The fable of silence

Somebody once told me that there was something extraordinary about silence that I had to experience for my own sake; that to refuse this elucidating encounter, would be of anyone’s life, the greatest mistake. It was also said to me that this endeavor I could not afford to forsake, for it was full of answers, peace, and the wisdom that one needed to become awake.

Then, as supposedly did the wise men, looking for silence I went: the perilous noise I was prepared to circumvent! Hoping, as it was promised to me, to delight in a numinous, enriching event.

But I knew not where to begin!

I first followed a few teachers who between mantras, austerities, and techniques, noise promised to appease. «Empty the mind»: ordered the masters’ expertise. Deny I will not, that while in practice my mind was extraordinarily at ease; but outside the teachers’ enclosure, the turbulence returned to my ears. I stopped following them: the noise from my mind they failed to appease.

«In a monastery, that’s where it is! — I said to myself- An invitation to the gathering of monks and spirituality, silence would never dismiss. » Long hours in lotus position and isolation, hinted that it was soon to happen: freedom from the noisy condemnation.

«Why can’t you go away! » — I shouted after a while with a voice of dismay. Alas, I wrongfully thought that amid monks there was no suffering, struggles, or noise that could my heart betray. Sad I was, for once again, I had to search for the true way. I recollected while walking away: «Monks are relentless hunters, hoping to trap an elusive prey, silence. »

I climbed sacred mountains, lived inside ancient caves, I purified my soul with the water of the holy rivers and lakes; I was certain that from the grandeur of these natural wonders, silence would not be able to escape.

Patiently I waited amid the natural orchestration: it was sure that among the essence of life, I would soon enjoy the quietest contemplation. Nevertheless, the buzz of the wind and the roar of the waves only heightened my frustration.

While coming down from the mountain I encountered the so-called religious men. They pledged to show me something greater than silence, but first I had to take care of my original sin. I placed all my faith in them, for they talked to me not as a stranger, but as the sweetest of friends.

«Prayer is the only way out of your noisy fears. » That I did for many years! I also endured hunger, discipline, contrition and tears; but it was all worth it! Silence, and something greater, would soon appear.

I submerged myself in the religious depths: I discovered faith, solved the mysteries of life, and memorized all the sacred texts. And yet, despite my honest intention, silence was still the cause of my frustration. Suddenly, I purposely dropped my strength and determination; throughout my journey they had only guided me to deception.

In the end, silence I did not comprehend. They were good for nothing! My will, teachers, monasteries, nature, and the religious men. I gave up; I knew then that noise would never end.

I forgot about silence, but then, it was noise I wanted to challenge: « Where do you come from? You must pay for my life’s damage! ». I waited until my deathbed, but just as silence did, noise had also vanished.

Dear me! Too late did I realize that noise and silence were as true as my life was real. And because I was obsessed with promising ideals, the beauty of creation I was not able to feel. What was supposed to be a celebration (my life), ended up being an unfortunate ordeal.

*****

Just as it happened in this fable, we humans stupidly insist on finding the elixir of Life. How can you try to find something that is everywhere?! We are surrounded by the universal expression! Where can it hide? It has given us such magnificent colors, lakes, skies, birds, fruits, trees, friends, oceans.

If we the need to find something meaningful it is perhaps because our sensibility is tarnished by our selfish distractions (usually spiritual). Life gives us all, all the time; maybe is us who are afraid of giving all to Life.