In quietness, we remember the Oneness
If you were to make an intuitive guess as to how many of us are comfortable being alone with our self to think quietly, even for a mere six to 15 minutes, what percentage of the population would you say could handle time spent in silent, internal focus? As it turns out, very few individuals can tolerate solitude without some sort of external distraction, turning to such things as one of the mobile devices or a computer, listening to music or reading. Current psychological research suggests, “that people go to surprisingly great lengths to avoid being stranded with their own thoughts,” considering this to be a “most undesirable activity.”1
Those of us who revel in the solitude and quiet of our own company are a rarity. New research findings, published in the July 4 Science, indicate that lots of people find solitude distressing, even to the extent that some individuals choose “electric shock over quiet thinking.”2 For many, introspection feels unpleasant, perhaps in part due to the fact that thoughts are difficult to control and tend to wander off in unpleasant directions when left to their own free reign. A significant factor, as well, is most individuals are unaware that their nervous system is in a constant, revved-up gear! A lot of people are also equally avoidant of self-reflection—time spent in careful self-observation regarding one’s beliefs, motives, behavior, and the person we seek to become.
Last week, as a perfect example, our favorite bank teller (in her late 50’s) proudly shared that she had worn out a 10-year old girl. After a week of incessant activities of going here and there, our “teller” friend announced to the girl, “Come on, let’s go do this.” “Can’t we stay home and just sit down for once,” protested the girl, emotionally and bone weary from the week’s endless motion, “I don’t want to do another thing but sit here and catch my breath!” Amused she had outdone a 10-year old, the teller’s idea was someone ought to bottle and sell her non-stop energy, a product that would be similar to one of those highly caffeinated “energy drinks” already on the market! By 2012, sales of these stimulating energy drinks had exceeded a staggering $12.5 billion annually, a growth rate of 60% in only four years.3
When given the opportunity, how many would choose to slow down even a fraction? On a day set aside to celebrate Un-Labor, three of the tree guys who were part of the team that cut down our black walnut tree last week showed up promptly at 8:00 a.m. on Labor Day to grind out the massive stump! On a day meant for rest, relaxation, and quietude, we listened to grinding noise all morning as a big cloud of dust sailed westward!
From all appearances of a world gone mad in nonstop activity and the seeking of the next, new, novel thing shrewdly marketed, we quiet types seem a rare breed. That said, the clever part is that many of us are able to don a comfortable, extroverted persona when needed, so our true numbers are likely a sizeable portion more than is outwardly discerned. Unlikely candidates to be the “life’s spark” of a party, we are, however, well able to “mix” when choice, necessity, or life’s calling arises. We are talented chameleons who can change our skin color to extroversion—but never for inauthentic reasons. We simply make a conscious choice to be and live within a rhythm of quietness. Herein, we discover our true temperament, neither as an introvert nor an extrovert. We are all divine in origin.
The outward movement into form does not express itself
So, let me ask, are there any among you who are naturally inclined toward the introverted, quiet end of the temperament scale? Stand confidently in the center of your peaceful being!
1. Science News, Volume 186(3):12
4. Eckhart Tolle. 2005. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. Plume , published by Penguin Group. Pages 306-7.
Text © by Zane Maser, 2014. Photos gratefully used from Wikimedia Commons. All rights of Zane Maser and SunnyCat Astrology reserved worldwide.
My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.
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