As we enter the holiday season, we celebrate the miracle of transformation as darkness begins to give way to the light. It’s a great turning, a change in direction, physically represented by the winter solstice, when (in the northern hemisphere) days stop growing shorter, and the hours of sunshine begin to increase.
Every major religion acknowledges this celestial change, and its deeper meaning for human beings — the possibility that we too may come out of the dark of ourselves into greater Light.
I think the seasonal image that best evokes this higher message is that of a snowy evening, wrapped in stillness. That stillness has tremendous energy in it. It’s filled with promise. The earth is waiting, silently, in perfect quiet and peace, for the great miracle to occur — the moment of change.
For human beings, this message has special significance. The potential to meet the point of turning toward greater understanding and connection with Divine forces is always present to us — in any time and any season. But if we are to fulfill that potential, we too must enter perfect stillness. For it is within that inner stillness, filled with the energy of endless possibility and rebirth, that the wondrous transformation takes place.
Here are some quotations from across time and culture that urge us to return to stillness if we are to fulfill our purpose on earth: to be infused with Light and higher Love and become a bridge between heaven and earth:
Nothing in all creation is so like God as stillness.
— Meister Eckhart (1260)
God never ceases to speak to us, but the noise of the world without, and the tumult of our passions within, bewilder us, and prevent us from listening. All must be silent around us, and all must be still within us, when we would listen with our whole souls to this voice. It is a still, small voice, and is only heard by those who listen to no other. Alas! How seldom is it that the soul is so still that it can hear when God speaks to it!
— Francois Fenelon (1651)
It is not necessary to go off on a tour of great cathedrals in order to find the Deity. Look within. You have to sit still to do it.
— Albert Schweitzer (1875)
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
— T. S. Eliot (1888)
This is a country whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere. You do not find it by travelling but by standing still. Yet it is in this loneliness that the deepest activities begin. It is here that you discover act without motion, labor that is profound repose, vision in obscurity, and beyond all desire, a fulfillment whose limits extend to infinity.
— Thomas Merton (1915)
Walk softly, O My Sisters, O My Brothers. Tread lightly, break not the stillness of the dawn, for in this stillness one can hear the whispers of the Great Spirit.
— Red Dawn, Santee Sioux (1921)
Every problem we see between people in the world, begins within individuals who are separated from the source of Love, and blame everything outside of themselves for the pain they feel because of it.
The noise and disturbance around us keeps us from seeing this truth and turning inward to make that higher connection. Only in the stillness and silence can we find peace for ourselves that can then radiate out into the world around us and transform it.
As the year comes to a close, and we prepare to welcome the New Year and all it brings, let us work to find that silent place within us so we can become a bridge to higher wisdom and energy. It’s the greatest gift any of us can give to the world.
Sure Steps Towards a Silent Mind
Seekers have always found it difficult to still their noisy minds. But in today’s world, with distractions calling to us 24 hours a day, it’s harder than ever. Over the years, OneJourney founder Guy Finley has received countless questions from individuals seeking help in finding the silence within. Here is a quote from Guy about silence:
Falling in love with silence happens naturally as you spend more time cultivating your relationship with her. Within silence is a whole new world, new qualities, and a new order of love.
— Guy Finley (1949)
Does your tradition talk about the value of stillness and silence? If so, can you share a quotation about it with us? As we help one another along this higher path, we all benefit. So, please click here to submit your quotation to the OneJourney Living Book.
Dr. Ellen Dickstein
The OneJourney Project