Silence as a form of self-therapy
Be quiet!! Be quiet! Why do you speak? You have to be silent … Or: he is always taciturn, rarely speaks, surely he is ashamed, he is introverted, he rarely expresses himself, perhaps he has some problems … The current society is not very familiar with silence .
The silence is a condition that is defined by the absence of sonic disruption, and often interpreted as a restriction of the freedom of speech or inability to relate properly.
Silence is allowed and acceptable on specific occasions: at school during lessons (even if excessive silence is considered a symptom of a passive adaptation to requests or the obvious manifestation of an introverted character who is unlikely to adequately adapt, according to some very deep-rooted prejudices ), during ceremonies and in all situations where attention should be paid (conferences, meetings, etc.).
The silence that makes one feel inadequate
Beyond the specific contexts, silence-confidentiality does not have a good reputation. Being in the world is of necessity being in a verbal relationship with others, always showing a certain availability for conversation and exchange. Being silent in the presence of others is not acceptable; suggests height or in any case the tendency towards an irritating and, in some ways, provocative attitude.
In the grueling search for consent, security in the form of acceptance and reinforcement, in the desire to feel gratified by the positive judgment of those around us, it is easy to slip into the game of responding to the expectations of others. The game is to fill in the gaps of silence.
Verbal communication must be activated at any cost. The breaks are embarrassing. The other perhaps expects me to say something, who knows what he will think if he is slow to respond. What will be more appropriate to say at this point?
The praise of silence has turned into the censorship of keeping silent to save oneself from embarrassment and from the doubt that the other can feed negative thoughts towards my not speaking. Silence becomes the antechamber of my vulnerability which does not make me sufficiently desirable.
I speak ergo fill
I speak ergo fill. If I fill the voids of silence I can also hide what I don’t want to emerge . I speak and distract by showing more of myself. The listener will be distracted by the words that reveal what is needed to avoid seeing the veiled parts away from prying eyes.
In silence, the gaze takes on a much more significant value and its sound becomes more unbearable . The gaze peers and sees. In silence, the gaze of the other becomes more threatening, it has the inherent ability to grasp exactly what we would like to keep hidden. Words help to distract, especially those who, defensively, manage to divert attention away from me.
Why reevaluate the silence then?
Silencing is the natural condition of man; in silence each of us takes back the deepest personal structures and perhaps this is precisely why we often seek the presence of the other.
In silence, hermeneutic (interpretative) abilities of themselves and of their own actions are reactivated, sifting through experiences and giving them unprecedented meanings through the decantation of experiences and reflections that gradually affect the present and its donation of meaning.
The sense of my-being-in-the-world is not something given and definitively reachable once and for all but it is precisely a process of construction of meaning that is done by means of subsequent deconstructions and integrations through the screening of subjective events .
The dough provides him with silence. In silence, the parts of the whole manage to cement themselves into temporary structures but full of meaning ready to be subsequently discussed and assembled within new, more representative forms. To reappropriate oneself in silence means to become aware of the synthesis of one’s incessant becoming up to the very moment that precedes the need for reappropriation of the lived experience through personal reflection.
Silence coincides with this process of re-appropriation of the deepest existential structures which in some ways can feed the sense of incompleteness, can bring out cracks, breaks, imbalances and fragility. The silence so feared and so necessary is the most persecutory and curative thing that can exist. In the silence of the inner screen, everything happens in stillness.
Is silence then therapeutic?
I believe so to the extent that it arises as a personal choice , as a challenge to acquired certainties, as an acceptance of unpredictability, of the fear of unveiling the hidden face, etc. Silence is the absent soundtrack of the inner film that accompanies the story of one’s becoming in the spotlight that illuminates the process of re-construction of the sense of self.
This process is not cognitive (not only) but is purely emotional , full of memories, full of reinterpretations of those places of the soul that have to do with the secret rooms jealously guarded in the internal faults.
Here then is the fear of rediscovering ourselves as we are not or how we left ourselves at that precise moment in that particular place; the amazement of finding oneself different from the expectations of the ego ; disgust for an inauthentic reconstruction of a self governed by laws and forces that do not belong to the personal training project but derive from the expectations of others; the love of reunification with those parts of us left alone in exchange for inauthentic more acceptable social forms in a world governed by the rigid laws of impersonal “Yes”.
Working on silence
In my paths, the work on silence takes place in a group through constant work on the looks, on listening to the silence of others also through the tuning of the breath. Proximity and distance from the other to redefine personal boundaries and to read oneself in the light of the presence of the other.
Then with closed eyes, in unusual places, accompanied by a trusted external hand that first is certainty in his presence and then leaves, leaving himself the responsibility of his own being.
Then the inferential walks, or walks designed to redefine the inner training path through the construction of paths, goals, scenarios that have to do with the world of images.
Through the imagination it is possible to reconstruct, step by step, the personal existential path in which the images provide those emotional tensions necessary to reactivate towards the construction of new horizons of meaning.
The world of images creates very powerful suggestions and activates within itself the ability to go beyond the reality experienced daily to immerse yourself in the world of the beyond, of the possible, creating a utopian tension of one’s own becoming which today unfortunately tends increasingly not to flare up in the chest because crushed by an external pressure that often prevents the ignition of any vital emotion.
Silence marks the inner time . Welcoming this time means expanding the personal space to make something happen within oneself and this happens by virtue and strength of the imaginative power, the only one able to move beyond the world of facts and logical consequences to make room for the possible and desirable, through the flow of an authentic feeling that must also be rediscovered through listening to the breath, recollection in static or dynamic meditation, through conscious walks, imaginative practices and guided fantasies.