Friday, March 13, 2009

Be Still... When the World is in Chaos

“ Be still and know that I am God ”( Psalm 46:10 – KJV )

It is inconceivable to live in a complex, chaotic world without guidance and direction from another being who knows better, which implies he/she has greater wisdom/knowledge, hence higher power ( knowledge is power, right? ). Along with it is the implicit trust we place on that person everyday that he/she will take us to the desired place or goal or destination. Let's take a few examples to illustrate the point. We want to travel to another location and we either drive a car, take a cab, or ride on public transportation. Either way, we generally trust that the car will run smoothly, the GPS will tell us the direction correctly, the cab driver will not screw us, and the train or bus will take us there on time. I chuckle as I write this essay as I recall a fellow bus passenger asking a New York's Metro Transit Authority ( NYC's equal of LRT ) driver whether he was going to Jackson Heights. With a wry smile, he answered, " I hope so... " Contrary to popular belief, New Yorkers won't eat you alive... a far cry from the turbulent 60s and 70s.

You've probably heard this before, but it's worth repeating. If we believe in a Creator, as I think you do ( a quick argument for the existence of a Creator: if I told my friends that the BMW car parked in front of my apartment manifested itself accidentally out of random chaos – and not made by a sophisticated, intelligent, artistic designer/engineer, they would probably take me to the psychiatric emergency ward ), then it is logical that he would leave in place a system akin to an operations and maintenance manual we get, together with our mobile phones and cars when we purchase them, to optimize our operating system called life. On a rational or conscious level, this Manufacturer or Creator or Source or God would have to have it in writing to preserve it for generations to utilize it, and not start from scratch. People used printing presses in the early days, now burn CDs, type on MSWord, or download videos/mp3s to produce these manuals. Christians call theirs the Bible, Taoists term it the Tao Te Ching, Jews have their Torah, Muslims their Q'uran, etc...

But the Christian quote, Psalm 46:10, goes even one level beyond the conscious or rational level ( deeper or higher, however you call it, from the metaphysical point of view ), that is, the Super-conscious or Divine level - beyond words- where mystics, poets, inventors, scientists, super athletes, healers, wise persons, transcendent leaders dwell - the language of silence, where unity dwells and division melts; where judgment collapses, and " they " becomes extinct and " we " is the " in " thing. Peace becomes not just possible but turns practical in ordinary life with nary an effort stronger than lifting a feather of a sparrow. Time and space collapse; hence, anxiety and impatience dissolve, for how can they exist without time? Stress is no longer a reality as the formless spirit within one's being expands because space is no more. Absolute freedom reigns. Is it possible? Yes! I let it be one afternoon for a few minutes... and it was heaven...These words are just puny attempts to describe them. It helped that I read Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth... in silence...

In deep humility, I share this with those who care to open their hearts, minds and spirits. Can you experience the same zone of peace? Yes, you can!!! But you need to be still… and perhaps accept our imperfections, and just be ourselves, not be somebody else. Then, maybe we can recapture that sacred moment I felt one frigid winter morning in early February this year: found God, myself… and peace.



  1. Hi Herman,

    Again, you have chosen one of my favorite verse in the bible. after reading your article, i end up getting a little bit confused with your interpretation of this verse; (are you explaining this verse here)? "Be still and know that i am God" in the bible context describes more of God's judgment about people persecuting Christians or believers. to be "still" means to be calm in trust that God will reveal Himself as our refuge, a protector and a saviour. be still means to remain peaceful in the mids of chaos and unjust situation. For me, being still is to let go and let God handle the situation. considering the present global economic conditions we are all experiencing right now, it is wise for us to be still and trust God to guide us, and how are we going to be a part of His guidance? we need to surrender to God everything about us, our life, our dreams, our weaknesses so as our knowledge; admitting we all fall short from His glory; then we can be "still". being still is far beyond being quiet; being still is an active state of trsuting and communing with God.
    thank you for giving me a chance to share my insight on your article.

    Gos bless us all.

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  3. indeed, being still means actively trusting him... but trust develops only as one gets to know the other person... and we get to know God best in silence.." far from the madding crowd " ... so you are correct in letting go and letting God guide us, but how do we recognize His guidance? by dropping our thoughts and preconceived notions altogether, that is, going deeper or higher beyond our thoughts, and connecting with His Super-conscious Mind with a blank mind,in an active listening mode, so to speak. It is an art we can practice. There is that deeper self, your being, the observer, who " watches " your thinking self read this response.... who is beyond words whom God is inviting to " be still and know that I am God. " That is your real self, undefined by words, ego, mask, labels....

    thank you very much for your valuable feedback. I pray this answers your questions.

  4. thank you, cookiebees, for joining us in silence. your presence is valued and honored. peace....