Saturday, December 24, 2011

so silent

There is a silent self within us whose presence is disturbing precisely because it is so silent: 
it can’t be spoken. It has to remain silent. 
To articulate it, to verbalize it, is to tamper with it, and in some ways to destroy it. 

Now let us frankly face the fact that our culture is one which is geared in many ways 
to help us evade any need to face this inner, silent self. 
We live in a state of constant semi-attention to the sound of voices, music, traffic, 
or the generalized noise of what goes on around us all the time. 
This keeps us immersed in a flood of racket and words, 
a diffuse medium in which our consciousness is half diluted: 
we are not quite ‘thinking,’ not entirely responding, but we are more or less there. 

We are not fully present and not entirely absent; 
not fully withdrawn, yet not completely available. 
It cannot be said that we are really participating in anything and we may, 
in fact, be half conscious of our alienation and resentment. 

Yet we derive a certain comfort from the vague sense that we are ‘part of’ something – 
although we are not quite able to define what that something is – 
and probably wouldn't want to define it even if we could. 

We just float along in the general noise. 
Resigned and indifferent, we share semi-consciously 
in the mindless mind of Muzak and radio commercials which passes for ‘reality.’

~ Thomas Merton
from Essential Writings
with thanks to running cause i cant fly


erin said...

and so we should have great universities training us in silence.

do you know how i start the day when i am home, as i am right now? i have earrplugs in. this is what i do. it is not to block out the world, but to know what might be within.


smilingheart said...

ah, yes, finding stillness, silence in the midst of drama and circumstance, the space between the notes, our music comes alive, our bodies resonate with colors, we find hidden depth within our words. beauty fills us.