Thursday, May 11, 2017

Absorbed in Silence

Bernadette Roberts

“Would it be possible to talk and work while in a state wherein the mind and memory are continually absorbed in silence? Could this become a permanent earthly state of existence? Or must we wait until heaven? St. John of the Cross, of course, tells us that the permanent suspension of the faculties in this life is not possible, and yet he does not say why. He simply takes this for granted, as in Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 26. I regard this assumption as a grave mistake, because down the road this type of consciousness does, in fact, become a great reality.

“To begin with, there are subtle degrees of this full suspension, and in one of the lower, gentler degrees it is quite easy to work in this state. However, it must be work in silence and solitude, work that needs little intellectual effort and almost no memory. It goes without saying that it would not be compatible within a socializing milieu where there is a lot of talk, and work tasks are intellectually, mentally absorbing. The continuous pull toward complete mental silence is too great for this; in fact, the nature of this pull becomes all the more insistent and pronounced when we try to go against it. It is like trying to swim against a powerful current: we finally become so exhausted that our energy gives way and we are forced to give up. At that point we must turn to go with the flow.”

Path to No Self, page 80

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