I am not making a point about the subject, but the method, but if Jones is the spokesperson for the pro-gun lobby then the debate is pretty much over....

Many Christians behave like we are on radio too!  We don't listen, we broadcast.  For me the joy of a physical conversation is responding and listening as well as speaking, if only we could learn to do that more in our relationships with others as we talk about and genuinely share rather than impose our views.

There's also a lot to be said with regards to what that means with our praying too.  We can do a lot of talking, not sure we are so good at listening, though.