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The Taboo of Silence

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

       Silence has become almost taboo in our lives, our societies; our world. It seems that no matter where we go or what we are doing that there is always some background chatter; music, televisions everywhere chattering advertisements & nonsensical shows, cell phone conversations, mp3 music, pod casts & audio books.

 

      It is as though we can’t bear to be alone with ourselves.

 

       Much of the human race has that “something’s going to eat me” fear of the dark. The question is how and when did we become so needful of something to keep the monsters at bay everywhere we go, even in the broad light of day? Are we really trying to keep away the things that terrify us in the outside world or are we just too scared of seeing what we have become as individual beings?

 

       I don’t mean to say that we shouldn’t ever have some outside stimuli. My point is that we have taken a good thing and gone overboard with it. Those stimuli are everywhere, all the time and we have to make the conscious effort to get away from them rather that making the conscious decision to partake of them. Why in the blessed world do we need to go to the gym to be surrounded by televisions & blasting music? Why can’t we go out to dinner without needing televisions affixed in the corners so we don’t have to unplug & then actually spend time with our dinner companions? We seem to spend ever more time isolating ourselves from our fellows & keeping “in touch” through “social” media outlets. If you don’t log in to tell everyone where you are having dinner or that you’re at the grocery “friends” begin to think you are anti-social or have just dropped out of “society”.  

 

       Let me say here that I am not against media or social media, to a point.  Too much of even a good thing can be overwhelming and can eradicate what was once good about said thing.  I think that in many ways this has become the case with media in general and is a growing concern with “social media”.  [No, the irony that I am posting this on a blog did not escape me. 😉 ]  It is terribly convenient for modern media to tell only what sells and not the entire story.  If they get caught they get a slap on the wrist and may have to make a perfunctory apology that has no real meaning behind and only happens because they were ordered to.  Even then, that is a rare occurrence.  

 

       However, I digress from my initial topic onto a favorite rant; let me get back on track.

 

       Silence, quietude, calm, peace, contemplation, introspection, stillness, reflection…when did these things become the antithesis of our modern world?  Even when we think of “down time” and “relaxing” many people will mention watching TV, listening to music, etc. to unwind.

 

      The longer I have spent looking into myself over the years, studying meditation and other various spiritual practices I have seen the absolute need of a constant barrage of noise and outside stimulus lessen and now it is a rare thing rather than the rule.  I realized after a good bit of introspection that I had to have that constant input to keep me from looking too deeply at myself and who I had become.

 

     Was I some devil or evil spirit? You probably wouldn’t think so; however, I did.  And to continue down that path I had to keep from looking too hard.  Fortunately I decided about fifteen years ago to try a different course.  In turn that required that I look at all of those things I had been steadfastly ignoring.  They hadn’t mellowed with time and were just as bad, if not worse, than when I initially tried to bury them.  After some years of continued excavation and cleaning out of the proverbial closet I have found much peace within myself and love it.

 

     It has seemed to me of late that while I seek more peace that the majority of people in society around me are seeking to fill every single moment with a variety of sound and fury. I wonder how many of them ever stop and wonder why.  I didn’t, I just did it day in and out.  We live in a world society that encourages us to not look too closely and to keep it on the surface level even though we are surrounded by “in depth reports, studies, stories” etc.  When you look really closely, most of what those cover is surface level stuff.

 

    I find that looking in depth requires a good deal more time than most people today are willing to devote to it.  I wonder how far we will continue on this trend as a world society.  Will people ever wake up and start looking closer as a whole or will it continue to be dribs and drabs here and there?

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