Saying it with silence
There was this very beautiful line that I read in Orhan Pamuk’s novel, ‘My Name Is Red’. He wrote about a blind man watching the snowfall and smiling to himself. That line stayed with me for a long, long time.
How could a blind man watch the snow?
I pondered. I know that when the sight is taken away, the other senses become sharper. The blind man must have felt the cold air around him with the tiny
snowflakes brushing his cheek; he must have caught a puffy, wet ball in his hand and had felt it melt in his palms. But did he hear the snow falling?
Somehow I believe that he actually listened to the snowfall, more than he felt it. He must have listened to the silence of the falling snow.
He listened, because he was silent inside, in his own wonderful and special way.
Often silence makes people uncomfortable, accustomed as they are to the noise and commotion of the world, but silence is all about coming home to ourselves.
When we sit in silence we relax and slip into an exquisite nothingness. We look within and drop our opinionated mind and learn to feel everything around
us more deeply.
When the incessant chatter of the mind stops and we let the quietness around submerge us, something sacred is born within. Nietzsche said that our greatest
experiences are our quietest moments.
Needless to say, it is only in silence that we are capable of listening. Like that blind man watching the snowfall and smiling to himself, we learn to
listen more when we are silent.
Silence is the basic ingredient for entering into our intuitive mind and to resist the cacophony of meaningless noises outside.
It is interesting to note how Silent and Listen have same letters but are arranged differently.
We humans have a tendency to talk more and listen less; much of it is because we have forgotten the art of waiting and allowing ourselves to grow silent
Nature has no trouble in remembering this art. Nature thrives on silence. We never hear the footsteps of moon when it appears on the sky. We don’t hear
a loud bang when the sun comes out and the stars burst open in the sky. Their arrival is always wrapped in a glorious silence. Look how the tree knows
it! It remains bare, beautiful and still; waiting for the new leaves, knowing that the old has gone and the new will soon be coming. The tree waits in
Just like tree, when we are silent and waiting, something beautiful inside us keeps on growing and it is this stillness and silence that gives birth to
Often it happens that when we wait in silence, life rushes back to fill those crevices in our souls. There are times when silence becomes the most potent
way of communication and is more effective than words.
We all have at least one memory when we have faced that eloquent silence of our elders such as parents or teachers when we have felt a cold fear at the
bristling silence of their fury. When their silence had scared us more than angry words. When just one quiet look had had us behaving better than a harsh
reprimand or scolding.
Lovers all over the world are said to communicate with silence.
Understand each other’s silence. The famous telepathy between two people who have strong feelings for each other happens in a compelling silence.
In a business world the salesmen are taught the art of persuasive silence. After he has urged the potential client to buy some product and the customer
is contemplating quietly over what the salesman has described, the well trained salesman remains absolutely silent during this important hiatus. Often
he gains his sale by using this important tool.
Undeniably, silence needs a special kind of power and authority of mind and saying it with silence needs a certain ‘command of language’.
To say nothing is often more difficult than expressing the anger, love and betrayal with words.
However, being silent with a natural and calm stillness within is like a spiritual reflex. Analyze it too much or think too much about it and it degenerates
itself into something superficial and edgy. If we become self-conscious about silence then we begin to work against it.
We rush to fill it with inane talks and nervous gestures, and the silence loses its value.
But we can certainly develop this powerful way of communicating by practicing a calm mind. By realizing that between stimulus and response, there is a
space and in that space is our power to choose our response because in our response lies our growth and our freedom.
That “space” is …. silence.