Silence is something which many people find painful and we spend so much energy trying to avoid it.
We fill our lives with noise and action in an attempt to avoid silence. There is a common belief that silence is empty and that we should fill it. This is so wrong. In fact silence is already full.
Look at our own experiences. Let’s say something happens and it makes you happy or a bit sad then generally we will talk about these feelings and share them with another person. Now if something happens which makes you very happy or very sad then we lose words and rely on sounds, we cry or rejoice. Now if something happens which makes you so happy or so sad then we fall silent. We become so full that the only response is silence.
In religious circles people often talk about mysteries, which is a contradiction in terms. The word mystery comes from the word muein which means to keep silent. A mystery is something which makes us fall silent as we begin to understand its meaning.
In all truth understanding comes from a union of word with silence. A true conversation is more than a flow of words. A book is more than letters on a page. What allows us to understand is the space between the words. It is in the silence that we find understanding.
In the Druid tradition there is a deep love for the number three. Teaching and wisdom has come down to us in little sayings which we call triads.
And in that vein I would like to add a triad.
The three things needed to harvest wisdom are the seeding of careful words, time in the soil of silence, and the ripening of understanding.
Silence is not something to be avoided. It should be embraced, welcomed and loved. It is the soil in which grows understanding and from understanding we can harvest wisdom and peace.
Please find time in your busy days to enter into silence and feel its warm embrace.