The world around us is too noisy, we are constantly surrounded by the murmur of the civilized world. We have almost completely forgotten today, how living a silent life in this noisy world could be. What secret could the silence have?
The mystery of silence becomes interesting for us when we become spiritual seekers. From that time on, we start looking for the essence of life, we wish to find an answer to the question:
”Who am I, and what is my mission on this Earth?”
We first look for the answer in the external world. We try to find an idea, an ideology and we identify with it in order to look for the answers to the questions that preoccupy us and cause that tormenting sense of want that spurred us to embark on a quest for answers.
After a lot of futile efforts we realize that no idea, ideology, teacher or master is able to provide us a satisfactory answer to those questions. We then turn inward, and start looking for the answers in ourselves.
Turning inwards requires quiet and tranquility from us, so silence becomes important for us from that time on. We find a quiet corner for ourselves where we are able to think and meditate without being disturbed. We leave behind civilization, go to the mountains, nature or the loneliness of a monastery.
Here at first we believe that we have found what we were looking for, because the quiet of nature, or the quiet life of a closed community surrounds us, and the silence we have found gives us satisfaction and happiness. If we are able to tranquilize the noisy world inside our head in this peaceful environment, external silence may be followed by meditation after a while. The forced internal silence and temporary tranquility is the result of the suppression of thinking. This silence is, however, not our own, it is not a part of our Soul.
It is aptly demonstrated by the fact that when we return to the noisy revolving stage of society, we are surrounded by the vivid world of a big city, our hard-acquired tranquility is gone immediately, our cherished silence disappears as if it had never existed. If we are lucky, and the external world remains silent around us, only the silence of our meditation is lost every time when the mind starts working, and thoughts and emotions flood our brain.
All this shows that there is something wrong with us, we were completely mistaken when we believed that the magic power of silence will set us free of ourselves. The problem is that were looking in the wrong direction when we thought that silence is something outside ourselves, something that we are able to achieve by suppressing the work of the mind.
Silence is one of the qualities of the Miracle, that is our own Self, the Consciousness. We have therefore never lost it, because we cannot lose what we ourselves are. We need to find our inner Self again by allowing Consciousness to wake up to itself in us.
From that time on the silence, will always remain with us, we no longer need to look for it in the external world or force it upon us by suppressing our stream of thoughts. After that, no matter where we are in the world, even at the noisiest railway station, we will never lose our inner silence, our Self.
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Thank you Edward Morgan, a welcome subject: SILENCE. Let’s skip using internet for a few days each week, that’s a lot of noise… less. I’m into that practice right now. I wonder if the newsflashes in the coeo.cc page could have their own page, so that we have a choice to look into them. Or not.
Due to the moving images floating past, I find it very distracting and simply too much. The home site articles are published in coeo.cc as text-links, that’s much easier to “digest” and the choice is present to click and open them. Or not.. There’s a lot of LIFE shared on that coeo.cc page related to the member’s lives, more or less.
A separate page for newsflashes is similar, to me, as a telly that I can switch on or off. I switched living with a telly off in the year 1998 and it’s a blessing to me. I am, like Edward, very sensitive in my hearing and always feeling good with silence. When I’m in winter cold without cover for my ears I grow extremely agitated and anxious, with pain inside my inner ear, miserable.
During journeys with public transport I always have earwax with me to soften the sound of large Railway Halls and city-noise in general, but still keep in touch with hearing a human voice talking to me when I need a ticket or info. Or a warning not to cross the street when a car is coming.. from the right…ha ha.
(I still need to be vigilent with traffic, for in Holland cars drive on the right side of the road.)
When silence is outside of me, I can enter the silence within much better and it relaxes my nervous system. Also, what I’ve experienced lately, tiredness and exhaustion have a huge effect on sensitiveness of my nervous system. And fragmentation of attention. It’s also the Change I am Preparing myself for, or rather BEING in and CREATING the Change, I feel. How about replacing the term “Prepare for Change” with “Being the Change” or “Create the Change”? Just a suggestion.
I’ve always had this balance of being in silence and being in livelihood, in my life. Alone and with people around. As a young girl, living in a family of 11, I chose hollow spaces under shrubs or between them,
to crawl into and sit still in silence, huddled. Imagining that nodoby knew where I was and therefore nobody could ask anything from me. Happy and free, hiding in company of nature.
Later, during my walks in the UK countryside, whenever I discover a sheep-herd shelter in a hollowed out and dry place under a tree, I take a break and merge with the sheepish wooly warmth and contentment of these animals. The woolen threads are decorating the lower branches and it smells good. To me, the empty landscapes of Dartmoor is bliss to my soul. I now live on walking distance from the Moors.
Also I find it helpful to be with animals who are in silence, be it wild Dartmoor ponies or cows in a meadow. Joining them in that inner silent space of BEING. An awareness of a whole different quality shows up that involves seemingly un-used senses.
Fantastic article, I would love you too elaborate more about silence beyond the words of this article. I for one have been extremely sensitive to noise and I am always looking for silence. The civilization on this planet is way too noisy for me. Great topic of discussion, thank you so much.