I am fascinated by the power of silence, its simplicity and mastery. I believe that in silence comes the answer, healing happens and pain is transformed. It’s the way to connect with ourselves, with others and with the whole. But for this it is necessary to let it happen, to allow its presence and to rely on its silent force. Without thinking that this space needs to be filled with words, speech and much blah, blah, blah, so many times superficial and unnecessary. And so we chose to share the beautiful text below by Rubem Alves, as an invitation to less words and more connection with our truth.
I always see announced oratory courses. I’ve never seen a listening course announced. Everyone wants to learn to talk. No one wants to learn to listen. I thought about offering a listening course. But I do not think anyone will enroll. Listening is complicated and subtle…
To paraphrase Alberto Caeiro: “It is not enough to have ears to hear what is said; there must also be silence within the soul. ” Hence the difficulty: we can not bear to hear what the other says without soon giving a better guess, without mixing what he says with what we have to say …
Our inability to listen is the most constant and subtle manifestation of our arrogance and vanity: deep down, we are the most beautiful …
I have an old friend, Jovelino, who moved to the United States stimulated by the revolution of 64. He told me of his experience with the Indians. When meeting the participants, no one speaks. There is a long, long silence. (The pianists, before beginning the concert, in front of the piano, sit in silence, opening voids of silence, expelling all strange ideas.) All in silence, waiting for the essential thought.
Silence from outside is not enough. It takes silence inside. Absence of thoughts. And then, when the silence is made inside, we begin to hear things that we did not hear. I started to listen.
Fernando Pessoa knew the experience, and referred to something that is heard in the interstices of words, where there are no words. Music happens in silence. The soul is a submerged cathedral. At the bottom of the sea – anyone who does diving knows – the mouth is closed. We are all eyes and ears. There, free from the noises of talk and the knowledge of philosophy, we hear the melody that was not there, which is so beautiful that it makes us cry.
For me, God is this: the beauty that is heard in silence. Hence the importance of knowing how to listen to others: beauty lives there too. Communion is when the beauty of the other and the beauty of the people come together in a counterpoint. Let us listen to the cries of the hungry and the dispossessed of humanity that we stubbornly do not see or hear. It is time to renew, not just for ourselves to become better human beings, but for the good of each one of us.
The time has come, we no longer have to wait. Let us listen to the human who dwells in each one of us and cries out for our humanity, for our solidarity, which insists on speaking to us and making us see the other that gives meaning and is the reason for our existence, without which we are not and will never be in the expression of the word.
by Rubem Alves