Clarification

It’s probably far from obvious to a reader of the previous post that The Sylph is in fact a friend of mine who prefers to remain pseudonymous. (I don’t know the cloudshift/photoblogger from Adam, and just plug his blog ’cause I like what he’s trying to do.) I included that e-mail because I really dug the way it played with the “cloud of unknowing” concept. But I do feel a more profound issue is at work here. The Sufi thinker Idries Shah says that the presence of people who feel somewhat lost by the discussion but who nonetheless can listen with an active, open mind is essential in order for any genuine teaching to take place. I don’t know if this would apply here, however, since I am by no means a qualified teacher myself, simply a freelance, masterless student with various headstrong preconceptions about what should constitute a valid teaching. It seems to me that it is a strong possibility, almost an inevitability that, in the course of my blogging, I will bark up many wrong trees. That’s why I feel reassured by the presence of blithe spirits like The Sylph, who can balance bafflement and wisdom and know enough to keep the tongue firmly planted in the cheek at all times!

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