“silence is open to everyone, literate or illiterate, king or slave, secular or religious, saint or sinner.” from “Silence: A User’s Guide”, Maggie Ross on the work of silence

Having come across her repeatedly in the work of Adam deVille, I am gradually absorbing Maggie Ross’ “Silence: A User’s Guide”

There are all too many extracts I would love to share. I am experiencing a little bit of resistance to the message at times…

‘..the process I call the work of silence. It is the choice to turn away from noise toward an unfiltered reality, to receive its gifts of fulfillment and joy. The purpose of the work of silence is to re-establish the flow between self-consciousness, which discriminates, dominates, and distorts our lives, and the clarity and wisdom of the deep mind, which is not directly accessible, but whose activities we can influence.37

The term work may be slightly misleading, for the only effort involved—and in today’s world, to refocus and relax into letting go paradoxically can require a great effort—is to choose to be still, to allow the noise to fall away, to be receptive, and, as Suso notes in the quotation at the beginning of this chapter, to ungrasp so that we may be “grasped” by illumination.38

The descriptive paradox signals this engagement, the breaching of the wall, the restoration of flow between the two different ways of knowing, between self-consciousness and deep mind. This simple work restores balance to our lives; it bestows equilibrium and equanimity.39 Because the fundamental operations of the human mind are universal and have not changed in recorded history, and in spite of centuries of religious and secular propaganda to the contrary, silence is open to everyone, literate or illiterate, king or slave, secular or religious, saint or sinner. It is never too late to seek silence, and one of the most important insights that comes from working with silence is that nothing in our lives is wasted.

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