Sunday, 27 January 2013


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence!!

In stillness there is strength. In silence there is sound. According to Pascal most of a person’s difficulty materializes from the fact that the person is unable to sit quietly in one’s chamber.

All of us need silence to work,to reflect, to meet with oneself. Only by reflecting do we get to surpass exigent problems. Silence helps us think and meditate. Silence tends to challenge us, for in silence we actually face ourselves, and we have no cover - ups – such as words, and noise, and loud music. For the ones who can’t face themselves, noise is a balm – as escape mechanism to run from oneself!

In this world of addictive noise, words, and activity, it is a solace to withdraw into silence. Yes and in a crowd one can do so. In the din of the world one can acquire peace in silence! It is a wonderful experience to withdraw from the obsession of the clamour and clatter of the world. It is also the time we move away from all our inner obligations . Hence when we are quiet and tranquil, we withdraw from our own inner duress – from others’ expectations and our own cravings. If we are silent when we have to be, we will get the right words to speak. As Bonheoffer says "right words come out of right silence, and right silence comes out of right words. Yes there must be a healthy interaction between the right words and right silence."

St. Isaac of Nineveh, who wrote in Syriac, towards the end of the seventeenth century, clearly extolled the strength in silence. This is what he wrote: “Many are avidly seeking, but they alone find who remain in continual silence…Every man who delights in multitude of words, even though he says admirable things, is empty within.”

Talking of the value of silence Mother Teresa pointed out - -“See how nature, the trees, the flowers, the grass grow in perfect silence – see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…silence gives us a new outlook on everything. We need silence to be able to touch souls.”  It is imperative that we nurture the habit of resting in silence, for in restlessness and, the din of the world there can be neither growth nor fruition.

Yet the clamour and noise of our competitive driven consumerist society deafens and paralyzes us. For some of us God is deaf! For others their friends and colleagues are hard of hearing, and for still other all are deaf. For such folks the whole world will get to know all that has happened to them the previous day, week, month, year or even their entire lifespan!!! Such are the folks who suffer from verbal diarrhea!

Noise is highly destructive and isolates persons; it beats constantly on ones eardrums and drastically reduces efficiency in any work environment. Noise causes stress and nervousness for the one who is a victim to the all pervasive barrage of words! In addition it has the discomfiture of tearing one’s heart apart, away from one self. Yes, we in India are truly citizens of a NOISY DEMOCRACY, creators, and perpetrators of sonorous pollution, besides visual, corporal, material, and environmental pollution. Our productivity will surely increase if there is less clatter around us. However our competence can still be augmented, if the quiet around us is complemented by inner peace and stillness. Inner stillness is necessary if we are to be in perfect control of our faculties. There can be no stillness without regulation, and order of external silence can help us towards that inner serenity that is so indispensable. Stillness within an individual can beyond measure, positively influence society. A convent comes into being because some fine women see how wonderful a thing silence can be. Little things like respect for another’s space, freedom, right to think and work in peace, can be a great blessing indeed!

 People have rights, and one right is the right to silence. Let no one tread on this right, and all others of others! It often shows an excellent authority over language, to desist from using it!

However, an outer garb of tranquility may be very deceptive to others, if the person is in turmoil within. Stillness and silence hence, is not a certification for true tranquility. Sometimes silence speaks volumes and, at other times it is cowardly to remain so. The right balance is needed, as in all else.

Noise, vapid tranquility, and turmoil within  the outer array of silence and peace are the intricate forms of noise pollution that pervades our very existence and rends our hearts asunder. The noise of senseless sounds and the stillness of senseless silence are a bane to our society!

~~Crystal David John