originally published November 18, 2019
Silence is an energetic end in itself. As are you and I. It’s why I find it so difficult to be with. It can’t be manipulated, managed or made to behave how I want it to. And like much of life, no matter how many times I’ve crossed that threshold, the experience of entering into silence feels different and new each time I’m willing to go there. If I’m honest I do everything I can to avoid it.
When I do go there, though, it becomes apparent that it wasn’t silence that attracted me to itself. Rather, I discover that my soul was and always is resting in the eternity of silence. In this way the invitation to enter silence is my own soul calling me to pay attention from itself. I’ve found silence is the only place where this can happen. Or rather, this is always happening in the context of silence and occasionally I become conscious of its reality.
At first, I would take hours, days, specific amounts of time to separate myself from the noise of my routine. I sought silence in nature, retreat houses, and monasteries.
Silence was ominous, scary and for special occasions. And as long as I was in those spaces I could usually find my way to the quiet, effervescent waters of my soul-the source of creativity. I thus made connecting to that source a matter of scheduling.
Over time I would spontaneously encounter the same quality of silence throughout my “normal” life. It came as a surprise. Through things like seeing children playing, or reading a good book, my inner compass would orient itself towards silence where my soul waited for me. Slowly the world “out” there began to be a mirror for the nameless, timeless beauty “in” here.
I would like to make a wonderful point now about the readily accessibility of connecting to silence in each and every moment. But I would leave myself in the process. My ego would so enjoy projecting itself as a master or guru of the inexhaustible realms of silence.
The truth is I’ve only just begun to learn what power I have access to. Somehow it seems directly connected to discovering how habitually I choose to ignore my own soul calling me-with the excuse of it’s not the “right” time right now, there are just too many things calling for my attention (distraction). And I’ve chosen to convince myself that I owe them my allegiance because the truth is, I just really don’t want to wake up.
Perhaps you and I are more alike than we pretend not to be. Maybe our flavors of sleepwalking are different, and we spend our energy defending the rightness of our chosen distractedness. But perhaps you, like me, are starting to notice the undeniable siren of your soul calling. Perhaps the strategies of survival and pretending have worn out their welcome. Is it even possible to commit to learning to listen to, follow and let go of the outcome of your soul’s constant beckoning to be at home in itself?
Some of us are being pulled into creating systems to help us wake up from the noise of our egos agendas. To take responsibility for acknowledging our addiction to the world “out” there in order to learn to pay attention “in” here. Are you attracted to joining with us for the sake of waking up to the beckoning of your own soul’s calling?
Jonathan lives in the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas with his wife, dogs and three children. His Wisdom work comes out of a blend of the Christian Contemplative tradition and 4th Way spirituality with a focus on companioning others from the unified and collective field accessed through the heart. He is a life-long seeker who offers private Spiritual Direction in person or by zoom, one-to-one or in groups.