The Power of Silence
And now, here is the section in this chapter on the power of silence.
Silence means you are not talking. Or it can mean that YOU are not talking but I am talking and you are letting me do the talking. Silence can mean that no one is talking, not even me.
Silence could mean that you are not even listening to your own thoughts. It might mean there are no thoughts happening, at all, for you to listen to, even if you were trying to listen.
Silence is VERY powerful. Within silence is great power, and part of that power is the power of pure potential. Within silence is the beginning of everything.
Before there was even no thing there was silence. There wasn’t even silence. Even silence was silent.
Even that doesn’t do what I am getting at any justice.
Silence is so deep, so !@+#?&**((0+7^$=%?>#?@!~ something or other, even I don’t have any words or sounds that can describe what silence is all about or what can happen when you start to pay attention to silence.
Naturally enough, to pay attention to silence, you are going to have to start noticing silence. That may well mean you are going to have to shut the bleep up. You may have to stop talking or singing or whatever, and long enough to actually begin to sink into silence.
I know that many of you get restless when you don’t have thousands of pounds (or kilograms) of noise blasting into your body. You feel uneasy if it gets too quiet. You need the distraction from your own interior noise, so you fill up the exterior with lots of noise and distraction.
There are many amusing stories about people who seek silence only to discover how noise filled the world you live in is, including the noises of your own body and especially the noises of your own thinking and of your own feelings.
Staying with interior silence and just letting yourself be very, very quiet in your own mind can often for many people be very, very challenging. That is why it can be extremely useful to practice one of several techniques to get some initial slowing down of the interior mental din that you are accustomed to and are habituated to.
We will begin to explore some of these techniques in later chapters. For now, it is enough for you to ask me to give you, grant you, interior silence and the ability to sink deep, deep, deep inside the crucible of your own interior inner world of pure silence.
Ask me: ‘God, please give me the peace that passeth all understanding,’ or,
‘God, please help me to have deep inner silence,’ or,
‘God, please let me hear no thing (nothing).’
You get the idea.
Please practice hearing silence as often as you can BUT make sure you stay involved in your life. Do not use this request of mine to use as an excuse to let your life become empty of engagement with the rest of me, for I am also very, very, very noisy.
To be aware of silence is to experience awareness of the gap between thoughts and awareness of noise, physical noise.
There may be sounds coming into your room from the cars going by on the street outside your house. There may be some noise or sounds coming from another room in the house that you live in, or from next door, or from some loud party down the block. There may be shrieks and yells and screams coming from somewhere, maybe even in your own room, maybe even from your own mouth. (That's a bit of a joke, by the way: Ha ha ha ha ha.)
To experience silence, sometimes you will have to listen to interruptions of your silence and there may be accompanying thoughts that come with sounds that you hear. These thoughts may be recognition thoughts, or feelings: Irritation, anger, longing, who knows?
The point is, when you are pursuing your awareness of inner silence, when you become aware that you are not experiencing silence and that you are locked up in some thought or hearing some noise, oh well, big deal!
Obviously, the whole world is going to blow up if you don’t have your ecstatic juncture of deep, inner peace. (That’s another joke, by the way: Ha ha.)
The trick is to be gentle with your self, and gentle with your attention, and gentle with your intention, and gently come back to being aware of the gap between your thoughts and feelings.
If some sound is there, pounding away, well, you do the best you can with being inside your self and being with the deep inner silence.
Because it is there: The deep inner silence is there.
Make no mistake about that: Even if you do not experience it, so what? It is still there, and it is always (t)here, and it is always waiting for you. You see, I am in that silence, waiting for you.
And I am waiting to welcome you to this silent treatment. And it is a treat, this silent silence that is in every loud, noisy noise.
Now, more about the power of silence but in other terms:
In this next example, in other terms, I introduce the idea of being silent and not saying anything at all: When to hold your tongue, bite your tongue, when NOT to speak, NOT to say whatever it is that you were about to say that will only complicate your life and the life of others.
In some classical religious texts, it says something along the line of: ‘Only answer yea or nay.’
What I want to tell you is that sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and listen. Perhaps this part of this chapter might be better called ‘The Power of Listening’ but I figure that in order to start listening you have to be silent unless you are listening to your self talk or listening to your own thoughts.
I want you to try listening to other people. Listen to what they say. Listen to what your mind starts to do. Listen to the words that come into your mind that you want to say in response to what they say AND then do not say those words.