“Never miss a good chance to shut up.”
― Will Rogers
Can you hear your heartbeat?
The wind through the trees?
The snowflake landing on the frozen grass?
Can you hear your conscience?
The past and future whispering to you?
It is December 26. Boxing Day. The day to shop. Again. To be enjoy the hustle and bustle and excitement of a great deal. Sorry, that kind of life is not for me. All that seems to me a giant distraction. It is as if those involved (I forgive teenagers, they are exempt from my statements) are trying to escape the recognition that death is right could be right around the corner. That most of what we do is pointless. That their little lives have usually no meaning. Now, I am NOT saying that death is coming today, or that peoples’ lives are pointless and meaningless by definition, but I am saying that a there are ways to LIVE, and ways that merely exist.
A rock exists.
A shopper exists.
But an eagle soaring high in the blue sky lives.
When you wake up in the night and stare at the ceiling in terror because of a nightmare and give thanks for all your blessings you live.
And you especially live in silence.
Jesus spent much of his life in silence.
For without prayer alone how do you gain the energy, strength and purpose to go against the flow of normality and create a new vision for how we can live?
Even one of our political leaders, P.E. Trudeau, recognized this when he said:
Travel a thousand miles by jet & you are a brute. Drive five hundred in a car & you are bourgeois, but travel ten miles in a canoe and you are a child of the universe.
However, we usually try to avoid silence. One reason for this is that when we are silent we create a vacuum into which anything can appear. Any thought. Any vision. Any suppressed emotion. Our unconscious. Our insanity. It is only in the silence that our hidden fears, worries, anxieties, angers, lack of faith, and desires that are lying just beyond our normal thinking become exposed. And so, we run away from this experience. Facing the truths about ourselves, our lives, and the greater terrors of the human condition is just too much too face. Understandably.
But being a speck of consciousness in infinity is not to see how small and powerless you are. For me it is the opposite. Our awareness is power. Our awareness that we are means we do not merely exist. We live. And that power is only found in silence.
When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” ― Rumi
In silence we can find the power to see the world in a new way. And then to act upon it. In today’s age that means we have the power to NOT go shopping on boxing day. We have the power to NOT be a brute and fly by a jet whilly-nilly across the globe, thinking, falsely, that we will find happiness somewhere else, we have the power to not drive in our cars every day like some drug addict whose habit controls his life.
Today, spend some time in silence. Retreat into yourself. Find a silent place, but more importantly find the silent place within you. That still, quiet pond within where there are no worries, no fears, no despair. Where you live. Where you dream again. And then make that dream real.
And when you escape that silence use that power to change the world.
Use that power to stop being part of the destruction of our home.
Use the insights that silence allows to stop shopping for things you don’t need.
That means living carbon neutral. That means not buying food or things that you know are making other species extinct. It means boycotting certain companies and even products from some countries. Because you do have power.
The future whispers in my ear. I hear it. I cannot NOT act.
I feel compelled to help unfold a future in which life still thrives.
And that power is only found in silence.
Be silent with me.
Then take action with me.
Because when the future whispers ever so gently in your ear, to not act is to betray.
To not act is to choose death and oblivion.
To not act is to imagine that you don’t matter.
But you matter more than anything.
You and I and all of us together have almost infinite power.
And that power is only found in silence.