The mystery of silence becomes interesting for us when we become spiritual seekers. From that time on, we start looking for the essence of life, we wish to find an answer to the question:
”Who am I, and what is my mission on this Earth?”
We first look for the answer in the external world. We try to find an idea, an ideology and we identify with it in order to look for the answers to the questions that preoccupy us and cause that tormenting sense of want that spurred us to embark on a quest for answers.
After a lot of futile efforts we realize that no idea, ideology, teacher or master is able to provide us a satisfactory answer to those questions. We then turn inward, and start looking for the answers in ourselves.
Turning inwards requires quiet and tranquility from us, so silence becomes important for us from that time on. We find a quiet corner for ourselves where we are able to think and meditate without being disturbed. We leave behind civilization, go to the mountains, nature or the loneliness of a monastery.
Here at first we believe that we have found what we were looking for, because the quiet of nature, or the quiet life of a closed community surrounds us, and the silence we have found gives us satisfaction and happiness. If we are able to tranquilize the noisy world inside our head in this peaceful environment, external silence may be followed by meditation after a while. The forced internal silence and temporary tranquility is the result of the suppression of thinking. This silence is, however, not our own, it is not a part of our soul.
It is aptly demonstrated by the fact that when we return to the noisy revolving stage of society, we are surrounded by the vivid world of a big city, our hard-acquired tranquility is gone immediately, our cherished silence disappears as if it had never existed. If we are lucky, and the external world remains silent around us, only the silence of our meditation is lost every time when the mind starts working, and thoughts and emotions flood our brain.
All this shows that there is something wrong with us, we were completely mistaken when we believed that the magic power of silence will set us free of ourselves. The problem is that were looking in the wrong direction when we thought that silence is something outside ourselves, something that we are able to achieve by suppressing the work of the mind.
Silence is one of the qualities of the Miracle, that is our own Self, the Consciousness. We have therefore never lost it, because we cannot lose what we ourselves are. We need to find our inner Self again by allowing Consciousness to wake up to itself in us.
From that time on, the Miracle, the silence, will always remain with us, we no longer need to look for it in the external world or force it upon us by suppressing our stream of thoughts. After that, no matter where we are in the world, even at the noisiest railway station, we will never lose our Miracle, our inner silence, our Self.
Written by By Frank M. Wanderer Ph.D