Poet’s Nook: “The Deepest Silence” by John Roger Barrie

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(Excerpt from Parabola)


By intentionally quieting our restless minds and calling a temporary
halt to the random noise – inner and outer – to which we are subject,
we create an environment conducive to the manifestation of silence.
Welling up from within, this silence subtly engulfs us, drowning out
all the noise of existence.

When constantly engaged at the forefront of our minds, our awareness
restlessly flutters about from thought to thought, sensation to
sensation, thus pushing out silence. The effort required to break
through the surface waves of the mind forges an inward path
to the deepest levels of silence. When deliberately sustained….this
inner drilling displaces the obfuscatory debris that clutters the mind
with a matrix of noise. When all mental ruminations are at last
exhausted, genuine silence emerges.

But, many prefer the comfort of noise, the bustling of crowds, the
constant engagement of new thoughts and interesting repartee.
To embrace silence means splicing off a certain arena of the
familiar and venturing into uncharted territories. While one
may fruitfully participate in communal spiritual activities, quite
often the deeper stages of this voyage are undertaken by oneself.
To keep the mind occupied with external concerns is to point the
inner compass in an outward direction. This is the most subtle trap
to which the feeble mind continually succumbs. For to interact
constantly with the objects of the senses is to eclipse entirely the
realm of silence, which is first experienced within. When
repeatedly accessed, the decibel level of true silence will deafen
the resolute mystic.

Ever elusive yet all pervading, silence is known by those who take
the leap. The adventuresome hiker seeks areas untrampled by the
masses. The successful inner voyager treks to the precipice, and
then, having encountered the Unknowable, brazenly discards map and
compass and boldly treads onward. The yearning heart echoes the
cry that seized the Psalmist:


“Be still and know that I am God.”



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