No, I am neither being facetious nor philosophical. Silence creates its own symphony.
In design there is a concept called negative space. It denotes the area of empty space in and around an image or drawing. It is what accentuates the filled space. It is what provides the striking contrast. Silence is the negative space of our cacophonous world.
Ask yourself this. Do you know how your own voice sounds? Have you given yourself enough negative space - periods of silence - to identify that? Sounds of silence can only be heard when we are divested of the scrambling mode we perennially are in. The mind needs to calm down and be ridden of deafening distractions before we begin to hear the mellifluous, therapeutic sounds of silence. They are sounds unlike anything we have heard or will ever hear. They assuage the mind in ways a therapist cannot.
Times of reflection and introspection are important to understand your innermost thoughts. There is no better ally for this than silence. Unfortunately the priority that we assign to reflection is low. We are so busy building a career that we have not stopped to think whether that career is bringing us inner peace and achieving our mission in life. That is, if we have had time to even ponder on a mission. After all, that needs reflection and thought as well and the most scarce commodity in our armory today is time. We have no time for anything (bar the frenetic rushing around) far less something as path breaking as a mission. But if you did not invest time in this transformational activity you are just spinning your wheels where you are. You are not going anywhere.
Silence can kindle thoughts and motivations buried deep in your psyche that you will be astonished you had. It is like the miner who has hit that rich vein that he always dreamed of but had no hope of accessing.
Early morning (actually every morning Monday to Friday) around 6 AM I walk to the gym in our club house. It is a reasonably short walk but which I extend by taking a circuitous route. To me however that walk is the most looked forward to daily activity. It literally sets up the day for me. The fetters on the brain are off and it is cleansed and free to absorb what is around me, the fresh morning air, the chirping of birds (an alien natural sound in our digitally driven world), the rustling of leaves, the gentle waft of the breeze, to name just a few of the magical creations of nature. These are subtle sounds that abound in the environment around us. Alas, we do not hear them! You see, the problem with our lives is that we have stopped noticing and listening. Our hearing is passive and does not absorb the rich detail and inspiration around us.
You rarely get true moments of pure silence. When was the last time you had ten or fifteen minutes of silence to yourself? If you indeed had those moments of quiet solitude you would have experienced thoughts and motivations as never before and clearly above the din of daily rigmarole. Go on try it. You will shock yourself.
Where are you when you get your best ideas? Most probably when you are walking in nature, relaxing in your bed, listening to music, driving your car. In other words, when you are by yourself, when you are surrounded by silence.
The great genius Leonardo Da Vinci said: the painter must be solitary...for if you are alone you are completely yourself, but if you are accompanied by a single companion you are half yourself. Nurture solitude for inspiration. Sit by yourself for some time each day. These are magical moments of silence which will kindle creativity, foster inner peace of mind and build happiness in you.
However, noise is part of every moment of our waking life. Even normal conversations are accompanied by harsh background noise created by that chief culprit of all - the television set. Have you tried talking to your friends or family at home when the television is blaring incessantly. Your voice and what you have to say will completely drown in that sonic pounding that modern day television sets deliver. Add in surround sound and the effect is even more drastic.
Moreover, the mantra of modern lives is multi-tasking. Everything that we do must be done simultaneously. We must do at least four to five tasks at the same time. In the process however you have forsaken the most pivotal dimension of the human brain - its inability to do more than two tasks at a time. In this context, being with just yourself and your thoughts in silence are liberating.
Read on for this research on multi-tasking and the brain.
Neuroscientists Etienne Koechlin and Sylvain Charron of the French biomedical research agency INSERM in Paris turned to functional magnetic resonance imaging, which measures changes in brain activity
Koechlin says the results suggest that the brain can't efficiently juggle more than two tasks because it has only two hemispheres available for task management. The triple-task jugglers consistently forgot one of their tasks. They also made three times as many errors as they did while dual-tasking.
When the brain tries to do two things at once, it divides and conquers, dedicating one-half of our gray matter to each task, new research shows. But forget about adding another mentally taxing task: The work also reveals that the brain can't effectively handle more than two complex, related activities at once.
This really emphasizes the critical need for moments of solitude, being by yourself in total silence. The mind calms down and your senses are ready for the symphony of silence. It is indeed nirvana for the soul.
Let me leave you with this thought.
Would you not want to partake in the most precious gift of nature - the mind soothing sounds of silence?
I promise you it will be unlike any other sound you will hear.
Your sub-conscious will vouch for that.