The Language Of Silence


A sannyasin says: With people I am not very close to, it’s easy to make conversation. But with people I am closer to, there is nothing to say. And I don’t feel very comfortable with it. It is as though something is missing.

No, nothing is missing, nothing at all. It is just that you are growing, and for the first time you are feeling close to people.

You have never felt that closeness. You have always remained just casually related. When you are formally related to someone you can go on chattering about a thousand and one nonsensical things, because nothing matters – it is just a pastime.

But when you start feeling closer to someone and an intimacy arises, then even a single word that you utter matters. Then you cannot play so easily with words, because now everything is meaningful. So there will be gaps of silence. One feels awkward in the beginning because one is not accustomed to silence. One thinks something must be said, otherwise what will the other think? But whenever you grow close, whenever there is some sort of love, silence comes and there is nothing to say. In fact, there is nothing to say.

….There is nothing. With a stranger there is much to say. With friends, nothing to say.

Osho Darshan

And the silence becomes heavy because you are not accustomed to it. You don’t know what the music of silence is. You know only one way of communicating and that is verbal, through the mind. You don’t know how to communicate through the heart, heart to heart, in silence. You don’t know how to communicate by just being there, through your presence.

You are growing and the old pattern of communication is falling short of you. You will have to grow new patterns of communication – non-verbal. The more mature one becomes, the more non-verbal communication is needed. Language is needed because we don’t know how to communicate. When we know how to, by and by language is not needed. Language is just a very primary medium. The real medium is of silence. So don’t take a wrong attitude, otherwise you will stop growing.

Nothing is missing; this is a wrong idea. Something new has come into being and the old pattern is not enough to contain it. You are growing and your dresses are becoming short. Not that something is missing; something is being added to you every day.

The more you meditate, the more you will love and the more you will relate. And finally one comes to a moment when only silence helps.

So next time when you are with somebody and you are not communicating with words and you are feeling very uneasy, feel happy. Become silent and allow that silence to communicate.

Language is needed to relate to people with whom you have no love relationship. Non-language is needed for people with whom you have a love relationship. One has to become innocent again like a child, and silent. Gestures will be there: sometimes you will smile and hold hands, or sometimes you will just remain silent, looking into each other’s eyes – not doing anything, just being. The presences meet and merge, and something happens which only you will know – only you to whom it has happened. No one else will become aware; it happens in such depth.

So feel happy next time, feel thankful that you are growing. Enjoy that silence; feel and taste and savour it. Soon you will see that it has its own communication; that it is greater and higher and deeper and more profound. And that communication is sacred, it has a purity about it.

It is a good sign. I am happy.

Osho, Hammer on the Rock, Ch 4

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