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My approach to Christianity


Only silence is great
Jean-Claude Carrière Film-maker
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When the Buddha was being asked about God, soul, eternal life, all the traditional beliefs, religious traditions, Buddha answered by what are known as 'noble silences'. He didn't answer, as simple as that. A way to say, 'This is something that should not be asked'. It is something to which we can't find an answer, therefore it should not be asked. If you want to believe in an eternal life, and the existence of a soul which will outlive your body you can believe in this, and I am free to not believe in it. Therefore, 'Only silence is great', like Alfred de Vigny used to say, all the rest is weakness.

Quand on interrogeait le Bouddha sur dieu, sur l’âme, sur la vie éternelle,  enfin sur toutes les croyances habituelles  des traditions religieuses, le bouddha répondait par ce qu’on appelle «des nobles silences». Il ne répondait pas, tout simplement. Une façon de dire: «C’est une question qui ne se pose pas. C’est une question à laquelle nous n’avons pas de réponse, par conséquent c’est une question qui ne se pose pas. Si vous voulez croire qu’il y a une vie éternelle et une existence de l’âme qui survivra à la disparition de votre corps, libre à vous de le croire, et libre à moi de ne pas le croire». Donc… «Seul le silence est grand», comme dit Alfred de Vigny, tout  le reste est faiblesse.

French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (1931-2021) began his association with films aged 24 when he was selected by Jacques Tati to write for him. This early experience led to further contact with other film-makers, including Luis Buñuel with whom Carrière collaborated for many years. He wrote screenplays for films including Belle de Jour, The Discreet Charms of the Bourgeoisie, Tin Drum and Danton.

Listeners: Andrzej Wolski

Film director and documentary maker, Andrzej Wolski has made around 40 films since 1982 for French television, the BBC, TVP and other TV networks. He specializes in portraits and in historical films. Films that he has directed or written the screenplay for include Kultura, which he co-directed with Agnieszka Holland, and KOR which presents the history of the Worker’s Defence Committee as told by its members. Andrzej Wolski has received many awards for his work, including the UNESCO Grand Prix at the Festival du Film d’Art.

Tags: Alfred de Vigny, God, Buddha

Duration: 47 seconds

Date story recorded: January 2010

Date story went live: 27 July 2010