Dimensions of silence

I once awoke sometime before dawn, and in the totality of dark and stillness discovered that this was not merely an absence of light and sound, but some unique and new dimension. Never before was I aware of this strange pattern of silence, which seemed to move like concentric circles on water and I in a state of weightlessness. At such a moment one only waits, one does not know, but one has the sense of not being totally alone.

I discovered after a time that silence had a strange, persistent tempo which echoed in the rhythm of myself: the heartbeat, the coursing of the blood, eyes responding to changing shapes of darkness. There was a long, almost interminable waiting, a floating against the buzz of blankness - but there was also a sense of keen perception. I felt I had entered a land with neither limits nor limitations, not a void but pure space filled with a thousand tongues of wordless thought. This kind of silence descended in invisible circles that enclosed but did not stifle. It was the imperceptible merging of one's self with infinity, the loosing of one's rigid identity and becoming closer to all. It was a moment that invalidated time by touching infinity, and heightened the senses that lay beyond conscious reason. I was aware that daily rhythm and activities became quite irrelevant, for I was merging and extending myself into a new dimension where silence became space. It was a strange and irreducible perfection - truly the rarest of all gifts, since this kind of silence cannot be created and therefore does not endure by the standards of known time. Within this dimension of being yourself, and also being part of infinity, is an experience never to be lost. In this extraordinary sensation of life's extension , silence is an apperception of clarity.

When things fell back into daily balance and the world returned, changed in some indefinable respect with the first slow stroking of reborn light, I sensed that I had entered a world that will never be quite the same. It was then that I recalled the lines written by Gerard Manley Hopkins - probably after experiencing something equally similar. Elected Silence, sing to me And beat upon my whorled ear, Pipe me to pastures still, and be The music that I yearn to hear.

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