Is Silence really possible?


Silence is absence of noise or stillness. But in this world, is there a time or moment that can be declared as absolute stillness? No!

Silence is an unachievable state. But one can come close to it.Best time to experience silence is night when atleast 80% of the city or town is asleep. Even at that time the remaining 20% is amplified and you hear them clearly. The buzz of the mosquito near your ears; a distant tap leaking- its tup tupping on the basin or the bathroom floor or even inside a bucket ;an occasional flush tank sluicing water through the pot sides operated by an insomniac or a diabetic; a knowing creak of the bed; the contraction of the wooden furtniture at home. If not any of these, then your own heart beat and the breathing becomes pronounced.

Technically there is no escape from sound ,as long as there is matter, it will move and movement will generate sound vibrarions.
Even when an eerie silence prevails around you, your racing heart beat and rushing blood in your head will mitigate any silence that is outside of you. One cannot separate the outside from inside. The inner you- as by virtue of existence, there is no inside if there is no outside. They are two sides of the same coin. Leave the sound raging inside due to the lack of it outside, even your thoughts during a quiet meditation session makes hell of a noise. For a normal person the thoughts and words associated with it have sounds inseparable in them. It is the sound that gives shape and life to his thoughts.
May be in the world of a deaf and dumb person, the silence is about 98%. Even he will feel the vibration of his gutteral noise, his heartbeat and his breathing. He may not classify it as sound or noise as it is not heard by his ears. Nonetheless it is still sound. The moment the deaf feels the vibration, it is enough, as it is the closest he  could get to any sound and that is infact the origin of sound-the vibration.

No wonder the paradoxical silence beguiling. Man strives hard to maintain silence at times. Even a chatter box is quiet when he is asleep. But even then only his wagging tongue is at rest. His mind is awake and keeps churning thought after thought. The same sometimes take shape as dreams. These dreams are but residue of many emotions satisfied or left seeking for more. They are entwined with the body as hormones secrete in reaction to these emotions as dictated by the brain and it eventually results in heavy breathing, increased heart beat and sometimes even bodily movement. All of these have sound as an integral part. There can be no action without sound. Only absolute  inaction can bring about silence.

Therefore  silence on this planet can only be a relative phenomena. On a scale of 1 to 10, if 10 is noise then 5 could be less noise and 1 could silent enough for a human to start hearing his own breathing and the tiniest rustle among the bushes or trees nearby. However when we try to visualise silence outside this planet, may be we could say it is silent as there is no matter in space. Only matter vibrates to generate sound. But if the inter planetary space is filled with plasma(ionised gas) from sun’s wind, albeit sparsely, then even there sound is present. May be it is not pronounced even to a level of 1,( less than 1) nevertheless it is there. So silence is a state that can never be achieved. The smallest vibration in the interplanetary and interstellar space is then the music of cosmos. I am not surprised when the Hindu mythology say that sound never dies and “Om ” – the sound – is eternal. It pervades  and travels all space and comes back. Only that the human life is too short for oneself be repeated in his own life.  The reason for the sense of deja vu upon hearing something is also this undying sound. So beware of what you speak!

Speaking of silence – the relative silence we get is getting rare in this sound polluted world. It is then much needed and only can be sought within. When we speak, we are reducing the capacity to listen. When we are quiet, even though there are many sounds within and without, we can bury them all in the vast inner space of mind that is wider than the galaxy and create relative silence and peace within ourselves. So let silence reign!


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