Commonly speaking, silence is simply the total absence of sound.
At Business and Values, we consider silence to be one of the most beautiful, essential and misinterpreted thing in the world.
We are not going to speculate on this crucial subject. We are going to find out for ourselves.
And, if you are ready to put your teeth into it, you are going to find out for yourselves as well.
Where can not silence be found?
Silence is not in the noise.
The noise of words, sentences, conversations.
The noise of thoughts overlapping and colliding.
The noise of emotions which follow one another and loop in our heads.
Silence is not in the measurement.
The measurement of our performance and our underperformance.
The measurement of our results.
The measurement of our ideas.
The measurement of our ideals.
The measurement of what separates us, and even of what unites us.
Silence is not in the tension.
The tension in our stomach, in our head, in our heart.
The tension between you and me.
The tension between you and those around you.
The tension between two beings who do not recognize each other.
Between two regions which compete.
Between two nations that fear each other.
Between two religions which claim their primacy.
Between two systems, two policies, two experts.
And three and four and much more.
Who compare, who argue and who contradict each other.
The tension from all the measurements, from all the comparisons.
The tension and the infernal noise that accompany them, endlessly.
Can we be silent?
Having a vague idea of what silence is not, which we have just described, our brain, which never stops milling, and which desires that the noise, the measurement and the tensions cease, constructs an image of the silence in opposition to this noise, this measurement and these tensions. In its race for pleasure, our brain has found a new attraction: to be silent, to find peace. And it puts all its heart into it, so to speak, and the result is not lacking in pretense.
Here are two well-known examples.
We turn off the TV, the radio, the computer, the telephone.
We remain quiet, and we ask those around us to be quiet.
To be silent.
This “constructed” type of silence generally follow a state of advanced fatigue. Being tired, the noise, the people, the obligations that we create for ourselves, everything tires us. Thinking that the noise comes from outside, and that fatigue comes from this overexposure to the outside, we make sure that this outside noise ceases.
Here we are in front of a familiar void.
If the fatigue of the body is not extreme, and we are full of worries, after a few moments of calm we are assailed from within by ideas swarming in our heads, and this interim period of silence outside only makes our internal noise more deafening.
The procrastination and insomnia that often follows bring us back to our loved ones or to our loved screens, which disconnect us a little more from ourselves and from life and plunge us into a virtual reality that sedates or excites us, the time of a film, of a song, of a zapping, of a discussion.
If the fatigue of the body is extreme, our energy is at its lowest, and this silence that we have built between two fuss is momentarily saving. It allows us to rest a little. “It feels good when it stops” and “I fall from fatigue” is what is commonly said.
In either case, the next day the alarm goes off, and you’re down again. Nighttime, daytime, indoor and outdoor noise, interspersed with a few breaks. It all makes a lot of noise, and we get lost in these sound boxes.
The escape games.
When noises and tensions become too strong, the brain can no longer find a solution internally. It then looks for a lead externally: it is the celebration of religions, meditation courses, yoga and other sports trainers, psychotherapists and other funny types of coaches! And some consider these very moments to be philosophical or even transcendantal – the best they ever experienced in life.
They are cheap drugs. Because, there again, we live these “new” and then “ritualized” experiences, as we live “constructed” silence, in order to XYZ, as a mean to reach, as a process to practice, as a new expertise to acquire, that is within the limits of thought, and therefore within the limits of the images that we have produced with regard to them… To solve a problem that we ourselves created. In other words, we swim in spite of ourselves in full narcissistic delirium: “I suffer, therefore I am”. You remember ? (click)
Prayer, personal development, sport, TV, a trip to an unknown land for vacation : same fight, same drug, same story, same escape game! Each of these rituals release in high doses this dopamine which our brain is so fond of. And our mind, asking for more, does everything it can do to build a gigantic album and enrich it with new romantic and exhilarating images of all kinds, a paradise on Earth, in which you will come to draw satisfaction and seek comfort, day after day, year after year, when the evil wind of his rambling thoughts will blow.
When the hypnosis session ends, when “real life” takes hold and kicks in, the little worries and the big hassles are there again. Unaltered. Unresolved. Which makes again a resounding uproar. And which leads to a call for more of this drugs. Is it of interest, as some religions advocate, to increase the times of prayer, to ritualize sessions of sport, devotion, and meditation? Yes! If you want to flee, again and again, more and more!
Is there another type of silence?
The silence we make is narrow, taken within the limits of time, of thought, and of space.
We are asking ourselves, is there another type of silence, beyond time, beyond thought and beyond space limits.
To discover if there is, one needs to listen, with all our being.
Can a mind caught up in deafening noises, outside and inside, listen to anything?
Of course not.
To listen with all your being, you must pay perfect attention.
Now, how can we pay attention for a single moment, when we are thinking of a thousand things at the same time?
How can you pay attention when you already know what you are looking for?
If I pay total attention, I’m not busy with anything, I’m not looking for anything.
I just listen, that’s all and that’s it.
Can this quality of listening, of attention be done other than in total silence?
Of course not.
A silence where I do not exist.
A silence in which the time (that would bring me back to myself) and the past (that would excite my brain again) does not exist.
A silence in which the space is not circumscribed, by my thoughts, my fears, my sufferings, my desires.
This quality of silence has nothing to do with the end of the noise, with this space confined between two notes of music or noise.
Total silence is total space, total freedom. Without any limit.
This silence is not a practice.
This silence is not an end or a goal in itself.
Like love, like life, like creative energy, it’s there, that’s all.
To meet this silence is a grace.
This silence does not punctuate and reward minutes, days or years of meditative practice, in the very overused sense of this word.
Our mind is not trained to be able to meet, recognize and accept this grace. Because our mind is too busy with its internal and foreign affairs.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a quest, an observation, meticulous, absolute.
A quest. Of beauty. Of love. Of freedom.
Meditation leads, by this observation, to the full awareness of our totality of thought patterns, to the knowledge of our entire portfolio of emotions.
Meditation leads to seeing everything we call “love” in the most selfish and abject way possible.
Meditation leads to realize our inward and outward conflicts of all kinds.
Meditation leads to no longer rushing towards this or that solution, towards this or that action, towards this or that lure which draws us away from reality, whether to satisfy a desire or to flee this or that discomfort.
Meditation invites us beyond the borders of our knowledge.
Beyond the borders of what is known, of what reassures us.
Meditation invites us to die to ourselves, daily.
To our attachments, to our desires, to our assets, to our memories.
And then, when we are no longer, neither nothing nor nobody, what remains?
Everything is here.
Everything is in order.
You, me, everything, and everyone.
The tree, the bird, the mountain, the lake.
In absolute silence.
Perfectly and beautifully in their place.
The world like I said, the whole nature, our children, life.
Have you ever encountered this type of silence and are you up for it?