quietness of our minds is constantly disturbed by the chattering of our ego-selves”…
that we don’t live in the present, because we’re always either planning for and
anticipating the future or remembering the past ‘wandering about in times that
do not belong to us and never thinking of the one that does’ as Blaise
Pascal wrote” - Steve Taylor (read the article here)
I’ve been reading a lot about silence obviously due to my making a podcast about it and I just read a really interesting article that practically mirrors what my podcast is about - our mental distraction and how we aren’t often living in the present moment. We’re distracted either thinking about the past or the future. What am I gonna make for dinner? I am dreading that bill coming in. I am so annoyed at what that ignorant person on the train did yesterday…
I found the above Pascal quote really interesting. So I looked him up. And he was alive in the 1600′s- which kind of surprised me. I guess all this time I’ve been thinking that our mental noise is kind of modern, call me naive but I just assumed life was simpler back then. Without the screens and hashtagging and bombardment of digital crap. But it seems even back in the 1600′s they weren’t appreciating the present moment.
I found another interesting quote by him: “All
men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone”. This reminds me of another article I read by Alex Ross (here) that says “Silence
us uncomfortable. We may even argue that it bores us to embrace that
silence. But what really bothers us is ourselves: we don’t know what to
do with ourselves, or what to think, or even who we are. Eventually
find that it’s not the silence we’re uncomfortable with, but ourselves.”
You might not agree. But it’s fascinating. Why else do we distract ourselves with all the noise? If you get home and shove the TV on or the radio, it might be interesting to ask yourself why.
God I love this stuff. And if you do too- I can’t wait for you guys to hear my podcast.