Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sounds of Silence

Image from  favim.com

I just learned something quite fascinating. In the country of Bali, on the first day of the Hindu new year, no one talks, travels or works. It's a day of silence, prayer and reflection that enables the Balinese to start the New Year with spirits renewed.

And here's something else that's not only fascinating, but mind-boggling. The American eco-activist John Francis spent the years from 1973 to 1990 in incomplete silence. It is said that once he experienced the beauty of keeping his mouth shut, he didn't open it again for 17 years with one exception: to tell his parents how much he loved them.

According to Francis, "silence is not just not talking. It's a void. It's a place where all things come from. All voices, all creation comes out of this silence. So when you're standing on the edge of silence, you hear things you've never heard before, and you hear things in ways you've never heard that before."

The Italian psychiatrist Piero Ferrucci has said, "Our culture is suffering from an overdose of action and a shortage of contemplation. I consider contemplation a basic need--- you even see it in animals." It's their way (and our way) of recharging the batteries. Sadly, for most people, this basic physiological need is completely overlooked, ignored and/or denied.

One might go so far as to say that modern people seem to do whatever they can to chase away the silence. They actually fear it. As French philosopher Blaise Pascal said "Eternal silence of those infinite spaces fills me with dread." An American-born Buddhist monk put it this way: "Silence is confrontational to the unstable mind. It won't allow you to escape from all the voices in your head."

The ultimate byproduct of the unwillingness or inability to become silent, is that one is unable to make contact with their deeper core, higher self, pure soul or what ever you want to call it - - and so become detached from their essence, their truth, their God.

"To hear the voice of God, you must be silent." Why? "Because God whispers."

2 comments:

Catherine Behan said...

Dear Susan,

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Fondly and Quietly,
Catherine

A most wonderful posting.

Selah

Rebecca said...

Ahhhh...silence IS golden...and a key to taking in ALL that is LIFE!!

Love and Light,
Rebecca of Dreamhill