Silence of the Mind
We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…. We need silence to be able to touch souls. [Mother Teresa].
Our Creator has established for us a sublime system of communication to approach, to encounter and to appreciate the Divine Reality. Through revelations, dreams, prayers, intuition and numerous spiritual processes, we have continuous access to wisdom and understanding beyond our cognitive faculties.
Our deepest thoughts and our most profound emotions continually seek this Divine transmission, but a wall of secular interference constantly blocks communications between God and the faithful.
We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship. [C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses, p. 107].
Language and Consciousness
How does consciousness relate to the Divine language? Did we think without words as infants? In what language does a physically disabled person think (cf. Helen Keller)?
Once we learn a language, can we stop using it, stop thinking in words? When someone asks, “What do you think?” or “What did you notice?” does our verbal response accurately communicate what our consciousness experiences?
Silence is the true teaching. It is the perfect instruction suited only for the most advanced seeker. The others are unable to draw full inspiration from it. Therefore, they require words to explain the Truth. But Truth is beyond words. It does not admit of explanation. All that it is possible to do is to indicate it. [Ramana Maharshi].
We need inner silence to perceive and understand. When our thoughts are occupied in temporal ambitions, we are deaf to the Divine voice. Our efforts to cultivate spiritual awareness remain grounded in vain pursuits.
In silence and quiet the devout soul advances in virtue and learns the hidden truths of Scripture. There she finds a flood of tears with which to bathe and cleanse herself nightly, that she may become the more intimate with her Creator the farther she withdraws from all the tumult of the world. For God and His holy angels will draw near to him who withdraws from friends and acquaintances. [Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Ch. 20].
Noise of Desires
Entrenched in our irreverent attitudes and addicted to sacrilegious lifestyles, we resist Divine dialogue. We don’t listen. Our arrogance prevents us from understanding eternal signs and universal messages.
A talkative soul is empty inside. It lacks both the essential virtues and intimacy with God. A deeper interior life, one of gentle peace and of that silence where the Lord dwells, is quite out of the question. A soul that has never tasted the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others. [St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul, 118].
We establish physical barriers, amuse ourselves with new technology and cover ourselves under a blanket of affluence. Our appetites keep our mind stuffed, muffling the sacred and blocking the holy.
It is necessary and advisable to serve God in silence, of desires as well as of the tongue. If there is no silence of desires, it will not be easy to have silence of the tongue…. We serve God in silence of desires and of the tongue because God only attends to the speech of love. [St John of the Cross, p. 355].
In our spiritual struggles, we have to listen carefully to hear the Divine voice. It is an intimate voice that emanates from sincere faith, but is often drowned in the clamor of our daily existence.
There is a way between voice and presence where information flows. In disciplined silence it opens. With wandering talk it closes. [Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi].
Only in spiritual silence can we truly listen to the Divine voice. When we still our appetites and quiet our cravings, we begin to understand who we are. From there, our spiritual understanding shifts.
Immersed in spiritual silence, illusory needs cease their incessant clanging. Material gluttony is quenched by a fount of satisfaction. Lusts are doused in an ocean of tranquility.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. [Isaiah 26:3 (ESV)].
Whisperings of God
Our perception, our judgement and our memory contribute to our awareness, but can they exist in a vacuum, without order, without standards, without values. In other words, how do we arrange our thoughts to achieve the greatest good, and realize our highest potential?
To silence the lips is good; to silence our thoughts is better. Inner silence amplifies a Divine voice calling to spiritual awareness. The dissonance of restless, profane thoughts becomes the harmony of mystical understanding.
When God speaks, he speaks so loudly that all the voices of the world seem dumb. And yet, when God speaks he speaks so softly that no one hears the whisper but yourself. [Henry Drummond, The Ideal Life, p. 216].
Released from transitory burdens, disengaged from ephemeral phenomena and freed from imagined fears, the silent mind now hears the whispers of sacred thoughts.
Be empty of worrying. Think of who created thought! Why do you stay in prison When the door is so wide open? Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence. [Rumi].
The spiritually calm mind rests on cushions of Divine thoughts. Floating in the stillness of transcendent consciousness, the quiet soul no longer hears the clatter of screeching senses, but only the universal refrain of peace.
AND ON EARTH there are signs [of God’s existence, visible] to all who are endowed with inner certainty, just as [there are signs thereof] within your own selves: can you not, then, see? [Quran 51:20-22]
Mystical Echoes: Amplifying the Divine Silence
When God Whispers Your Name, Max Lucado