The "Practical Spirituality" Newspaper

The Temple of Silence (Part2)

In Conscious Living on February 24, 2010 at 1:05 pm

This is the second part of “The Temple of Silence” article. For the first part, click here.

When The Cathedral Flower, Aechmea bromelfolia var. rubra ( originally named The flower of Solitude ) became available in the flower essence catalogue, the flower soon rose to “the top 10” of most used essences.

Sometimes the flower was sought out for good and well thought out reasons, while other times  as an act of desperation. ‘A chance to screen out the world’, ‘carve out some space’ and at last ‘get’ some ‘inner peace’. As though inner peace were an object to hold and not an innate state of being.

The idea of finding inner peace for many people is a hard concept to grasp. That someplace within them, there is peace. “Yeah, right!” In the absence of the concept of peace we turn to externals for help. Outer ingredients to pamper ourselves with and starve off the noise that we feel inside. This is why we often feel the need to ‘produce’ peace and ‘do’ things that ‘make’ it happen. And why our efforts ultimately fail us. Because we pin our inner experience on the presence of that outer ingredient(s).

With our backs up against the wall, we are then left with two choices.

.1. The first choice is the fantasy of running away from the cares of the world, living somewhere else usually as the antidote of choice.

.2. The second choice ( which we are forced by circumstance to take ) is that of ‘being bound to the responsibilities’ ( a.k.a. miseries ) of our lives. This is where we resign ourselves to the fate of ‘dealing with the emotional commotion’ that goes along with those responsibilities. It’s the choice where you shrug your shoulders, try to re-ignite you energy and ‘get on with’ the life you are presently living… but seek escape from.

E.g. The noise of family life. The fervor of financial strains, mortgage repayments and making ends meet. The disturbance of violence, hatred and greed in the world. Noise, noise, noise and more noise that you can’t escape from for good.

When The Cathedral Flower was first released, the people I spoke to about it were desperate to find some peace in their lives and escape from family conflicts, from domineering employers and so on. As though escape were their only means of solution.

Spiritual exhaustion – the exhaustion-of-the-spirit – was the main reason behind what seemed like at the time to be a ‘mass exodus from the real world’.

And there lies the lesson! To where we can run?

Withdrawal from life seems to be the only action people associate with finding peace in their lives. Running away, hiding, leaving, quitting, packing up, moving house, taking a trip oversea and the like seemed like the way to finding this thing called ‘peace and happiness’. And although these options were the desire of the people choosing this flower, these options remained an impossibility for many reasons.

Given that human beings innately desire freedom, happiness and creative expression, how can you do so when you are in retreat? Who wants to live a life of withdrawal anyway?

Let’s get real for a moment…

.1. In a world of expanding population, 6 billion people cannot achieve the goal of finding “a nice quiet place in the countryside”.

.2. Additionally, with expanding communication networks and technology connecting us together, finding inner peace by ignoring the suffering of others is also out of the question. Think about it, ignorance ( which is a form of forceful forgetting ) and inner peace are contradictory.

.3. Habitual withdrawal is like living life in retreat. Are you happy to live this way given that your desire is to be ex-pressive, ex-pansive and joyous?

.4. Retreat may provide momentary respite for yourself and from time to time, it is healthy. But, the world is still waiting outside the door for you. The only real option you have is to go on the offensive and seek out the source of our disturbance… and root it out.

The moral of the story…

Not all of the noise of the world comes from outside. Some of the disturbance comes from your disturbing views, beliefs and attitudes that are projected onto the world…

More later.


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