Communication is a Latin word which means ‘to share’. It is the sharing of information between different individuals. It includes the sharing of ideas, concepts, imaginations, behaviours and written content. Communication is simply defined as the transfer of information from one place to another. Or is that all about communication or communicating?
Delving a little deeper, we can feel that emotions and feelings have always been an integral part of communication. On a one to one communication, just being polite or nice is not communication because if we are repressing something, communication remains superficial, just verbal. Then we end up making simply empty gestures and meaningless motions. We can say ‘hello’ to a person without verbally saying ‘hello’. We can smile towards a person without smiling at all. We can talk and be pleasant, as one is expected to be, without being pleasant at all. This whole gesture may be a deep avoidance. Our politeness and goodness may be just an armour because we are afraid that if we become true, the emotions that have been repressed will bubble up. The other person is also trying to be nice is as afraid as us. So it can appear that there is communication but there is not.
Modern man is like an uprooted tree. He has forgotten how to relate with existence, his surrounding and more importantly with himself. He has forgotten how to whisper with the clouds and the trees and the mountains. He has completely forgotten the language of silence. It is the silence that becomes a bridge between man and the universe. On this earth there are almost 3000 languages and existence knows no other language except the language of silence.
All communication has disappeared from the world. Everybody is living a lonely life and man has never been so lonely. Communication has failed because a thick, dense indifference surrounds everybody that even a shout cannot be heard because the mind is always there to interpret. Silence makes us aware of the waves of thoughts, sensations and emotions that arise within us. To attain to silence is the ultimate fruition of meditation.
Siblings sometimes only appear to be nice to each other. Otherwise they are enemies because they are the first competitors. When the first child is born, he is the whole and sole but when comes the next child, he starts competing and competition is natural. Every child wants more attention and feels offended by the presence of the other and then arises jealousy. An inner conflict, a fight and ambition arises. Each child is different. Somebody is very talented, somebody is not. Somebody has a musical or mathematical talent, somebody has not. Somebody is physically more beautiful than the other and it creates problems because we are taught to be nice, never to be true.
If children are taught to be true, they will fight it out and they will drop it by fighting. They will be angry, they will fight and say hard things to the other and then they will be finished, because children get rid of things very easily. If they are angry, they will be angry, hot, almost volcanic, but next moment they are holding each other’s hands and everything is forgotten. They are very simple, but they are not allowed that simplicity. They are told to be nice, whatsoever the cost. They are prohibited from being angry with each other. Those angers, jealousies and a thousand and one wounds, scars, go on collecting. One day later in life they will all bubble up. The most sensible thing is not to repress them again. Fight it out. Finish it! Say the things one always wanted to say and have not said, and if they can face each other in true anger, jealousy, immediately after it, in the wake of it, a deep love and compassion will arise and that will be the real thing. Then communication will be possible.
Once one is at ease with his or her sibling, something like a block will drop from his/her chest. That will help to be more communicative with others too- with friends, parents and the whole society. A great silence arises and that silence will make the individual communicative where even communion is possible.
People mostly never feel that closeness and remain casually related. When one is formally related to someone s/he can go on chattering about a thousand and one nonsensical things, because nothing matters. But when one starts to feel closer to another and an intimacy arises, then even a single word uttered matters. Then one 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? Whenever there is some sort of love and awareness, silence comes and there is nothing to say. In fact, there is nothing to say. With a stranger there is much to say. With friends, nothing to say.
Silence becomes heavy because we are not accustomed to it. We do not know the music of silence. We know only one way of communicating and that is verbal, through the mind. We do not know how to communicate through the heart, heart to heart, in silence. We do not know how to communicate by just being there, through our presence.
The old pattern of communication is falling short. We 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.
Osho points out, “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. 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.”
To learn silence and at least sit in silence with our friends, families without gossiping or talking; stopping the inner talk is like being in an interval, just sitting, doing nothing. Just by being presences to each other we can start finding a new way to communicate. Not only communication, but a communion happens. Our hearts start beating in the same rhythm, feeling the same space. We can feel the same joy, we will say without saying words and there will be no misunderstanding.
Silence is a profound language. Silence is the language of existence. Real communication happens in silence.