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George Orwell on Clear Thinking, Good Writing, and, as I find it, a Spiritual Practice

George Orwell (Press Card Photo)

George Orwell on Clear Thinking, Good Writing, and, as I find it, a Spiritual Practice

James Ishmael Ford

There are many religious practices.

Some are extra helpful than others.

For me the guts of that matter is revealed in Zen meditation and koan introspection.

But even so there are different disciplines that contact the guts and inform the thoughts.

One I take into consideration is writing as a religious observe.

I have numerous buddies who use journaling and different types of writing as an vital a part of their inside lives. While I assume one want watch out about any religious self-discipline that doesn’t embody a vital approach to verify one’s ego, and writing might be a narcissistic enterprise, I do assume writing has a lot benefit as each an adjunct and as a principal religious self-discipline.

Mostly checking is completed by having one other human being whom one trusts deeply to talk with on a common foundation. Someone strolling the trail, and is a tad farther alongside the way in which. Someone who has made tons of errors, and has discovered from them, and ideally has been herself or himself guided. And, hopefully, one who has tasted the fruits of victory, or in Zen’s terminology seen into the guts of the matter.

Of course we’re every of us, finally, accountable for our path, we should come to style, to see for ourselves. So, we should always attempt, no matter our disciplines is perhaps, to start out out robust. And, to be open to course adjustments, as we encounter sound seeming recommendation.

With that I find myself pondering of Eric Arthur Blair, or to you & me, George Orwell. Given the givens of our instances he has been a lot on my thoughts. I find myself contemplating the virtues of George Orwell’s pondering in lots of areas and wishing individuals had been paying nearer consideration to his cajoling and pushing.

There’s a good instance of this in a 1946 essay “Politics and the English Language.” There he affords six factors for clear writing and out of that on clear pondering. I recall when I first learn them and thought I’d additionally stumbled onto a trace of a means to make use of writing as a religious self-discipline.

Without a doubt Orwell was one of many sign mental figures of his day and I consider does have one thing to say to us past what one will get out of Animal Farm or 1984. Lots of fine warnings. Lots of fine pointers. Even for us religious varieties.

So, these six factors.

(1) Never use a metaphor, simile, or different determine of speech which you’re used to seeing in print.

(2) Never us a lengthy phrase the place a quick one will do.

(3) If it’s doable to chop a phrase out, at all times minimize it out.

(4) Never use the passive the place you should use the lively.

(5) Never use a overseas phrase, a scientific phrase, or a jargon phrase in case you can consider an on a regular basis English equal.

(6) Break any of those guidelines before say something outright barbarous.

I should admit they appear a lot extra helpful than Strunk & White, who’ve from my perspective been justifiably dragged over the coals of late.

I know this recommendation could be good for me in my writing. And in all probability for many who have to listen to me maintain forth. Me, I plan on considering these guidelines, then, hopefully, throw them away. Which, in fact, is a vital a part of any religious enterprise; if it’s a religious observe it’s about liberation not slavishly following some algorithm.

So, examine and throw away. Out of that maybe my writing, and who is aware of, possibly my pondering would possibly profit. And, out of that, possibly my religious eye, as effectively.

It is perhaps helpful for you, too.

Try it, you would possibly prefer it.

Or, higher but, it’d rework you in good and wholesome methods…


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