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"There is no contraction of image, idea, or belief within you to resist the noise, so it just washes through."


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  Jim Dreaver, Spiritual Solutions Q&A

Question to Jim:

One of the lines from the "Desiderata" states: "Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit." I feel I live in a loud and aggressive world. I escaped to the country where I have been relatively content for the past two years.

Unfortunately I don't own all the land around me and I am being invaded upon. City people are bringing their noise and confusion with them. The very thing they are wanting to escape.

I was awakened this morning by the sound of chainsaws buzzing just outside my window. There are cell phone towers springing up everywhere, poisoning the landscape and the night sky with their blinking strobes. I am finding myself become increasingly angry and misanthropic. There seems to be no way to escape from this. I could sell and move further out still but it will only be time before the same thing happens again.

Do you have any suggestions in dealing with the visual and noise pollution produced by our fellow man? I know that I am a hypersensitive individual but there must be a way to find physical peace in this world.

Answer from Jim:

Jean Klein, my teacher, used to say that the worst pollution was noise pollution. But he also taught that the true silence was within, and that once we awaken to our real nature, that silence is always there, and nothing can touch it--not chainsaws, nor barking dogs, nor the babble of hysterical crowds.

One of the great teachers of enlightenment, Nisargadatta Maharaj, lived in a small tenement on a busy, crowded, noisy street in Bombay. Pure, silent meditation in his presence was impossible. You listen to the tapes of him speaking and you can hear car horns honking, street vendors yelling as they sell their wares, people laughing, children playing.

I understand your hypersensitivity, yet my own experience is that the only way to solve this problem is through awakening, through enlightenment, through the discovery of your true nature.

The interesting thing is that as awakening happens, the noises from outside no longer bother you so much, because you are so spacious inside. There is no contraction of image, idea, or belief within you to resist the noise, so it just washes through.

Eventually, with full awakening--and this is the mystery and the grace of it all--the world actually leaves you pretty much at peace. Because you're no longer resisting anything, you no longer magnetize or attract those phenomena which were once so annoying. 

The barking dogs wander up the street and bother your neighbor instead!

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