Silence; The Loudest Sound
In a world that is so noisy, silence has become such an alien.
Noise shadows our thoughts, suffocates our senses and shuts up our hearts.
I am no longer able to live in the present moment. I am no longer able to know reality, to live my reality.
Noise imprisons us in a cave where we are left alone, with nothing and no one to accompany us.
People pay thousands of dollars for an ideal ‘getaway’ from the noise and busyness of everyday life.
What if I told you, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get away from it all? What if I told you, that silence is within you…
The most central part of us isn’t our brain but our heart: the part that tells us who we really are, who we ought to become, what we long for, our hurts, our fears.
When I choose noise, when I choose to be constantly surrounded by the noise of the television, music, people… but worst of all, when I choose to be surrounded by the noise of my mobile phone.
Yes we can turn our phones to silent, where we can’t ‘hear’ it but there’s a deafening noise our phones make that we aren’t aware of.
I recently discovered this when I made the decision to switch my phone off for a whole entire week in order to practice silence.
What a difference.
I realized the constant checking of my phone, that constant ‘go to’ when I have some down time was causing such a disturbance even into the depth of my soul. We have created an entire world through these small devices. We’ve been fooled into the notion that being connected to everyone I know and connected to the rest of the world means I am not living in isolation. We think if we didn’t have our phones we would be completely lost, not knowing what’s going on with our dear ones or what the news is telling us to ‘pray’ for.
I recognized my phone made some sort of internal noise; a screeching noise that deafened my internal ears and my inner heart. I was tricked into thinking that I was living in the present moment, as I would browse through the ‘current’ events. In reality I was living in a trapped world, where there was no past, present or future. The present moment, the now was slipping away from me, blinding me from who I am and suffocating my ability to interact with my environment and grow.
I was no longer aware of what was before me; the present moment that testifies to my being was gone.
I was disabled.
I was unable to love who was with me in that present moment. I was unable to engage in the nature around me. I was unable to grow to a fountain of life.
This deep piercing noise caused a division between my mind and my heart. It muted the ache in my heart and I became numb to what was truly hurting and tormenting me. I did not know what my heart was yelling out to me. I knew my heart was sick, but how sick? What was causing my heart to ache?
What is the remedy for this?
Silence is the absence of noise that surrounds us along with an interior state, which takes us to the presence of God.
Silence leads us towards the center, the human heart; the throne of God.
Silence liberates us from the enslavement of the past and the future.
Even when I am not occupied with something physical in my hand, half of the time I am either thinking of the past and the other half I am thinking about the future.
Silence cannot merely be read or talked about, but it is to be experienced.
It is lived.
It is a way of life.
When words are forsaken, a new awareness is welcomed.
It is not just simply an ending to words but it makes sense to all that is both spoken and unspoken.
Silence is fullness, not emptiness.
It is not absence, but the awareness of a Presence.
Silence is a way of watching and listening intently to what is happening within us and around us.
It is stopping interiorly and digging into the cellars of the heart.
Silence is a challenge and when we refuse to take up this challenge, we deny ourselves of what we ought to know about ourselves. As a result we live a life less than we are truly called to be. The ultimate sin is not pride; it is the forgetfulness of who we are. This is a great catastrophe.
Do not miss the opportunities of silence that are given to us each new day; a silent moment alone, a walk alone, when we are stuck in traffic, waiting for the bus, a silent moment in the presence of a dear friend. We should be so willing to enter in those times of silence and fathom them.
We are what we do with the silence that is given to us.
At the same time, silence needs to be cultivated.
Silence needs to be given it’s proper time and place in our day. It needs to be practiced.
Silence is almost a paradox in our time as it is perceived as something negative: that quiet person in the corner who doesn’t want to socialize, an ‘awkward’ silence with someone we don’t know very well, or the absence of God’s voice.
But it is in silence where God created.
It is the ambiance and the environment.
The sacred space into which God speaks His Divine Words, both to create the world and to save it from death and corruption.
God spoke life in silence.
God wants to speak in silence today, now, in my very own silence.
I challenge you this week, the holiest week of the year, to put away that which steals your inner silence. Be silent before the Holy One that you may receive His Life, His Power, His Glory, His Blessings and His Majesty.
He has become our Salvation.
(Photo courtesy of Mahmoud Marei)