Nothing’s Better Than The Silent Treatment

Silence is ever speaking; it is the perennial flow of “language.” It is interrupted by speaking; for words obstruct this mute language. Silence is permanent and benefits the whole of humanity. . . . By silence, eloquence is meant. It is the best language. There is a state when words cease and silence prevails. Ramana Maharshi

Friends, this now broken long summer silence announces and enacts the best of all possible gifts that I could ever have hoped to share in our noospheric spiritual friendship. As the noosphere – the collective, cumulative and emergent effects of attention gradients on the biosphere – proliferates and grows, it seeks tinier and tinier intervals in which to capture our attention. But what is between these momentary captures of attention? A phone chirps, a text arrives, a channel changes. What happens between? Could these intervals disappear, become extinct?

In order to really ask after this question, we need to turn our attention back onto itself and observe the space between thoughts, if there is any. And probably, when we do so, we experience thoughts. These might include “Why am I focusing my attention on my attention?” Whatever the thoughts are, they are not a focus of our attention onto itself. They are not the perception of the mind with the mind, but a story about the mind we tell ourselves while pretending to investigate our mind for the sake of a blog post. To whom do these thoughts come? If our thoughts are, like this blog post, displayed upon a screen, what does the screen itself look like? I am going to shut up soon and say nothing further, and that is the most direct and most loving gift that I can offer.

Give yourself the gift of the silent treatment. Follow each thought as it occurs and watch it disappear into silence. Behold the screen upon which thoughts dance. Behold that silence. Forget about doing Something. Nothing’s better. Much, much better.

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