Have you ever been to a really quiet place? So quiet that you could not hear a sound?
I doubt if many of you have experienced such quiet. Yes, there is the time at night when there is relative quiet. But then you might agree, there would still be some occasional sound from inside or outside the house that does break that quiet.
I invite you to actively seek the quietest place and time you know. Once you do find such a place, your next step should be to savour it. Why? Because this is the place where, if you make an effort, you will get to know new things about yourself.
We are surrounded by so much sound. Day in and day out, our ears are bombarded with all kinds of noise. Many of you try to block all such irritating sounds by use of earphone that plays a more agreeable mix of sounds called ‘songs’. In other words, you latch on to a different sound to counter the sound that you don’t like.
At some point in life, or whenever you get a chance, do try to experience pure silence. It is only in pure silence that you will get to hear something you rarely hear — the beating of your heart.
A few years back, I got such a chance. I was invited by All India Radio (AIR) to voice a character in a drama. I entered the recording studio and as soon as the door closed, I experienced complete silence. I stood there without moving. A minute later, I became aware of some sound that kept coming to my ears. Soon enough, I began to realize that this sound was the quiet beating of my heart. I had never really got a chance to hear it earlier. But that afternoon, standing in the studio, I heard this valuable sound that plays such an important role in keeping me physically here on this planet.
There comes a point in silence where you cannot just remain a passive observer of your thoughts.
If anyone of you has been in a recording studio, you would know the quality of silence that is available there. In such silence, you become acutely aware of who you are. The thoughts that trouble you, disappoint you, make you happy, make you laugh or give you wings to fly— they become more powerful in such silence. There comes a point in this silence where you cannot just remain a passive observer of such thoughts. The body begins to react with the heart rate going up or down, resulting in anger or sadness and tears follow. At this point, you come to know more about what drives you down or lifts you up. Such is the power of such silence.
This is the reason why such powerful silence is not prescribed for a long time. Short bursts of such silence at regular intervals help a person become self aware. But longer duration of such silence becomes something dreadful. This is why ‘solitary confinement’ continues to be the harshest form of non-violent punishment that has been used for centuries to break down difficult mindsets.
But, it does not take away from the fact that if you step into the quietest place you know, you will get to know deeper layers of your unique personality.