Wednesday, October 26, 2005

SILENCE

"The moment man realizes when to speak, and when to keep silence, he takes his first step in the path of wisdom."
Hazrat Inayat Khan



I wonder how many, when reading such things, wonder if they have every experienced the state being referred to. "Do I know when to keep silent," we think to ourselves? "How much of my life is wrapped up in reaction to the point where I really do not know how conscious my thoughts and responses really are." Or, how many, upon reading such things feel as if they are doing something wrong.
Sufism is hard. Pir Vilayat used to say that it was the hardest of the ism's. He would give various reasons for this but I think the real reason is that there are no rules. We try hard to create rules and doctrine because humans like them but there really are no rules. Really. All rules are cultural, created by humans to better allow us to live together. They may be couched in religio-political terms but ultimately they really are about cooperation and who gets to be in charge in different situations. This is a good thing as we need something like this in each culture. It is a good thing right up to the point that beings begin telling other beings that they are wrong, so wrong that they must be punished, not for some crime as in theft or murder, but because they are not conforming to the rules.
People who follow the spiritual path know this yet many still create rules, alternative perhaps but rules none the less, just because that is what humans do. What rules you might ask? One should be kind, one should never criticize, one must be humble, never fight, be thankful for whatever comes your way and so on. Take the above quote for example. It seems quite reasonable, wise in fact. So what will tend to happen is this phrase will enter into the mythos of those who follow the teachings of masters such as Hazrat Inayat Khan. Then these self same followers will begin monitoring other followers to see if they are conforming to this and other statements made by whatever master is being emulated. Then a thing that all mystics dread begins to happen, doctrine gets formed. It may be unwritten but it will be there.
There is one thing that irritates me no end. (By the way, I demand the right to be irritated) That is when you are having a discussion with someone and they stop the conversation cold by saying, "Pir Vilayat said........or Pir Zia said.........." If you cannot muster up your own arguments bringing the Pir's into it does not make you any better or any more knowledgable. Besides, as anyone who has been around any length of time should know, the statements of the moment are in the moment, not for ever and ever. Something said in a state of deep meditation is not the same as the same thing said in normal consciousness. Which should cause you to wonder about the many scriptures and their accounts of the speeches and homilies of the various prophets.
So, how does one know when to follow the rules? You don't. What you do is seek your own authenticity. If, as Pir O Murshid states above. you find yourself with a compelling sense that silence is best in some situation that would ordinarily call for discourse, then you understand. If you are intellectually telling yourself the above then it isn't yet true for you. And that, my friends, is the real key to the spiritual life, authenticity.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

ps: Please, please never say "Musawwir said'. I cannot imagine a worse fate then to be quoted in support of someone else's opinion.

6 comments:

Nurelhuda said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
oobie said...

I'm really enjoying your blog. I feel that there's wisdom to be gained here...so I will take my time reading the rest of your posts and I promise not to quote you ^^

Nurelhuda said...

I made a coment and deleted it, not because I felt my coment was wrong but because I did not want to see you react to it.I just realized , via comments made on my blog, that your blog is visited by more people than you think and, the people are also seeing the comments as well.What does this mean? It means whatever messages that they get from what you write have far reaching repuercussions. I think for me, when I write I have in my mind that I am making a speech with an audience that fills a whole lecture room and I ask myself ,what do I need to do to reach these people, what is the message I want to bring across.
So for me, I reveal my weaknesses because I am human , but I reveal them I hope not by how I reply but by conscious revelation .I have also learned to gauge how to write to not push people's buttons and when these buttons get pushed anyway, then I forgive myself because of having done my best not to push people's buttons.
For me silence serves its purpose sometimes ..and speaking out serves it at other times. The art of knowing what to say when to say it is a blessing and a sign of a connection with the divine. I believe it comes from complete surrender.
As for quoting others , when I quote, I qualify what I quote by saying this is what I feel it means: And when the meaning is specific to certain things: I believe I try to say that too.For example when I said Pir Zia said , do not defend ..I also said this is specific instructions for me and it was for a specific topic because the topic on hand was HIK's writings and attacks by fundamentalist types..Of course I have my own understanding of defending ..I believe it is a mechanism that for the most part becomes a block for our own growth.
When we are annoyed about something, that annoyance is a portal for better understanding ourselves , it is also something we share with our closest friends who we interact with so they know when not to do that which we do not like .But it is not something we want to share with people who are our larger audience who we want not to antagonise because we have a message that is larger than ourselves to deliver..and us getting in the way of delivering the message is a stone on the path..I am trying to remember something my spiritual guide told me ..to guote..but perhaps I will say what Devi said to me and what you also wrote about: People don t like to be told their greatest faults..I think that applies to other people , not to authors and Spiritual Teachers..These people I believe should look forward to being told their faults..for it helps them to become better teachers and better pupils who learn from those they teach.

mhall68 said...

As others have said, Silence is Golden, depending on the situation. It is must better at times to just say nothing at all. Because once spoken it can never be taken back, and at times you find yourself wishing that you could. but the tongue is like a burning bush, it explodes at times, starting the biggest fire that anyone can see. So that should teach us that we should think before we say anything at all. Silence is something that we should all choose more often.

jules said...

Greetings
Rules. The time we all now live in, the era of increased political correctness. As the leader of my pack the one rule i try to teach my cubs is "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you". Which pretty much covers respect, sharing, thankfulness and basic decencey.
Ah yes then we have the many religions of the world..........
As a small child i went to church every Sunday, until the rules/laws of the church confused me, and so i wiped religion from life as one does the ravings of a psychotic fool.
Todays lesson-
Jesus loves you, God loves you, they forgive all your sins and will always welcome you back into the fold.
Next weeks lesson-
Sinners will all die terrible deaths and burn in hell for all eternity.
Make it up as you go along religion!
Silence. Can speak more than a thousand words ever can. Peacefulness, calmness, tranquillity, love, yet it can also convey aggression,and hostility.
Through silence we can learn to choose the words we speak with greater care.
Blessings

Anonymous said...

In silence the beauty of one's soul is seen.
There are no words for what our hearts convey,
or for what a flower has to say...