Back when I was at university I took a rather fascinating course. I was in Gallatin School of Individualized Study at NYU and the course was called “The Meaning of Silence”.
Silence has meant many things over time. But the focus of this class was on the anthropological meaning of silence as the space that connects, or unifies people and cultures.
It is through sound that we assert our opinions and identities. Through sound we hear the different language someone else speaks, or at least different accent they speak in. Through sound, we label others as similar or other. But in silence those markers disappear. Silence is where we meet.
As such, silence is a powerful unifying force for people and groups who wish to connect. But silence is also a powerful force for you as an individual when you want to change or evolve.
Each of our identities – our thoughts and ideas about who we are – has momentum to it. Whether we know it or not, we are creatures of habit and pattern. As long as the habits we are in are working well enough, we rarely interrupt them.
But we must regularly cease that momentum and stop our outward doing to attune to our leading edge of potential. By joining the frequency of silence, we reset ourselves and bring our outer actions in sync with our innermost values.
This is why I often refer to silence as “the realm of infinite potential”. For in silence we drop back to the place within where anything is possible.
If you’d like to try this out for yourself, I invite you to sit comfortably, close your eyes, and listen.
First, listen to all the sounds you can hear. Listen for sounds that are both close and far. Notice each distinct one without getting carried away by it.
After you’ve taken note of each sound, listen to the field of silence where-from those sounds arise and then disappear. Sit still and just listen to the silence.
At first this might feel strange. How can I listen to silence?
The same way that you can focus on the “negative space” in a painting, you can perceive no-sound. And as you do, sense the relief of not needing to be anybody special or do anything important.
Instead, drop back to the energy of pure potential inside you. Find the source of your excitement about life, your passion for contributing. Feel that place inside that genuinely loves to engage with this world – the part that has something truly unique to offer.
By getting on the frequency of your potential, you will refresh your own cache. You will touch your intuition and inspiration. You will then emerge back into the tasks of the day on your own leading edge.
Best of luck in the field of silence, I encourage you to visit there often. And do tell me how it goes…
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