Long-time readers of this blog will have noticed the sudden proliferation of password-protected posts throughout the archives. I have already provided many of you with the necessary passwords to access this material; if you haven’t received them, please e-mail me. But why have I done this? For several reasons.
To begin with, colleagues have been warning me about two things: (a) I should anticipate that some of the regimes I deal with in my journalistic work shall probably try (if they haven’t already) to data mine this blog and my social network profiles; and (b) I need to be a bit more careful about what future employers can read about me and from me. The sad truth is that there are many people who either don’t understand that a person’s beliefs and character can evolve over time, or they do not value vulnerability and transparency, or if they do, they use it against others. So yes, I’m self-censoring, to protect others and to protect myself. However, these aren’t the only reasons.
Additionally, and perhaps most fundamentally, I need some more separation between the public and private spheres of my life, for my own mental health’s sake. I need to take some concrete steps to re-assert boundaries between the different aspects of my life. This blog was always an experimentation in blurring lines, particularly when I’ve been blogging about my spirituality. To now set up a private personal blog strictly for friends and family to read would require migrating four years’ worth of content; it’s simply more elegant to password-protect the content. It also still maintains the conceptual integrity of this blog, at least somewhat, and avoids the more extreme version of self-censorship, namely, actively deleting content. Moreover, as I think of it, this is perhaps one more stage in my ongoing experimentation of the dialectic between public and private, secular and sacred, body and soul, speaking and silence.
Finally, from time to time, I have crossed the bounds of propriety. I cannot undo past damage (such as there has been any — the truth is, my audience is fairly niche), but I can mitigate future damage.
“O Son of Dust! The wise are they that speak not unless they obtain a hearing, even as the cup-bearer, who proffereth not his cup till he findeth a seeker, and the lover who crieth not out from the depths of his heart until he gazeth upon the beauty of his beloved. Wherefore sow the seeds of wisdom and knowledge in the pure soil of the heart, and keep them hidden, till the hyacinths of divine wisdom spring from the heart and not from mire and clay.” — Baha’u'llah, Hidden Words, Persian #36
“Man’s speach is the revealer of his heart. In whatever world the heart travel, man’s conversation will revolve around that center. From his words you can understand in what world he is traveling, wherther he is looking upward toward the realm of light or downward to the nether world, whether he is mindful or unaware, whether he is alive or dead. For this reason His Holiness ‘Ali says: ‘Man is hidden behind his tongue. Out of the abundance of his heart does man speak.’” — Abdu’l-Baha