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Safeguard all existence from idle talk. I do not quite see how you will translate into different languages this very exact and significant expression  idle talk. In some languages it has synonyms, but in others it would have to be expressed descriptively, which is not always desirable.

When we speak about all kinds of meaningful concepts, good and bad, often, together with dreadful words, such as betrayal, there may also be added those of seemingly small importance, such as empty talk. Someone may say, "Strange, that a concept of emptiness can have some importance, and be especially harmful."

But let him who does not ponder on what he says reflect carefully on the real harm brought about by nothing more than idle talk. The usual attitude is: "Just so," "Simply spoken," "Just at random." But it is not so simple. Simply is a good word, because any simplicity in all its applications is good. But the trouble is that he who utters this sanctimonious formula, "Just so," has nothing to do with real simplicity, and most of all does have something to do with ignorance.

Often it happens that a man remembers the most crude and primitive actions and motives and insists that through these he personally felt much more simple. But this was not simplicity  it was merely unsociability. Thus the fine meaning of enlightened simplicity is abused.

All kinds of slander are uttered especially often amidst senseless idle talk. From it results obscenity, harmful condemnation, and carelessness in general. When the whole world is shaken by confusion and convulsions, idle talk becomes especially unbearable. There is so little time, there are so few moments to express the most essential, the most significant and undelayable! And these most precious, unrepeatable hours are madly expended in crowding space with idle talk. Not rarely, those who like ignominious idle talk call it a rest. And they add, "One cannot always talk seriously, let us just chat a little." If you think about this superficial expression "chat a little," you will see that essentially it cannot bring quiet, but on the contrary will lead to irritation. It is good to stir up the water if this has some significant, benevolent meaning.

Prattle is contrary to sense and will not prove anything, it is also unseemly. Who can say when out of that which is not serious something serious will develop? Who will attempt to judge precisely which weed seed will most quickly choke the careful plantings? There is hardly a gardener who alongside careful, useful plantings will also strew weed seeds. It would seem that this is quite a clear example, but, unfortunately, idle talk is not regarded as weeds. Weeds grow near dirty roads and abandoned habitations, or near all kinds of ruins and dunghills.

If idle talk is likened to weeds, then the locations where it grows also are defined quite precisely. One prattles on dirty roads, and in a decayed, dusty daily existence. One prattles because of idleness, ignorance, dullness. Yet all stupefaction leads to coarseness, that most frightful coarseness of character which is not only contrary to all culture but also to civilization.

In coarseness man also loses the sense of justice, co-measurement, and tolerance. Coarseness begins from a very small thing, from almost unnoticeable licentiousness, bravado, from allowing many small traits to creep in which, if vigilance and solicitude were used, could not develop at all. From the growth of grass one can learn many signs of life. Observe with what amazing insistence all kinds of weeds make their invasion; and where there are weeds the place is already polluted in some way. In this everyday example one is reminded of the entire psychology, and perhaps, to say it better, the physiology of idle talk. Speaking briefly, idle talk pollutes existence.

Such nasty idle talk occurs in many forms. It pollutes family life, it makes hearts cruel, and, finally, it sullies space itself, because every sound not only does not die but changes and is carried far and high. It sometimes happens that in the life of a family a voluntary fine is imposed for using profanity. This is a good custom. Likewise it would not be so bad to also establish a voluntary fine for any and all idle talk. How can one lay down conditions on the limits of idle talk? It is not so difficult to determine. If one can crystallize that which is said as having a significant aim, then it is no longer idle talk. But if sanctimonious formulas are uttered  "Just so," or "I did not think"  this will be within the boundaries of idle talk, a speck of dust in human existence.

But should one be silent? This may be said by a man who wishes to avoid responsibility for what he says. First of all, it would appear cowardly, and each cowardice is primarily ignorance. It would seem that so much is given to all, so rich and generous is all Earth and the Supermundane that there will not be time enough to become mutually affirmed in these beautiful gifts. Not to waste time on empty prattle and nonsense will depend on one's habits.

On the whole, can there be a condition of non-thinking? Truly, to compel oneself not to think is far more difficult than to make oneself think. Thought is such an unalienable, constant condition of existence, that some sort of unnatural intoxication would have to exist in order for the organism to reach a state of coma.

When people from the earliest age are taught to converse meaningfully and to think constantly, they derive real joy from this natural capacity, and their life becomes filled with importance. Each day and each hour they can realize that something constructive has been accomplished.

Many times it has been said that a somnolent state is not the absence of thought. In sleep one contacts the Subtle World; in sleep one learns a great deal and one awakes not only physically renewed, as it is thought, but also enriched in spirit. Probably, many have observed that in falling asleep with some benevolent thought, they would awaken in the morning repeating mentally the resolution of this very same thought, quite often in a clear and new form for them. The work of thought is limitless.

If this realm of thought-energy is so exalted and noble, have we the right to obstruct it with nonsense and the weeds of idle talk? It would seem to be quite clear, and yet, it should be inscribed upon a scroll in every educational institution, and in all life, be it of the state, society, or family.

The present is a difficult time. One should realize the more where all that pollutes and is harmful has been secreted!

The masks of pretense and hypocrisy are many-faced. Authenticity and simplicity must be applied in their true, responsible aspect. This is by no means an abstraction, but a simple responsibility in facing existence, which comprises the duty of every man.

And it is not difficult at all, in fulfilling this high task, first of all to reject idle talk  this litter, this devourer of valuable time. Such rejection alone will bring into life that significance which will co-resound with all beauty, with the Supermundane and the Eternal.

Tzagan Kure

June 6, 1935

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