In Solitude and Silence

True solitude is found in the wild places, where one is without human obligation. One’s inner voices become audible… In consequence, one responds more clearly to other lives – Wendell Berry

Simplicity follows quietude and quietude leads to more simplicity. We find that the simpler our life becomes the less dramatic and cluttered we make it. – Rodney Smith

Clearer seeing arises for me out of solitude. Recently I have changed how I connect with some older friends. I discovered that our way of relating was dependent on my sense of self that was grounded in attachment and identifying with ways and beliefs. Many of these ways and beliefs were habitual and culturally conditioned. They developed out of a teaching imposed by others. I suspect that much of the teaching and information was handed down from past familial generations and it was unquestioned and unchallenged by family members. It was helpful information in terms of promoting survival in those times and it came to be accepted as absolute truth.
In solitude I have come to see deeper into these habitual truths. I eventually discovered that I required some space from others, in solitude, where I could find and explore what was authentic beyond my conditioned and habitual ways of relating to others. That self was in a bizarre and convoluted way, attached to wanting to be liked and never really realized a point where it was secure and content in that. There was always a lingering sense of doubt and impermanence that always seemed to involve ongoing manipulation and attention.
As I awaken to all this I am coming to trust in something beyond the conditioning and pursuit of security and certainty in how I relate to family, friends and others. These days I respond to something other than “a self”, with its accompanying and limiting needs. It is beyond the habitual, unaware ways of acting and interacting. I trust in something else that is not as effable and amenable to description but at the same time is a more authentic essence of what I am. Out of solitude I am discovering what is authentic.
In this brief audio clip Ram Das illustrates how we resort to intellect in our ways of relating to ourself and in turn to others. There is something more authentic of “what we are” that emerges from the silence. It is what we have forgotten, of the essence of living, in our reliance on habit and conditioning that emerges in being. That being is discovered in silence.

Tired of Being by Ram Das Thanks to my friend Kaarel for the audio clip.

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