As each individual becomes aware of the paradox in which we live, the importance of adapting the Twelve Degrees of Silence to our lives takes on an importance as never before.
Einstein remarked, “In the Western culture, we have built a beautiful ship, with every comfort imaginable, except for one – it does not have a compass which is why it doesn’t know where it’s going.”
The Dalai Lama said, “We have wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; taller buildings but shorter tempers.
The thoughtful person realizes that we spend money we haven’t earned on things we don’t need to impress people we don’t like. We have begun to realize how the same technology which brings us closer to those far away – takes us further away from those who are actually very near to us. We have more collegiate degrees but less sense. More knowledge but less judgment. More experts but fewer solutions.
Martin Luther King encapsulated the irony of our times when he pointed out that we have guided missiles but misguided men.
How perplexing it is when we realize we’ve been all the way to the moon and back again, but still struggle to begin a conversation with someone across the street?
We unwittingly thrive off of this paradox in viewing the media, journalism, politics, and television as interesting. What we talk about and discuss in our circles is derived mostly, if not solely, from this paradox.
We’ve tried to clean up the air but polluted our souls; split the atom but not our prejudices, we aim for higher incomes but our morals are in shambles.
So, how do we bring about a change? How do we dissect this paradox that exists in our lives? Collectively it may be impossible, but privately there is one way – Silence.
We need to immerse ourselves in the Twelve Degrees of Silence offered here as best we can. A task which will not be easy given the temptations assailing us each day.
However, to continue in this paradox suggests that with every step forward we take, three backward steps are attained.
Transforming our lives through contemplative silence is one step toward rebuilding a responsible society.
Author Notes: For those interesting in reading the Twelve Degrees of Silence, they may be found in PDF form at: http://reclusesmiss.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Twelve-degrees-of-silence.pdf