Persuading others

How should we “teach” others? How to tell others what to do or what they ought to think or know? Solitaries are in the unique position of immediately recognizing the false premise: that what is essential can be socialized into the mind and heart. Solitaries have learned on their own what could not have been taught, only experienced. To achieve that understanding requires re-creating in oneself a disposition or feeling or sensitivity that cannot be taught. Experience brings insight: meditation, an experience of nature, selfless prayer, shared example, words of conviction or compassion heard or read, a sense of well-being, mutual comfort, egolessness, love. And the knowledge brought by insight can only be conveyed without authority or coercion. Coercion becomes irrelevant in solitude. Coercion is a tool only for social settings, and a futile one at that. Solitude diffuses a person’s urgency to teach others, coerce others, force others to do what is “right” or to do anything for which they are not ready. This is not using proverbial honey instead of vinegar. This is using silence and compassion instead of speech and empty gestures.