Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Age of the iPod

Does it seem like in our current world there is no place without noise.  We even pay to make more noise. You see people walking through beautiful serene pathways with ear buds attached to an iPod playing some kind of music.  You see kids doing homework with the same ear buds.  Often the music is not peaceful but loud noise with loud rhythmic beats. You also see a peaceful home scene with the TV blaring or music filling the background. Many devices are made to make a noise to amuse us.  Why all this noise in our lives? Why do we choose to live with noise? Does it have to do with the unrest we feel in our lives?


Elder Paisios acknowledges this problem.
The reason this external unrest makes them comfortable is because they feel unrest inside.  There is noise everywhere....  
They have not left any place on the earth in peace...  Not even on Mt Athos.
One day some monks came to me to my Kalyvi and started speaking very loudly.  I said to one of them, "Speak more softly; they can hear us over there." He continued to speak loudly. "Lower your voice," I repeated. "Bless me Father," he said finally. "We have a generator in the Monastery and we have become accustomed to speaking loudly to hear each other."  Can you believe that? Instead of saying the Jesus Prayer and speaking in a low voice, they shout because they got used to  having a generator...
Even the monastics complain about the noise in their lives.  How can we find peace when we continually add to the noise that surrounds us? Noise is a physical stimulation that keeps us focused on this physical world.  Our aim is spiritual, to be united with God.  The soul, that invisible part of us that is not physical needs to be able to claim control so we can receive the Spirit to guide us n our daily activities.  Noise can become a distraction by keeping us anchored in the things, and desires of this physical world.


How do you deal with noise in your environment?


Resource: With Pain and Love for Contemporary Life, p 189 - 193

4 comments:

  1. I have a hard time with noise. I work in a office so there is constantly people talking, phones ringing, the PA system blasting on regular intervals and so on. All too often I come home and I feel like I've been transported to a pristine forest with the cleanest air to be found anywhere on earth.

    At home I sometimes dread turning on anything electric that may contain a motor. So instead of turning on my large desktop PC with its fans and spinning disks, I may just use my iphone to quickly check my mail or some website...

    Best of all though is getting up in the middle of the night, midnight to 4am are the best where I live. The silence is amazing, no cars, no air conditioners. When i am not too lazy, I like to spend those hours reading or doing my prayer rope.

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  2. ...such an interesting subject..people in general are addicted to noise..most dont realize this and most likely never will..we need it and it serves its purpose well..There is a national call-in talk radio show that promotes a meditation exercise called "Be Still and Know".. which as the host explains will allow our conscience to catch-up with us..his callers frequently call in to discuss their unpleasant experiences while simply attempting to quietly sit still without noise or distraction..needless to say many cant do it..Because(as the post infers)we are running/hiding from God who seeks us...I liked annonymous's comment and suggest he try as an experiment literally entering into a dark closet sometime during his quiet period for an even more intensified sense of quiet...:)

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  3. ......a monastic friend once encouraged me to place cotton balls in my ears and to go about my daily work. I was amazed at the peace I had during the day without the extra noise (background noise, fans, motors, etc....) Silence is truly golden....

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  4. I love to start my day sitting in the dark and quiet, enjoying a cup of coffee with the Lord. It is amazing how many good thoughts come during the quiet. During the rest of the day I sometimes just keep quiet, or play besutiful music, as I work. But even so, there are so many noisy interruptions - the phone and my barking dog.

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