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  • Writer's picturedavidauten


There is a reason why nature’s beauty can leave you speechless. The numinous needs no descriptives. Language is a utility that quickens the mind but often deadens the senses. It is difficult to really see the majesty of the maple, actually feels its coarse bark, taste its dripping sweetness, hear its wind combed leaves, take in its unusual aroma when all of this is filtered through the restrictions of some rhetoric. Words wound perception. While affording the gift of communication each linguistic label limits the mystery and magnificence of what lies bare in the wildness of the world. This is the nature of the nominal. Through no fault of their own letters create a liminality. Life is manageable because every thing has a name, containing and restraining its splendor. Silence thus affords a unique opportunity: to experience the sanctuary of the world, as well as your own inner sanctum, with wonder once again.

Look around and behold. Close your eyes and listen. Like clouds, evanescent thoughts float aimlessly through the panorama of the mind. Then, as the chatter of self-talk settles, the stillness allows feelings once neglected to come out from hiding. In the quiet you may suddenly feel grief, a clandestine sadness you did not know was there grounding you to the real. You might likewise be surprised by joy, for no reason at all, other than the raw, unpredictable thrill of being, palpably present in the absence of words. Though hard to articulate, which may be no accident, in the emptiness there is a sense of peace, and something close to divine. Thomas Keating said silence is God’s original language; everything else is mere commentary.


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