The Coming Year of Real Growth?
“All profound things and emotions are preceded and attended by Silence… Silence is the general consecration of the universe. Silence is the invisible laying on of the Divine Pontiff’s hands upon the world. Silence is the only Voice of our God.” Melville
Pico Iyer’s 12/29/2011 NYT Op-ed might be helpful thought for the busy and over-booked. Iyer is brilliant and thoughtful, if not a bit eccentric, and his thoughts can enrich us. He seems fully aware that his “quiet times” mirror those of all who would live transcendent lives in a plugged in culture of confusion. Pico reminds us:
“We have more and more ways to communicate, as Thoreau noted, but less and less to say. Partly because we’re so busy communicating. And — as he might also have said — we’re rushing to meet so many deadlines that we hardly register that what we need most are lifelines.”
“So what to do? The central paradox of the machines that have made our lives so much brighter, quicker, longer and healthier is that they cannot teach us how to make the best use of them; the information revolution came without an instruction manual. All the data in the world cannot teach us how to sift through data; images don’t show us how to process images. The only way to do justice to our onscreen lives is by summoning exactly the emotional and moral clarity that can’t be found on any screen.”
“The urgency of slowing down — to find the time and space to think — is nothing new, of course, and wiser souls have always reminded us that the more attention we pay to the moment, the less time and energy we have to place it in some larger context. “Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for our miseries,” the French philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote in the 17th century, “and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.” He also famously remarked that all of man’s problems come from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”
Here’s to a deeper more thoughtful life in 2012 directed by spiritual maturity and growth. Please share how you plan to live more thoughtfully in 2012. I wish you a rich and blessed new year.
“In love, we are speechless; in awe, we say, words fail us.” P Iyer
Bonus! Also see Pico’s: The Eloquent Sounds of Silence