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Thread: Daily Bread

  1. #251
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    WS: I really enjoy your perspective on things so hope you don't stay gone for long)

  2. #252
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Fifty days or so ago I approached a vast new undiscovered territory .....silence. Pausing long enough to enter in, I did so expecting to learn new things about myself, which I did and I am. But what was unexpected was the rediscovery of long forgotten joys. One of those joys is the simplicity of being myself. Disconnecting from constantly creating an “interesting” person for others to see, from immersing myself in the quick pace of social media, disconnecting .....that has been a joy.

    It has allowed me to investigate my participation in consuming and producing. What and why do I consume? What and why do I produce? Is it possible to live happily with less of both? I began to see that a lot of what is described as an engaged lifestyle is simply attempting to be busy and accessible to everyone and everything at every moment. Not letting technology be an end in itself but seeing what technology is, the way we interact with it and it’s relationship with real people. Detachment helps me keep from making a sacrament of technology.

    Instead of the technology being a useful tool, we become its resource to the custodians of it. We voluntarily expend hours providing the raw materials for other people to use to enhance their wealth. Their wealth does not ooze up from the pavement. Being available at all times is certainly a nice feature for others but is it for you? Can we disconnect, turn off our smartphones, sit quietly in a room by ourselves, without any distraction, breathe and listen for direction? Or do we need to constantly search for a loud voice to guide us through our day?

    Are we looking for answers in the form of symbolic hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, fires or tragedy.....or will a whisper that comes in quiet contemplation be our guide? The good news for me is that silence can be created almost anywhere and thus far hasn’t been monetized. I am wealthy as long as I can become an island unto myself for long enough to get a compass reading and go on.

    As a kid I was exposed to simple mountain music. Certainly, lacking in technical prowess or trained musicianship... “old timey” music was not cutting edge technology. I can relate to simplicity in almost any realm. Music is often thought about in terms of what fills up the air but music would be nothing but noise without periods of silence. Pauses between the notes often set up anticipation. In a way, subtraction from the main theme enhances the work. Often, it is the notes that are not played that make a world of difference.

    This anticipation translates to our living but without the quiet interludes, pauses and behind the beat syncopation....we cannot fully appreciate the music when it comes. I have only scratched the surface and yet it has made a stark difference in my perception of sound and my ability to be guided by a “still small voice” that can only appear with the silence. And in truth, there is really no such thing as total silence. Even in the quietest of settings, my heart still beats, the blood rushes through my veins and my breathing is perceptible. It is the quiet rhythm of life that is the baseline for all the sounds that layer on top. So silence then is not nothing. Silence is a great something. It is a great help to stop looking outside yourself and turn inward. Silence makes that possible.

    Some simple old timey music ........


  3. #253
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
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    Insightful observations, WS. I find I need silence and solitude to get my ideas and then go exploring them.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  4. #254
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    It is ironic -- or, perhaps, designed -- that silence also makes what is said that much more powerful.

    Thank you, williamsmith. Nice to see you back, even if briefly.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  5. #255
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveinMN View Post
    It is ironic -- or, perhaps, designed -- that silence also makes what is said that much more powerful.

    Thank you, williamsmith. Nice to see you back, even if briefly.
    My opinion is that silence is misunderstood as a less effective communication than words. But it’s my experience that words however incitful they might be will always set boundaries within which ideas become trapped. What cannot be accurately said, is often best left blank. As a counselor, sitting quietly with a crestfallen person is often a better help than offering up words of solace. I understand that the meaning of life is being sought in books and communication. But I believe silence and quietness can be a more effective way to discover it, despite the current which runs against feelings versus science and philosophy. Perhaps in the last fifty days before my latest post.....by not saying anything.....I have learned more by being quiet than if I’d thrown thousands of letters at the blank page.

    “What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence.”

    Ludwig Wittgenstein

  6. #256
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    Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.
    Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

    Proverbs 17:28

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