Silence, an Eye of Knowledge

Mehdi Aghamohammadi


One of the conspicuous features of the twentieth-century West was silence. This idea could be supported by examining reflections of Ludwig Wittgenstein, Fritz Mauthner, John Cage, Samuel Beckett, Ihab Hassan, Franz Kafka, Wassily Kandinsky, Jean-Paul Sartre, Virginia Woolf, Wolfgang Iser, Jacques Derrida, and Pierre Macherey. To me, silence is not a mere theory, but rather a phenomenon from which we can get practical benefits. I believe silence is an eye, eye of knowledge. We can broaden our knowledge of the world through silence. To convey the idea that silence is an eye, I have concocted the word slence, where has replaced the letter i and stands for the eye. This means knowledge can enable us to see, thereby acquiring knowledge of, what used to be invisible, and accordingly unknowable. In other words, through silence, we can achieve a certain type of literacy. I substantiate this claim by exploring the Horus myth, Ojo de Dios, John Cage’s 4' 33", the nature of Expressionist paintings, Hinduism, thoughts of Hermes Trismegistus and Ibn al-Arabi, and practices of Mohammad, the prophet of Islam.


Eye, John Cage, Knowledge, Silence, Twentieth Century

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