A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life,
for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, philosopher,
Is this an elitist thought … Russell’s, I mean? Something that only a person of privilege can relate to? (I recently had an email from an 80 year old friend who said that one of the reasons she didn’t read my all my Reflections was that some were “elitist” … I haven’t yet written back to ask what she meant by “elitist”. Happily, since I’ve been following as best I can Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements, trying not to take anything “personally”, I find myself much freer to appreciate others’ perspectives without feeling defensive or threatened!
I “gaze” about the World and I think, “Who the hell of these people without food and family and education and money etc etc etc can possibly have time for Quiet??” Quiet, it seems to me, is a gift of privilege, essentially. When Religion is being authentically lived out, Quiet is something that one can receive, be taught, regardless of economic or social standing. How I wish that Christian missionary thinking would move from “making new converts for the Church” to gifting people with such inner gifts as Quietness!! What a gift we would be giving to the World! A gift that the Christ would, I think, desire. Jesus was not an Egomanic!
I will try to be quiet today. I invite you to join me. Quiet of spirit, quiet of mind, quiet of emotion, quiet of thought.
I think what Russell meant was that a “quiet life” was a life of Simplicity. I have discovered that Simplicity indeed fosters Freedom … and Freedom fosters Joy.