The Silent Revolution: Creative Silence as a Foundation for the New

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There is nothing more effective at awakening creativity than silence

by João Paulo Cavalcanti originally published on the author's blog cover DIS Magazine translated by Pronoia Tradutória

“Learning is what remains after forgetfulness does its job.” — Rubem Alves

I’ll start with a question: is there still any doubt that our planet is undergoing a complete transformation? For those who are still skeptical or simply disconnected, I am sharing this video that shows the expansion and dispersion of the human race over the past 2,000 years.

Humanity’s global growth and dispersion over the last 2,000 years.

The video gives us a new perspective on the times that we are living — even more so if we include the ethnographic, psychographic and sociographic layers of this human expansion. It lets us visualize the impact of humanity’s “historical nomadism” on the planetary eco-system of today and tomorrow.

Watch! The transformation is geological, sociological, economic, political, and apocalyptic.

There’s no other way! — and so we now need to be very clear about that which is our home. That which calms us. That which guides us. That which heals us. That which feeds us. That which makes us creative and creators! All this within a simultaneously collective and individual dimension. It’s difficult, isn’t it? But it’s urgent! For my part, I can say with the conviction of life (or at least a very intense part of it):

What we need more than anything in order to positively guide this great collective and individual planetary change is silence.

Silence. That’s right! This is the theory: only empty space is capable of producing the truly new and complete standards needed to resolve the complexity of the current unnameable problems and co-create a new world – which, for those able to see it, is already emerging.

Any other way of seeking and inspiring the new and the innovative tends to pervade old cultural material, keeping us trapped in repetitive cycles of the same problems and the same issues. For a new world, we need truly new solutions that must be stripped of past paradigms. I repeat, I know of no tool more effective for this purpose than silence — a.k.a. Meditation.

To be and not to be, that is the answer

“Meditation is like diving into a full safe. Every time you do it, you get a few coins.” — David Lynch

David Lynch

Since I have already reported on my own discovery of this powerful inner silence and I have already presented a daily technique that can help you to use it to your advantage, I intend to use this article to help you tune in, at least a little, to what I call Creative Silence. A silence that, rather than bore you, fills you with a creative and constructive energy to be released into the world.

Creative silence is nothing more than the recognition of silence as a generator, as a foundation for formidable ideas, ready to help us in every dimension of our lives. There is nothing more effective at awakening true creativity and allowing the truly new to emerge than silence. Many renowned creative individuals hold a similar belief. John Cage, for example, was always fascinated by silence, even though his work was centered around music and sound — in truth, silence is the perfect element for building a bridge to sound — this was his perception.

John Cage about Silence

David Lynch is also fascinated by creative silence and bases his day-to-day life around it. He discusses this in his book “Catching the Big Fish”, and uses an important metaphor:

If you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.

What does Lynch mean by this? That meditation, or systematic contact with inner silence, is a powerful tool for getting in touch with dimensions of our being that are inaccessible via other means. His book, which is a commendation of meditation, is a small, beautiful and inspirational discourse on why and how to “train” your mind to achieve this authentic creativity through contact with silence. He practices this contact for at least 20 minutes a day. Lynch has done this without missing a single day for over 40 years! The result? His life and his work.

In addition to his personal practice, the director has become one of the main meditation activists in the West and advocates Transcendental Meditation as a path to personal success and planetary transformation through his own personal testimony and the David Lynch Foundation.

Meditation, Creativity, Peace: a documentary that follows David Lynch’s journey through 16 countries talking about the relationship between meditation, creativity, and peace.

Silence That Creates and Creative Silence

There is a deep creative power that emptiness imposes upon us. To be and not to be — these are two faces of the same coin. I believe this freedom is imposed by the silence that guides us toward a new phase of human, individual, and collective development, and to a more integrated planetary culture.

Even the search for aesthetics in silence or positive absence demonstrates modern culture’s current interest in the dimension of non-existence, silence, and emptiness. Not an empty emptiness, but a full emptiness. The complete emptiness described in Buddhism — a clear and open mind — full of meaning and creative power. An emptiness that inspires new spaces, full of riches, arising from a new language and understanding. An understanding that transcends the separation between action and non-action, between everything and nothing, between life and death. Again, they are two faces of the same coin.

Advaita

This principle is culturally new but historically old — it reflects ancestral knowledge and cultures such as the philosophical and spiritual Advaita Vedanta lineage of ancient India, which preached non-duality and unity. This principle also reflects the concepts of new theories that explain the current situation within the context of the interdependence of everything, as suggested by Ken Wilber’s Integral theory, Gregory Bateson’s Sacred Unity, or even theories that explore the possibilities of Einstein’s unified field, such as the superstring theory.

sacred unity

The revolution begins within us, in our intimate inner space, and it expands gradually and continuously into the outside world. This is the revolution that we as a race have been awaiting for centuries, and we are close to realizing it. A silent revolution, the Revolution of Silence.

Tao Te King — Canto XXXVII
Tao Te Ching — Chapter XXXVII

Tao abides in non-action,
Yet nothing is left undone.
If kings and lords observed this,
The ten thousand things would develop naturally.
If they still desired to act,
They would return to the simplicity of formless substance.
Without form there is no desire.
Without desire there is tranquility.
And in this way all things would be at peace

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