An Orientation to Silence
November 27, 2019
If you are new to the idea of intentional silence, where do you begin? Here are our thoughts on this topic.
If you are interested in the spirituality and psychology of silence, but are new to the idea of intentional silence, where do you begin? How do you orient yourself to the world of silence that is always available to you, right here and right now?
Silence perpetuates its life as being wordless, empty, and nothingness; and at the same time, everything, and whole. Not only does it make it infinite, but it points to its wholeness. — Cassidy Hall
Today's episode of our podcast explores a concept that arose from an interaction between Kevin and a new listener of the podcast, that recently took place on Facebook. Realizing that we did not have a single episode that functions as a kind of orientation to silence (as something more than just the mere absence of sound), we set out to record this episode to fill that gap.
An orientation of silence centers around these questions of, "Is silence a silencing? Is it an opening? Is it an invitation?"... When you orient toward silence, maybe the first orientation is toward ambiguity." — Kevin Johnson
We hope that if you are new to the podcast (and to intentional silence), that this episode will help to you get a sense of where we are coming from, and our philosophy behind why silence matters. But even if you have been listening to us since our first episode almost two years ago, we hope that this will be a helpful conversation — since we are all, always, continually invited to recalibrate and reorient ourselves to the gifts that silence has to offer us.
We find silence, paradoxically, in the absence of silence; that there's something about the absence of silence that can pivot us back deeper into it. — Carl McColman
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
Thomas Merton, Day of a Stranger
Martin Laird, Into the Silent Land
Maggie Ross, Silence, A User’s Guide Volume 1: Process
Christian Bobin, The Eighth Day: Selected Writings
Carl, Cassidy, and Kevin
Episode 81: An Orientation to Silence
Hosted by: Kevin Johnson
With: Carl McColman, Cassidy Hall
Date Recorded: November 25, 2019