Sitting there in silence, listening to the quiet, I was filled with a unique feeling of peace, an impression so intense that it seemed to expand into ineffable JOY. ...It went on, second after second, so pervasive that it seemed to fill my entire body. I relaxed into it luxuriated in it. Then with no warning, and surely without preparation or expectation, I knew what it was: for the seconds it lasted I felt, with a certainty I cannot account for, a sense of the presence of God.
True experience always comes about in withdrawal "from the crowd." The original, true and proper attitude of the mind is, as Heraclites says, that of "listening to the truth of things..." Our journey into the territory of being should be made in silence, with wondering, wide-open eyes. The fullness of truth and reality is revealed only to those who attain to a silence which covers every aspect of their beings, or who, in other words make their basic attitude toward the whole of being one of delicate and reserved courtesy... For anyone who wishes to hear what is true and real, every voice must for once be still. Silence, however, is not merely the absence of speech. It is not something negative; it is "something" in itself. It is a depth, a fullness, a peaceful flow of hidden life. Everything true and great grows in silence. Without silence we fall short of reality and cannot plumb the depths of being.
The most beautiful words, those that give the most genuine help, are often born in a silence filled with suffering. Silence is the glowing furnace of the word, the forge of true speech and sensitivity.
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