If men always maintained a sanctuary of the spirit in the inner life, it would not be necessary to seek “the silence” self-consciously. It is inner silence as a habit that is desirable.
The ideal is to penetrate beyond mere self-consciousness to the holy of holies, to uplift the soul in worship, breathe a silent prayer to the Father.
It is a law of the spiritual life that renewed consecration is the beginning of all fresh activity; and the silent communion at its best is consecration. … (it) is a glad moment of recreation on the part of the man who worships God “in spirit and in truth.” It is a rediscovery of the primal sources of the spiritual life on the part of those who no longer find values in external symbols. It is the natural act of the self-reliant soul, an expression of the freedom of true individuality; and hence valuable as a means to an end.
It is a revelation to many people who have sought to enter fully into the present to discover how largely their consciousness is ordinarily concerned with distant things. The attention is constantly turned here and there by thoughts that disturb one’s repose. The past is regarded with regret, the future with fear and suspicion. … The thought occurs that perhaps one ought to be elsewhere, instead of taking time for a quiet meditation.
Consequently, if you really wish to profit by a half-hour’s meditation make up your mind to put aside everything else. If duties occur to mind, decide when you will attend to them, and immediately dismiss them. When the past comes up laden with regret, leave it to bury its own dead. Tell the future that you will attend to it when it arrives. If part of your consciousness is flying north, part south and the rest up and down, call it in from all directions, as if you were drawing in an arm, gathering your forces unto yourself. … When the mind flies off again, bring it back. Yield yourself to the moment in full enjoyment. Disconnect from the rushing currents of modern thought … Do not simply banish all thoughts from your mind,, but whatever you think let your thoughts radiate, as it were, from the eternal present. Remember that you are a soul dwelling in eternity. Live in the thought of eternity for a while, and let the world of time rage on.
– Horatio W. Dresser, The Power of Silence, 1905.
Jesus said to him,
I AM the Way
and the Truth
and the Life