Can inner silence preserve our humanity?
“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass. the world is too full to talk about.” Rumi
I’ve just finished watching a video of 7 scary looking ‘robo-cop’ type police chasing down and beating a young woman who had entered a mall in France without a vaccine passport.
Yesterday I watched a documentary about the nurses who willingly worked for the Nazi’s during the holocaust’s human experiments. Maybe those who have been jabbed already are able to watch these videos without horror, or without seeing where this may be headed.
Maybe they even think the French girl ‘got what she deserved’ for being a public threat. Perhaps they are comforted by knowing whatever society we are heading toward, at least they will be on the convenient ‘safe’ side of it. Or maybe they are also horrified.
But whatever is your personal stance about the whole damn thing. Let us at least acknowledge that we have a very contentious issue here, and one that is already dividing humanity in a way that no issue has ever done before.
It seems that for the last few decades especially, humanity has been getting a lot of practice at taking stances. We can see it in gender and race identity politics, left vs right, vegan vs meat-eater, ‘awake’ vs ‘woke’. Wherever we turn we are encouraged to take a stance; state where we stand, pick a team, wave a flag. And to reduce each other to ridiculous one-dimensional stereotypes.
Like most of us, I know people at all points along the continuum of stances. But perhaps the ones I feel the most affinity with, are the ones who sit right in the middle. Not as in, sitting on the fence unsure, or picking points from each side, they may be jabbed or unjabbed, but where it really counts they remain, firmly in their own inner centre.
None of us really know the full picture of what is going on, no matter how deep down the rabbit hole we might have travelled, how many conspiracies we have proved to ourselves, how logically we can argue the merits of our point of view.
But when we are faced with another living being, in front of us, what do we see.
If we are lost in our opinions, even if we think they are the ‘facts’, we start to see others through a lens of ‘with me ‘ or ‘against me’. The threat of the ‘other’ makes us cling more fervently to those who we identify as thinking like us. The edginess of the world atmosphere is heightening that mechanism dramatically.
A funny thing though, if we talk with anyone long enough, we eventually find ourselves diverging in opinion about something. If we want someone to always agree with us, we should talk to the mirror. But if we want to live in the world with others and face future challenges that may prove to be of biblical proportions, we need to stick to together.
Many people are banking on surviving by sticking together with those who are like-minded. This creates a fake unity, as we pit ourselves together against the ‘others’. This is what humanity has always done. But as long as we haven’t learnt to coexist with different minds, we are doomed to self-destruct, even within our ‘tribes.
Jordan Peterson, couldn’t make this point clearer, when he warns of the dangers of tribalism.
To find unity within the diversity of thinking, we have to have the broadest possible identity.
For me, the essence of tribalism, is identifying with anything other thing your inner most being. As soon as we move away from that, there is potential for conflict. We can and will still have opinions but if we don't create our identities out of them, we won't irrationally defend those opinions against all contrary evidence. We won’t be threatened by other’s opinions or hate the opinion holder.
For humanity to rise above its petty and no-so petty conflicts, it needs to expand its identity to be an inclusive one. There can’t be true unity, when it is based on unity of opinion.
This is why I prefer the word silence even to the word soul. Every religion and every person has a subtly different stance on what soul means. But silence indicates an opinion-less stance. It enables us to realise the living energy which we are, that which is actually powering up the screen of our mind, on to which we can project all those precious opinions. Opinions change but this source, this immense silence ‘within’, from which the character and all its preferences we call ‘me’ is born, never changes.
All beings, all one.
Sounds good to my ears, but I have friends who would disagree with this ‘stance’. They would argue that there are evil beings in the ‘uni’verse. That there always has to be a them and us, even in the spiritual dimensions.
But there are no dimensions in silence. True silence is undivided. It is a point. Like a complete full-stop to even the vibration of thought, let alone strings of thoughts we call beliefs and opinions.
That is the field where we must meet. This is the only truth that can wake us up from the nightmare of division we have created. And it’s not even truth, as long as we are still just thinking about it. It’s just another concept to dissect.
When we see and hear others, in front of us, or on our screens. As we watch them play out their parts in this huge world drama; based on the opinions they hold, the stances the protect; the people they identity with, the hostility they project on us, or the political comrades they mistake us for.
Don’t be sucked in. Stay firmly in your soul or silence centred non-stance. This is a subtle revolution with not-so subtle effects.