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Questions about silence

May 13, 1998 07:58 AM
by K Paul Johnson

Pam wrote:
> Your last line intrigues me.  Here you've just experienced these majestic
> sites right within your friends' grasp, but you don't feel like talking
> about it. Why is that?

You are probably just as attuned to the meaning of this dream as *my*
conscious mind is, judging by your acute questions.  Of course
the honest answer is "I don't know," but you suggest most of the
main reasons.

 Have just witness a private vision that defies
> words? Would talking about it demystify the experience and make it seem
> commonplace?

Partly that.  Partly that I don't know if it's really accessible
to everyone, since I'm not sure quite how I got there, and don't
want to talk about something that may give false leads or hopes.
I would be sorry if someone else went to the same spot and saw
nothing.  On the other hand...

 Or have all the "dream" friends already known about the
> natural paradise and it's only you who have just discovered it? Or would
> they just not understand?

Well, I get the feeling that *some* people know it's there, and
they never told me, I just stumbled into it by myself; and that
*some* don't know it's there.  So maybe there's a kind of rule
that you're not supposed to tell people about it, but just let
them find it on their own?  I don't feel (in the dream) sure that
I'm not *ever* supposed to talk about it, but have a kind of warning
sense that the time is certainly not ripe.  Probably, given the
state of mind (?) I am in at this point in the dream, I'd take an
individual aside who I felt strongly *had* been to the place, and
say "Hey-- do you know about the waterfall?" or something like
> experiences seem to lose power when they're discussed or just shared with
> others.  Maybe it's a real loss, or maybe it's just a perceived loss as
> subjective experiences and imagery are forced through the inadequate screen
> of language.  Maybe it's the transition from the mythic to the ordinary.
> Regardless, there seems to be a disruption in the personal psychic
> environment.

Profound observation, I think.  There does however IMO exist a
difference between times and places where it can be productive
to discuss it and others where there would be a loss of power.
I've found it enriching to talk one-on-one with wiser friends
about such things.  And the Search for God groups have really at
times been a highly charged space where such sharing works, and
is mutually synergistic.  But not always.  I would post this to
theos-talk or netsfg but not to a newsgroup, because I know and
trust the energy on these two lists.

> this relates to the phrase "To keep silent".  Many times, the desire to
> talk about our personal occult and mystical experiences relates to the need
> to "compare notes", to gage where we are, to try to verify whether our
> experiences are real or valid.  So speaking about these experiences
> (without the intent of teaching) indicates a lack of confidence in our own
> abilities.

Here I am copying almost your whole post because it says so much.  It's
a fine line, though.  We don't want to create an environment
where it's simply peer pressure that says "Don't talk about these
things" because then people who are perplexed by what is
happening to them are intimidated into clamming up about it.
Part of the role of HPB was to get people to loosen up about
these things, to open their eyes and explore them.  Yet the
current Theosophical world is no longer loose or open about them,
probably because claims of inner experiences have so often been
used as a means of claiming status and asserting control.
Some of the anti-psychic attitudes in the Theosophical community
lend themselves to this kind of intimidation.  On the other hand,
I've seen/heard the kind of prattle about "my experiences can top
yours" that prevails in Spiritualistic New Age environments, and
that's not good either.  So skillful means would involve knowing
when to speak and when to keep silent.  Harder than either
blabbing it all or keeping a tight censorship about such things,
but probably where we should try to head.
> Anyway Paul, it's a cool dream that speaks to yet undiscovered wonders
> within our collective grasp.  Thanks for sharing it.

Thanks very much for your comment.  Thanks also to Brenda for
sharing hers and looking things up in the dream book.


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