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  • Brady Stroh

Wasting time at the dock...

Otis Redding says he's just wastin' time, sittin' by the dock of the bay:

"Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun

I'll be sittin' when the evenin' comes

Watchin' the ships roll in

Then I watch 'em roll away again

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay

Watchin' the tide, roll away

I'm sittin' on the dock of the bay

Wastin' time"

But sitting in silence is NOT wasting time... especially when it is by the water. Has the value of experiencing and absorbing silence been lost on us in the 21st century?

Aldous Huxley, writing in 1944, comments on the relentless demand for mental stimulation and distraction. He probably wouldn't be surprised to see how far we've come (or regressed) as we near the end of the second decade of the 21st century.

Excerpt from: Aldous Huxley, The Perennial Philosophy, Chapter XV - Silence.

To refrain from idle talk is hard; to quiet the gibbering of memory and imagination is much harder; hardest of all is to still the voices of craving and aversion within the will.

The 20th century is, among other things, the age of noise. Physical noise, mental noise and noise of desire — we hold history’s record for all of them. And no wonder; for all the resources of our almost miraculous technology have been thrown into the current assault against silence. That most popular and influential of all recent inventions, the radio, is nothing but a conduit through which pre-fabricated din can flow into our homes. And this din goes far deeper, of course, than the eardrums. It penetrates the mind, filling it with a babel of distractions – news items, mutually irrelevant bits of information, blasts of corybantic or sentimental music, continually repeated doses of drama that bring no catharsis, but merely create a craving for daily or even hourly emotional enemas. And where, as in most countries, the broadcasting stations support themselves by selling time to advertisers, the noise is carried from the ears, through the realms of fantasy knowledge and feeling to the ego’s central core of wish and desire. Spoken or printed, broadcast over the ether or on wood pulp, all advertising copy has but one purpose — to prevent the will from ever achieving silence. Desirelessness is the condition of deliverance and illumination. The condition of an expanding and technologically progressive system of mass production is universal craving. Advertising is the organized effort to extend and intensify craving — to extend and intensify, that is to say, the workings of that force, which is the principal cause of suffering and wrongdoing and the greatest obstacle between the human soul and it’s divine Ground.

Take time to be silent... listen to the sounds of nature... contemplate beauty!

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