Saturday, March 27, 2004

The Voice of Wisdom

The Voice of Wisdom

A monk once told me that wisdom only arises in moments of silence. When I heard that almost two decades ago, I didn't really understand what he meant. Perhaps only now am I beginning to grasp it.

The mind is constantly bombarded by stimuli and reacts continuously to them. Hence it never gets a chance to reflect its "true self". I know a lot of people who can't remain quiet. Any moment of silence is equated to boredom and loneliness. The moment such an occassion arises, they will immediately call a friend to indulge in some idle chit-chat, or switch on the TV to fill the silence.

Why is quietness and solitude so abhorrent to us? Is it because we fear losing connection with the rest of the world and end up feeling helplessly abandoned and forgotten? The abyss of loneliness terrifies us so much that our minds have acquired the habit of gleefully latching on to any kind of distraction. Some people's life is just a continuous series of distractions.

Mahatma Gandhi was known to have a practice of keeping a day of complete silence every week. He communicated only through written notes on that day. Benedictine monks keep vows of silence. Mystics meditate. They all know the value of silence.

The mind has to be occasionally silenced because it has an incessant momentum forward. Driven by the constant bombardment of stimuli, sometimes the mind veers off course. We forget our principles, our conscience and our divine origin. Only by quietening down the mind, can it regain its balance.

When the mind is quiet, the inner voice speaks. And that, is the voice of wisdom.

No comments: