November 1988 (Vol. I, No. 10)

Greetings to all Friends of Silence in this month where we celebrate all the Saints and all the Souls. November is also the time to remember that we are all called to live with grateful hearts. And our Silence is often where the fullness of our thanksgiving is most keenly experienced.

The gift of silence

Practicing Silence is the art of letting down the barrier that separates our rational consciousness from the depth of our soul ... of coming into touch with the spiritual world in a way that opens our whole being to the reality of the creative and integrating center -- to the Risen Christ ... In silence we meet the reality of the inner voice from God which gives inspiration, guidance and direction, and transformation.

The gift of Silence is to allow the Christ to bring the split-off, conflicting parts of our being into fruitful relationship, and at the same time, to deliver us from destructive evil which seeks to keep us fragmented and operating unconsciously. In this way, we are brought together and given a single eye -- that new center of being which allows us to operate at more nearly full potential, creatively and freed from giving in to destructive impulses.

~ from THE OTHER SIDE OF SILENCE by Morton T. Kelsey

The ultimate goal of living

For, the ultimate goal of living in Silence is love, is to become holy and whole. The Holy is the most intimate and intensely personal and unitive of all experiences; that which integrates most totally, where all superlatives converge, where the sense of the overflowing ultimate Presence and Joy enwrap and draw us into the ecstasy of wordless adoration. Adoration of God is a long, slow life process of interpenetrating manifestation and discovery. Each of us is a pilgrim of the Absolute on an immense and limitless journey. Blessed are those who follow the Way with a single eye!

~ from SURPRISED BY THE SPIRIT by Edward J. Farrell
Surprised By the Spirit
By Edward J Farrell

On a dark afternoon

On a dark afternoon -- I was ten or eleven -- I was walking on a country road, on my left a patch of curly kale, on my right some yellowed Brussel sprouts. I felt a snowflake on my cheek, and from far away in the charcoal-gray sky I saw the approach of a snowstorm. I stood still. Some flakes were now falling around my feet. A few melted as they hit the ground. Others stayed intact. Then I heard the falling of the snow, with the softest hissing sound.

I stood transfixed, listening ... and knew what can never be expressed: that the natural is supernatural, and that I am the eye that hears and the ear that sees, that what is outside happens in me, that outside and inside are unseparated. It is the inexpressible, and the inexpressible is the only thing that it is worthwhile expressing.

~ from THE ZEN OF SEEING by Frederick Franck

Ineffable journey

This poem-prayer comes from Philip J. Bennett of Fostoria, Ohio. An excerpt from his letter gives some sense of his journey, which he generously shares with us: "The past six years have been my time of silence -- a time for prayer, a time for thought, a time to listen to God and man. As I listen to God, I receive hope out of inescapable despair; from man I hear mostly a college of confusion, ignorance, sin, arrogance, and ultimate despair, which drives me once again into the Silence to God for assurance and hope ... You are, therefore, an ember in a smoldering fire to me. You may be enough to rekindle a flame ..."

Ineffable Journey
(up to third heaven)

Fluttering wings descend on me,
To calm and cool my anxiety
That rages in my spirit which burns;
For God's outstretched hand it yearns.

Fluttering wings drive the wind;
And by it, to heave I ascend
Where the breath of God falls on me
Like waves of unimaginable ecstasy.

Fluttering wings have carried me
Far beyond the borders of credulity
To where eyes have seen and ears have heard
The reality of the Living Word.

Sometimes
in the stillness of the quiet,
if we listen
we can hear the whisper
in the heart
giving strength to weakness,
courage to fear,
hope to despair ...

~ from "Meditations of the Heart" by Howard Thurman
Meditations of the Heart
By Howard Thurman