THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

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THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:24 am

An invitation to those who can get past the religious overtones in the following article ... is there such a reader?

THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE
JULY 20, 2015
A A A

A recent book, by Robyn Cadwallander, The Anchoress, tells the story of young woman, Sarah, who chooses to shut herself off from the world and lives as an Anchoress (like Julian of Norwich). It’s not an easy life and she soon finds herself struggling with her choice. Her confessor is a young, inexperienced, monk named Father Ranaulf. Their relationship isn’t easy. Ranaulf is a shy man, of few words, and so Sarah is often frustrated with him, wanting him to say more, to be more empathic, and simply to be more present to her. They often argue, or, at least, Sarah tries to coax more words and sympathy out of Ranaulf. But whenever she does this he cuts short the visit and leaves.

One day, after a particularly frustrating meeting that leaves Ranaulf tongue-tied and Sarah in hot anger, Ranaulf is just about to close the shutter-window between them and leave, his normal response to tension, when something inside him stops him from leaving. He knows that he must offer Sarah something, but he has no words. And so, having nothing to say but feeling obliged to not leave, he simply sits there in silence. Paradoxically his mute helplessness achieves something that his words don’t, a breakthrough. Sarah, for the first time, feels his concern and sympathy and he, for his part, finally feels present to her.

Here’s how Cadwallander describes the scene: “He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. There was no more he could say, but he would not leave her alone with such bitterness. And so he remained on his stool, feeling the emptiness of the room around him, the failure of his learning, the words he had stacked up in his mind, page upon page, shelf upon shelf. He could not speak, but he could stay; he would do that. He began to silently pray, but did not know how to go on, what to ask for. He gave up, his breath slowed.

The silence began as a small and frightened thing, perched on the ledge of his window, but as Ranaulf sat in stillness, it grew, very slowly, and filled up the parlor, wrapped itself around his neck and warmed his back, curled under his knees and around his feet, floated along the walls, tucked into the corners, nestled in the crevices of stone. … The silence slipped through the gaps under the curtain and into the cell beyond. A velvet thing, it seemed. It swelled and settled, gathering every space into itself. He did not stir; he lost all sense of time. All he knew was the woman but an arm’s length away in the dark, breathing. That was enough.

When the candle in the parlor guttered, he stirred, looked into the darkness. ‘God be with you, Sarah.’ ‘And with you, Father.’ Her voice was lighter, more familiar.”

There’s a language beyond words. Silence creates the space for it. Sometimes when we feel powerless to speak words that are meaningful, when we have to back off into unknowing and helplessness, but remain in the situation, silence creates the space that’s needed for a deeper happening to occur. But often, initially, that silence is uneasy. It begins “as a small frightened thing” and only slowly grows into the kind of warmth that dissolves tension.

There are many times when we have no helpful words to speak. We’ve all had the experience of standing by the bedside of someone who is dying, of being at a funeral or wake, of sitting across from someone who is dealing with a broken heart, or of reaching a stalemate in trying to talk through a tension in a relationship, and finding ourselves tongue-tied, with no words to offer, finally reduced to silence, knowing that anything we say might aggravate the pain. In that helplessness, muted by circumstance, we learn something: We don’t need to say anything; we only need to be there. Our silent, helpless presence is what’s needed.

And I must admit that this is not something I’ve learned easily, have a natural aptitude for, or in fact do most times when I should. No matter the situation, I invariably feel the need to try to say something useful, something helpful that will resolve the tension. But I’m learning, both to let helplessness speak and how powerfully it can speak.

I remember once, as a young priest, full of seminary learning and anxious to share that learning, sitting across from someone whose heart had just been broken, searching through answers and insights in my head, coming up empty, and finally confessing, by way of apology, my helplessness to the person across from me. Her response surprised me and taught me something I’d didn’t know before. She said simply: Your helplessness is the most precious gift you could share with me right now. Thanks for that. Nobody expects you to have a magic wand to cure their troubles.

Sometimes silence does become a velvet thing that swells and settles, gathering every space into itself.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby WendyDarling » Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:46 am

A slice of quiet Heaven. :D Thanks for that Tom.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sat Mar 17, 2018 5:34 am

Wendy ... you are one of those rare individuals who is able to transcend the odor of religion ... may explain why so many ILP members court your thoughts.

Most readers tune out because the article is written by a Catholic priest.

In fact, the essence of the thought expressed in the article is Taoist ... predating Christ by more than 500 years.

It's the empty space in the rice bowl that creates it's utility. Lao Tzu ... Dao De Jing
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby Ierrellus » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:11 pm

Beautiful piece on presence in silence.
"We must love one another or die." W.H.Auden
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby Jakob » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:42 am

silence; when all is said and done.

thus since is beyond time.

God created the world so there could be silence.
Leaves of grass stir to accentuate, man must be heard at manifold increased speeds to understand the gleeful chirping heard by the Earth as it swoops in silence around our voiceless fury.
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:41 pm

Jakob,

God created the world so there could be silence.


Thankfully, nature had something else in mind for us.
Not everything which is silent is beautiful, Jakob.

But silence can be beautiful and a journey into healing and self.

The way in which you expressed yourself poetically above is beautiful.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor E. Frankl



It Felt Love

How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
Otherwise,
We all remain
Too frightened
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby Arcturus Descending » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:44 pm

...She said simply: Your helplessness is the most precious gift you could share with me right now.


Now that was profound. Sometimes the only thing which can be helpful is one's quiet presence.
No amount of words can help; indeed, all the can do is push one further down into the dark depths.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
Viktor E. Frankl



It Felt Love

How did the rose
Ever open its heart
And give to this world
All its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
Otherwise,
We all remain
Too frightened
Hafiz
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby Meno_ » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:11 pm

Direct exposure to the eternal Void. Thanks Pilgrim.
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sat Mar 24, 2018 2:38 am

Feels good to see 5 people transcending religious overtones. Some argue that 19 iterations of 5 people can change the world.

This morning's article from Ron seems to build on the 'silence' article ... though the article was written in 1997 ... and the message is antithetical to silence.

The title is provocative ... Ransom the Captive.

Today ... who is the captive?

For example ... are the individuals addicted to their smart phones captives? Carried by the current of data pushers ... whose psychology is somewhat similar to drug pushers?

RANSOM THE CAPTIVE
MARCH 13, 1997
A A A

The corporal works of mercy, as the phrase itself suggests, have to do with the physical, the material. Unlike the spiritual works of mercy, what is at stake is not feeding, clothing, or washing someone spiritually, with truth and spirit. The feeding, clothing, washing, visiting, ransoming, and burying that they direct us towards are precisely corporal, to do with the physical well-being of our neighbour.

However, physical does not necessarily mean literal. This is particularly so for the corporal work of mercy which directs us to ransom the captive. For most of us, taken literally, there would be little opportunity to practice this. Who today needs ransoming in the literal sense? Prisoners of war, hostages, and other victims of this sort. Not many of us are in situations where there is much rescuing we can do of this kind.

But the physical character of this injunction needs to be safeguarded even as we let go of its literalness. We still need to ransom the captive and today, as in every age, there are countless persons who, while not literally in a prison or held hostage, are physically captive, that is, caught up in conditions which physically imprison them in some way. In fact, sometimes this corporal work of mercy is rendered: minister to prisoners. That is simply a synonym for ransoming the captive.

So how might we today go about ransoming the captive today?

A few years ago, I was attending a lecture given by Gustavo Gutierrez, the father of liberation theology. At one stage, after a long discussion on the complexity of social justice, someone asked him: “Given magnitude of poverty and injustice on this earth, given all the discussions about the complex systems that must be changed to make much difference in bringing about a more just world, and given my own limits as one human person, what really can I do?” Gutierrez answered something to this effect: “Do this at least, have one concrete poor person or family in your life. Never let your response to poverty and injustice be only a theoretical ideal. Always be concretely involved with someone who is physically poor, even if it is only one person.”

At one level, we ransom the captive by reaching out concretely to someone, even if it is to only one person, who is somehow being held hostage by poverty or injustice. Our efforts may not seem to make much difference in terms of changing the systems that cause poverty and injustice – but they can make a big difference to that one person, analogous to the story of a young child who was walking along the shore one day and was throwing beached jellyfish back into the water. Someone pointed out to her that, given the thousands of jellyfish that had been washed ashore, her efforts would not make a big difference. Picking up a jelly-fish and throwing it back into the ocean, she announced: “It will make a big difference for this one!”

To ransom the captive means to reach out, concretely and individually, but it means more:

It also demands that, beyond touching this or that concrete individual, we get involved in trying to change the social and economic conditions that are help cause poverty, analogous to another story: A small town was built downstream on a long river. One day a number of bodies were found floating on the river. The townsfolk pulled them out. They were dead, so they buried them. The next day, four more persons were found floating in the river. Two were dead and these they buried. One was badly injured and him they took to their hospital. Another was a child, frightened but healthy. They found a home for her and placed her in their school. From that day on, for many years after, this went on. Every day a number of bodies came floating down the river. The townsfolk fished them out and generously attended to their various needs – but, throughout all those years, nobody thought to go upstream and investigate why all those bodies were, daily, found in that stream.

Ransoming the captive, as social justice groups have always told us, is also about investigating why certain bodies are ending up helpless in the river of poverty and injustice. To visit prisoners does not just ask us to, in fact, spend some time with those society has locked away, it invites us too to visit the reasons why certain people invariably end up in prison.



Ransoming the captive has to do with more than just visiting and trying to set free prisoners of war and persons taken hostage. It has to do with persons who find themselves held captive by every kind of physical bondage. It enjoins us to visit them and to visit too the reasons for why they are imprisoned.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby pilgrim-seeker_tom » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:03 am

PS

Scientist explains how Facebook is making psychological/behavioral disruptions using Artificial Intelligence and why the future looks bleak!

Google’s AI researcher explains why Facebook is investing billions in AI and how the psychological manipulation works

The problem with Facebook is not *just* the loss of your privacy and the fact that it can be used as a totalitarian panopticon. The more worrying issue, in my opinion, is its use of digital information consumption as a psychological control vector.
"Do not be influenced by the importance of the writer, and whether his learning be great or small; but let the love of pure truth draw you to read. Do not inquire, “Who said this?” but pay attention to what is said”

Thomas Kempis 1380-1471
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Re: THE HEALING PLACE OF SILENCE

Postby Jakob » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:52 pm

Arcturus Descending wrote:Jakob,

God created the world so there could be silence.


Thankfully, nature had something else in mind for us.

Not everything which is silent is beautiful, Jakob.

But silence can be beautiful and a journey into healing and self.
Without silence, there would be no journey.

The way in which you expressed yourself poetically above is beautiful.

Arc, I remember writing that cosmographic part with a sense of wonder bordering on the disturbing.
The power of words is just short of the power of logic in accentuating certainties, but it is far beyond the power of logic in evoking things, among other things, more words.
A word is a fire in the dark void of the mind. You can count the fires, but that doesn't tell you how they smell, the color of their deepest light, the way the smoke works on the brain.

Evil is born of envy, that is its singular cause.
Envious demons leap out of peoples throats when the chord is cut

Lessons are in clouds, learning them is the lightning -
the lesson and the teaching are such different things!
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