"Oddness, according to his holiness, was simply a tool with which to create contrasts for an audience. He offered an analogy for the inquisitor - the comedian's craft, he said, was akin to building two walls side by side and leaving a space in between. The mere presence of those two walls then creates a contrast based on an awareness of the space. And by building such contrasting walls of oddness, the comedian is implicitly calling attention to the length and the depth of the silent space that connects the two. And within that space, said Maharishi, lies the harmony that thrills the soul and appeals to the heart!

The comedian, said Maharishi with beatific patience, must first say one thing and then say another thing and these two things will usually contrast - but what makes the contrast so evident is the journey in between, which is the journey through a field of silence. And it is the experience of this journey - from, perhaps, the gross to the subtle -- that creates delight. The silence, then, is the very impulse of life!

Steve Allen on Foreign Man
Matthew Flores
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