67. In “Un autre regard sur l’homme” [Another look at man], Maurice Zundel seems to develop Plotinus’ thought in greater depth when he writes: ******
“Our whole life is comprised in this alternative: either I am in myself or I am in God. There is no middle way. When I stop encountering myself, that is when God is really present. When I lose sight of myself, that is when I look at Him. When I no longer hear myself, that is when I listen to Him, and God, at all levels, consists precisely in losing myself in Him.
The program is simple, but implementing it is difficult, because we cannot decree an encounter or set the hour in which love will spring forth. There is no path that infallibly ends with an exchange of intimacies. Nothing is freer, more unforeseen, or more gratuitous. All you can do is to remove the obstacles that make such an exchange impossible, and they are all summed up in the noise that one makes with oneself and around oneself.
The only chance we have of leaving ourselves is to neutralize our attention, peacefully to withdraw our attention from this whole confused mix of appetites and claims, and to shut off the psychological current that feeds this turmoil; in this recollection, the emptiness that makes us available grows ever wider and deeper. When total silence is established, it is already an announcement of the Presence who fills up the space resulting from the retreat of myself.” *****
68. Silence is difficult, but it enables man to let himself be led by God. From silence is born silence. Through God the silent, we can attain silence. And man is unceasingly surprised by the light that pours forth then. Silence is more important than any other human work. Because it expresses God. The true revolution comes from silence; it leads us toward God and others so as to place us humbly and generously at their service.
Robert Cardinal Sarah, “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise” (Kindle Locations 821-837, para 67 & 68). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
When I stop encountering myself, that is when God is really present. When I lose sight of myself, that is when I look at Him. When I no longer hear myself, that is when I listen to Him. Maurice Zundel