Feeling Contrary About the Dalai Lama

I’m feeling contrary about the Dalai Lama. Well, not actually the Dalai Lama, just something he supposedly said that’s making the rounds as one of those meme pics on Facebook. Here’s what’s got me on edge:

Dalai Lama quote and image from sun-gazing.com.
Dalai Lama quote and image from sun-gazing.com.

The quote: “When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.”

Whether the Dalai Lama said this is quite beside the point. The reason this irritates me is that it’s one of those prescriptions for life we’re all supposed to follow. “Shut up and listen.” Of course, if you’re going to listen, that quite necessitates someone else talking. Unless, the intent is to get everyone on earth to be quiet forever and ever without end.

And, what’s wrong with repeating what we know? Are we supposed to keep everything we’ve learned inside our heads, never to pass this information along to another human being who may just need the knowledge? How else would culture be transmitted if someone didn’t do some talking along the way?

Agh! I hate lopsided quotes. Here’s another one, this one from a tea bag, not the Dalai Lama:

Teabag quote
Teabag quote

“Live through consciousness, not through emotion.”

Emotion helps us to be conscious. If we felt nothing, we’d be numb. I think I’ll keep my emotion, thank you very much, and marry it to my consciousness.

While I may feel contrary about these aphorisms, at least my crankiness makes me analyze them in order to determine whether it makes sense to follow them or discard them as so much rubbish.

And that’s the value of living with emotion.



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