Without words, Silence says a lot. It is deep. It is empty. It is everything and nothing. It is always there waiting. It is omnipresent and omnipotent. Silence is often the most powerful thing we can ever say or experience. It is infinite, found everywhere, within and without.
It is the backdrop to all activity and non-activity. We can sleep and recover ourselves. Nature and all of the tangible world, uses Silence to be. Without the gaps of silence a dog cannot hear other sounds that compel it to bark. Whenit is very quiet in the Amazonian rainforest, animals sense a danger present that alerts them to safety. Silence says so much.
When we speak or play an instrument, silence is always present to punctuate the speech or music. When we start a speech, silence at the forefront compels people to listen more attentively and respectfully. It commands attention without the speaker injecting anything, including ego.
Silence is spaciousness and backdrop. It is indistinguishable from empty space. It is empty space. It awaits the manifestation of divine consequence.
“Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self.” “In a sense, silence is God.” Anthony de Mello
Silence is a witness to everything, punctuating itself with the space of nothing.
Saint Thomas Aquinas is considered the preeminent writer of Catholic theology (c1225-1274) who at the time was peerless in his scholarship. “Summa Theologica” was his substantive work that went uncompleted. He was urged to keep writing but replied “I can do no more. Such secrets have been revealed to me that all I have written now appears to be of little value.” Furthermore, he told his secretary, Reginald of Piperno, “After what I have seen today I can write no more: for all that I have written is straw.”
St. Thoms Aquinas felt that “God” can be known only through his creation, actions (effects) in creation and most importantly, to know that one does not know (“God”). He stated that “God” is unknowable and that the only thing that can be said is only the opposite. That is, only what “God” isn’t, can be articulated.
Years of “silence” followed St. Thomas where the casting of theological ‘ideas’ did not cut it anymore. The substance of “It” could not be culled through this medium of scholarship. By leaving ‘space’ with his silence he better underscored the subtleness and amorphous qualities of his experience of Reality. Continued writing was an apparent futility. Silence said so much more.
And so it is with Reality, it cannot be put into some formula for digestion. When we commit errors and incur suffering, this tells us that adjustment is necessary to better flow with “What Is”. The feedback of “How He is not”, points out the dead ends of our journey in Becoming. Silence is there too, beckoning, but not nearly as self-evident.
The “Unknowable” cannot be comprehended by the thinking mind. When we ‘think’ we know, we miss it because we ‘think’ we know. ‘Not knowing’, that is, not using the mind, is the ticket for appreciating “It”. Awareness of the Silence is awareness of the infinite space that is the context for all of the ‘seen’ and ‘unseen’. It is the most important thing in our minds and outside of our minds. It is quietly there, as unassuming as can Be.
The ’noise’ of the unreality of activity in the false timezones of past and future, can compel us to accept the “What Is” of this Moment where ’Silence’ is the featured deity. Pushing past the ’Silence’ into regret, shame, and lost opportunity, or pushing to the empty desires of craving and ego aggrandizement, only gives life to the tissues of dis-ease.
The Consciousness of the Universe is naturally, effortlessly Becoming Present in the Now to be aware of Itself. Our tireless efforts to support the fictitiousness of who we aren’t, is in direct opposition to all that. Using the Silence to see ‘that’ more clearly and using the ‘noise’ to see the “what isn’t”, can go hand-in-hand with the sorting out of these competing energies. Natural and effortless versus unnatural and pushy, makes the choice of which stream to go with, obvious.
Beingness is a constancy that is always on. Steering towards that direction requires a constancy that is ‘all in’ all the time. To commit to less, is to choose for less. All Moments are the Eternal Now. There are no other Moments. The Silence of Being in contrast to the noise of the mind reminds us of who we really Are.
The “Unknowable” is the Silence with no-thing. ‘See’ the Silence. It cannot be known through the fingers of scholarship and mind.