Reducing Futile Speech

open mouth

“The struggle to reduce conversation is more difficult than the struggle to reduce food and sleep. Moreover, there is a limit to food consumption. Indigestion due to excessive eating will by itself compel one to reduce eating. Similarly, there is a limit to sleeping.

On the other hand, conversation requires no effort, and no difficulty is experienced in keeping the tongue in operation. Man resorts to pleasures so as to experience delight and joy. Conversation aside, enjoyment of all pleasures (huzuz) diminishes with increased indulgence. Eating with a full stomach does not bring about any enjoyment of food. Excessive sleep, too, is not enjoyable. But the enjoyment derived from speaking is limitless. In fact, pleasure increases the more one speaks. Hence, reducing conversation is the most difficult… Reducing speech has therefore been stipulated as a fundamental of spiritual struggle.”

(The Path To Perfection, p.41)

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