They are opposites, and yet they can confer meaning and communicate conceptual clarity by the very usage of simultaneous reflection in conjoined placement within a singular sentence of repose. Can silence be of such tumultuous unnerving, and a confusion of loud noises be characterized within the context of its opposite, and still retain a clear sense of meaning? Would it make the similar, mirror-image sense if we transposed and flipped those same words, and instead spoke about the “silence of din”?
That makes it sound like a movie title, or a short story encompassing a mysterious foreign land where Zen monks chant within the quiet gaze of an assassin’s eye. But there are times when silence becomes so overwhelming in its quietude, that truths become revealed and concealed perspectives are suddenly manifested, and it is during those moments of enlightening revelations that realizations of necessity come to the fore (or, perhaps, it merely means that our stomachs are rumbling and we are merely hungry).
To paraphrase Bertrand Russell, the ever-mischievous agnostic, who once quipped that when a person thinks that questions of eternal salvation, the need for a higher being and questions of profundity encapsulating transcendent issues and metaphysical concerns begin to invade and come to the fore, it is probably nothing more than indigestion and a good pharmacological prescription pill should take care of it. But it really does not work the other way, or make any sense, does it?
There is no “silence of din” – the latter is just that, a tumultuous cacophony of deafening onslaught, and that describes most of living in modernity, where the search for a slice of silence within that din is like a breath of eternal sighs in exasperated tones of forgiving acrimony.
But there is a “din of silence” – that moment when we can stand in the unprovoked thoughts of our own reflections, when we can remove ourselves for a slice of contractions where pain cannot reach and confusion will not confound, and it is in the monastic paradigm of clashes where worth and value coalesce, when thought and action extend, and how the true essence of a person becomes revealed in a moment of naked reality. But then, the real world comes crashing back, and we awaken from the slumber of transcendence.
There is, often in the momentary timelessness between reality and slumber, a realization of that which needs to be accomplished in order to move forward. That is the point when the Federal or Postal employee, who experiences the pain of a medical condition, must decide as to whether to continue in the same modality as the “rest of the world” in trying to just survive, or to “move on” to another stage of life.
It sometimes takes the din of silence to figure that out; but for the Federal or Postal employee who suffers from a medical condition, such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from performing one or more of the essential elements of the Federal or Postal position, it is never advisable to wait for the din of silence before deciding to file a Federal Disability Retirement application with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset; for, in the end, you may end up in the silence of din before achieving the peaceful repose of the din of silence.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire