‘All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone’ – (Blaise Pascal 1654)
This statement, as can be seen, was made some 365 plus years ago and long before we had many of the ‘noise’ distractions that we have in our lives today. No noisy motor vehicles, no planes, no television filling our heads 24/7 with disasters, mass killings, road accidents, domestic violence, etc, no social media. Today, in this modern technologically driven world of gadgets and machines designed to make our lives easier, we are literally starved of the opportunities necessary to enjoy the physical and mental benefits that are the result of periods of stillness and quietness in our busy lives, in order that we can survive and thrive in this out of control, spinning like a top, so called ‘technologically advanced’ social media driven modern world! If humanity had a problem with individuals finding time for daily silence 365 years ago, then one does not need to be a genius to conclude that this is now a much bigger problem for society today, in the 21 century.
Simply spending time observing people in all sorts of situations has been somewhat a passion mine for many, many years now. It is only when you STOP and observe how people around you are behaving that you wake up to this desperate need for and the benefits of, SILENCE. Having quiet time sitting alone in silence, preferably DAILY, has major health benefits for all humans in this modern world in which we can either thrive or simply survive. The choice is ours, and ours alone. Thinking about it right now reminds one of when they were a child and of a time when they may have been behaving irrationally through lack of sleep, or maybe just not getting their own way in some situation, and the parents would send the child to the bedroom, or similarly a teacher would have the child go and stand in the ‘naughty corner’, all designed to have the child spend ‘quiet time’, which was simply time spent alone in SILENCE!
Now this period of time spent in such silence had the effect of ‘quieting’ the irrational mind or behaviour of the child, with the outcome being that after maybe 10 or 15 minutes sitting or standing alone in total silence, the child would reappear almost a new person – calm, relaxed, rational – normal. What an amazing affect such a short period of silence could have on this little human being. However, moving on now into 2019 and beyond, observing adults operating in this rush, rush, world that we have chosen to live in, it is easy to recognise that most people have no idea of the power of, the need for, or the benefits of, experiencing regular periods (preferably DAILY) in SILENCE! The health benefits, both physical and mental, of spending time DAILY, even if only for 10 or 15 minutes, are enormous. How can one possibly avoid the potential of stress related diseases (physical or mental) attacking their precious body if they do not take time out just as they were forced to as that child, when they constantly functioning are under such perceived pressures?
Another very important benefit of spending time in silence, is that when you are silent you subsequently have more time to listen! We were all born for good reason with one mouth and two ears. Why? The simple fact that eludes many of us is that we are meant to listen more than we talk, hence two ears and one mouth! Be aware that it is only when we are silent and functioning in the ‘listening mode’ that our mind/inbuilt computer can absorb or delete information that is constantly flowing around us, and ultimately awaken us to what is important. Observing people functioning today, or attempting to function, within our high-tech social media crazed environment, one can quickly see than many, particularly the young, seem to have great difficulty functioning at all unless they have some type electronic device operating to feed them verbal and/or visual ‘noise’ from music, to video, to television, to chat shows, etc. Many cannot take a walk on a beach, or in nature, without this constant distraction of ‘noise’ being downloaded into their mind/computer, with earplugs in and this ‘idle chatter’ constantly bombarding their thought processes. No silence here! If we think of our mind as a computer, our very own powerful personal computer, THE most important computer that you will ever have operating for you, then one will accept that like any computer it needs regular care and maintenance. Spending time regularly, sitting in total silence is THE source for cleansing and repairing our minds/how and what we think! Take or find time to honour your life by practicing being silent, regularly.
The wonderful Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu made the following powerful quote many centuries ago, which is so relevant still today: ‘Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know’. This is possibly one of the most powerful quotes that you will ever learn if you take the time to fully understand and accept this universal truth. However, if/when one does finally ‘get-it’, and that only happens after extended periods of time spent sitting alone in total silence, then observing those who talk a lot one can quickly acknowledge and accept on a deep level that such people are basically ‘sleep-walking’ through life. They simply do not know, and if they keep talking more than listen, then they will never know! When one who knows this secret to life, they are not moved by attachment or aversion, swayed by profit or loss, nor touched by honour or disgrace. When one persistently talks, they are not living from a place of knowing. Silence is your inner evidence of knowing.
The greatest threat to having silence in our daily life is the EGO! I have written extensively about the Ego in my book: LOOK WITHIN- Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life, particularly Chapter 6 titled: The Ego and its Problems, and again in a Blog dated July 10th, 2019. If/when you are in the company of, or within close proximity to one whom you believe to be acting in an ‘egotistical’ manner (i.e. loud, boisterous, obnoxious, etc) then it becomes very clear to you that those who talk do not know! How could they, when they are convinced of their own importance by talking incessantly, but do not think that they need to listen also! Remember: 1 mouth, 2 ears!
Silence is a necessity for living an authentic, responsible, accountable, and meaningful life. Without regular time spent sitting still in silence, your life will quickly pass with you having never understood or enjoyed such an empowering skill as to learn of the physical and mental benefits of having SILENCE in your precious life, preferably DAILY!
Take a few minutes right now and just sit or walk for 10 minutes or so and THINK/meditate on that powerful quote expressed above: ‘Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know’. It may be a critical 10 – 15 minutes of your life. STOP overthinking and find time to be still (preferably 10-15 minutes DAILY), to sit quietly in total silence where you can empty your mind of that ‘clutter thinking’ and go beyond the limits of the Ego. ‘Self-imposed limits are the barbed wire of life’ (Sarah ban Breathnach) – i.e. the ego is your barbed wire. Stop overthinking things and allow the powerful messages from your ‘inner spirit’ to resonate with you, as your capacity for enjoyment and pleasure are found deep within.
The Power of Silence is the tool for the job!