Echoes of Silence.

Water Fish, Wind Bird, and Gaia are ancient beings who have inhabited Planet Earth from very early times.  Gaia (who watches over the land and all that grows upon it), Wind Bird (who fills the sky and bringing breath to every living being), and Water Fish (who is present in every ocean, every stream and every raindrop running down a window pane) are rarely seen these days by human beings.

It was not until dolphins and whales began to sing in the sea, that Wind Bird and Water Fish gave birth to Echo Knowing and empowered the cetaceans to probe time and space by means of echo-location.  Echo Knowing pronounces every laugh and every sob, and communicates the music of the cosmos to anyone who knows how to listen.

When humans entered the Field of Knowing late in the life of the planet, their poets and minstrels sang of Gaia and celebrated Echo Knowing as a muse who inspires deeper Knowledge.  For the Ancient Greeks, the Delphic Oracle—a dolphin conduit for Water Fish–was honored as a deeper Knowing emanating from the life of the sea and shared for the benefit of human societies: societies who were already forgetting the life of the planet on which they lived.  Before long, songs of celebration were thought to be unreasonable and people starting saying that the world is dead: —a receptacle for a few pockets of life, which were claimed to have been deposited—like Easter eggs hidden in a condemned tenement building—by an absentee landlord.  Only a few—Lao Tsu, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and others—still listened for the songs of Echo Knowing: Lao Tsu by celebrating the space that accommodates human activities and Wittgenstein in his vision of a space of silence beyond the edge of what the mind can grasp.

What is so difficult for humans is natural for whales and dolphins, who knit together the realms of Water Fish and Wind Bird and can therefore fathom that the world is a communication from beyond any single perspective.

Most humans can no longer hear Echo Knowing nor appreciate the resounding openness reflected in every utterance, every call of pain, of longing, and of joy.  Nectar to Echo Knowing, who is mute in the absence of another’s voice, is the silence that emanates from deep appreciation.  When such silence–alive, vibrant, and rhythmic—reaches Echo Knowing, a deep, welling song is returned to the listener–of such purity that the guardians of the planet feel hope once more.

In ancient times the silence of Echo Knowing was called the song of the Bird of Paradise.  There is no song sweeter for the guardians of water and air who, like all parents, cannot but rejoice in the happiness of their child.

About Michael Gray

I first started studying TSK in the mid 1980's and have since attended a number of retreats and workshops at the Nyingma Institute, in both TSK and Buddhist themes. I participated in the life-changing Human Development Training Program in 1991, and upon returning to Albuquerque co-founded an organization, Friends in Time (with a friend who has Lou Gehrig's Disease), which continues to serve people with similiar disabilities. I contributed an essay to "A New Way of Being"--the last one in the book--in which I describe how learning to honor who I have been has broadened and deepened my openness to present experience. I live in New Mexico with my wife and two sons.
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2 Responses to Echoes of Silence.

  1. Soudabeh says:

    Wow … so beautifully weaved …

    Thank you.

  2. David Filippone says:

    So wonderfully done Michael. Reverberating in me now, echoes of silence…

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