WOW Writings

Silence has many Qualities

by Krishnamurti


There is silence between two noises; the silence between two notes and the widening silence in the interval between two thoughts. There is that peculiar quiet pervading silence that comes of an evening in the country. There is the silence through which you hear the bark of a dog in the distance, or the whistle of a train as it comes up a steep grade; the silence in a house when everybody has gone to sleep, and its peculiar emphasis when you wake up in the middle of the night and listen to an owl hooting in the valley; and there is that silence before the owl’s mate answers. There is the silence of an old deserted house, and the silence of a mountain; the silence between two 

human beings when they have seen the same thing, felt the same thing, and acted.That night, particularly in the distant valley with the most ancient hills with their peculiar boulders, the silence was as real as the wall you touched.

And you looked out of the window at the brilliant stars. It was not a self-generated silence; it was not that the earth was quiet and the villagers were asleep, but it came from everywhere – from the distant stars, from those dark hills and from your own mind and heart.

This silence seemed to cover everything from the tiniest grain of sand in the riverbed – which only knew running water when it rained – to the tall, spreading banyan tree and a slight breeze that was now beginning. There is that strange silence that exists in a temple or in an empty church deep in the country, without the noise of tourists and worshippers; and the heavy silence that lies on water is part of that which is outside the silence of the mind.

There is the silence of the mind which is never touched by noise, by any thought or by passing wind of experience. It is this silence that is innocent and so endless. When there is this silence of the mind action springs from it and this action does not cause confusion or misery. The meditation of a mind that is utterly silent is the benediction that man is ever seeking.

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