Monday, August 4, 2008

Preaching to the choir

If we love truth, we will be lovers of silence. So say the words of the Syrian monk Isaac of Nineveh:

"Many are avidly seeking but they alone find who remain in continual silence... Every man who delights in a multitude of words, even though he says admirable things, is empty within. If you love truth, be a lover of silence. Silence like the sunlight will illuminate you in God and will deliver you from the phantoms of ignorance. Silence will unite you to God himself..."
(Pathways of Spiritual Living, Susan Annette Muto, Image Books, Garden City, NY, 1984, pg 58)

We live in a cacophonous world. Silence is avoided and averted.

Cell phones have MP3 capability meaning you can store your favorite music on your phone, and have it with you wherever you may be.

Bluetooth technology allows you to wear an appliance connected to your ear, through which your cell phone is connected.

It is 10:30 pm, I climb into bed, ready to drift off to sleep...a huge airplane roars over the apartment building in its approach for a atv with straight pipes accelerates from the stop light with an open throttle; a police car screams down the interstate just blocks away...two motorcycles throttle up, as if in a race...a vehicle pulls up to the stop light with the speakers throbbing loud enough to shake the windows of the apartment.

And my mind wanders back to the time of my childhood, when there were very few automobiles on the road; where the only radios were plugged into an electrical outlet; where there were no powerful huge jets flying overhead; where telephones were few and far between, and if you had one, you were on a party line with others.

And it seems to my military mind we have lost the ability to listen to the sounds of silence.

I guess for many, there is a fear of silence...methinks partly because that is where we are able to connect with God; but I think also it is in silence that we come to know, and see our self, as we really are.

It was in the silence of night that the ghost of Christmas' past were able to communicate with Mr. Scrooge.

A number of years ago, it was possible to go to a certain store, in Southern California, and for a few dollars, you could climb into a relaxation chamber...I always thought of them as limited sensory deprivation chambers.

The water was heavily salted with epsom salt, which made it heavier, and allowed your body to float without touching the bottom.

When the lid was closed it was pitch black inside, you couldn't even see your hand in front of your face.

And there was no noise, ultimate silence.

You could provide the operator with your favorite cassette or 8-track tape to play for you; but I could never understand why anyone would want to disturb the silence...the peace in that chamber was unbelievable.

In parting, I just want to touch on the part of the statement that says:
"Every man who delights in a multitude of words, even though he says admirable things, is empty within."

I have written before how tired I am of the whole presidential candidacy process, especially as we have been inundated with it these past two decades, or so.

But I have to say, I am not surprised at how empty the candidates and the main stream media are; their emptiness being shown by their plethora of words, that continues unabated, especially in this world of 24/7 television and radio.

How I dearly love the adage: "It is better to remain silent, and be thought to be ignorant, or stupid, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

No comments: