The Enchiridion - Part 46

On no occasion call yourself a philosopher, and do not speak much among the uninstructed about theorems (philosophical rules, precepts): but do that which follows from them. For example, at a banquet do not say how a man ought to eat, but eat as you ought to eat. For remember that in this way Socrates also altogether avoided ostentation: persons used to come to him and ask to be recommended by him to philosophers, and he used to take them to philosophers: so easily did he submit to being overlooked.

This is interesting, and something I occasionally fail at. And if you count blogging publicly as being among the uninstructed, I fail regularly! In essence though, the advice is to act, rather than speak. This reappears in part 52.

Accordingly, if any conversation should arise among uninstructed persons about any theorem, generally be silent; for there is great danger that you will immediately vomit up what you have not digested. And when a man shall say to you, that you know nothing, and you are not vexed, then be sure that you have begun the work (of philosophy). For even sheep do not vomit up their grass and show to the shepherds how much they have eaten; but when they have internally digested the pasture, they produce externally wool and milk. Do you also show not your theorems to the uninstructed, but show the acts which come from their digestion.

I love this metaphor, and it rings true. When I come across something interesting and important, I often want to share and discuss it before the concepts have sunk in. I cut myself some slack when it comes to blogging; for one, I'm not inundated with traffic. More imporatantly though, writing, for me, s part of the digestion process.

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