Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Need of Silence

There are two things that are essential ingredients to a happy, productive life: love and silence.

We must give and receive love, which can keep us very busy.  But we must balance out our love with silence.

In silence is prayer, it is rest, it is renewal, it is peace.

More often than not, we can find both God and ourselves in the silence.  For those full of fear or anxiety or guilt or doubt or pain, silence is frightening.  But it is still essential because without silence we cannot properly process and move past these issues.

In order for silence to do it's work, we must trust the Spirit in the silence.  Trust that the Spirit will heal us, and will empower us to keep living.  Trust that if we listen, the Spirit will speak.  

And in an age of the internet and iPods and social networks, silence is hard to achieve.  There are so many things we "need" to do.  And our minds are so busy.  We need to stop and allow our minds to rest and allow the Spirit to do some work for us.  So, at times, we desperately need to shut our computers off, take our headphones out, get in the shower and turn on the water.

I like to occasionally go to a monastery and take a few days of silence (Trappist monasteries are good for that, and many have lodging for men and women). 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Limitations of Science

The question was asked, "Can we know anything?"

An answer was given: "Try research.  Science knows things.

And I got to thinking:

We can know certain things through research or experimentation. But all knowledge based on someone else's experimentation is ultimately reliant on trust in their methods and practice. 

And even then a good conclusion to a good experiment has many caveats and limitations: "This is true in this case, but possibly not true in general." Thus the actual knowledge of any given study is narrow at best. 

And then, if we were only to base our practical knowledge on what is proven in experimentation, then we'd have a hard time eating breakfast because different studies show different things in relation to the nutrition of eggs.

It seems to me, most of the time, life is just about thinking and assuming, not knowing.