Quiet by Tim Halford
by Tim Halford
On its face, Quiet seems an easy word to define and everyone knows what we mean by it. In the original Latin, it meant “came from or through a dream where then one rests, in repose, and are still.” But quiet can also mean “secretive” as in a “quiet manner.” As an adjective it can mean noiseless, one who doesn’t speak much, or being unobtrusive. it can mean “gentle or easy going”, or “not disturbed by noise or activity.” Quiet can mean “secluded” or “something that is carried out secretly.” And in the world of real-estate, it is used to define a title that is “free from dispute.” Quiet can mean so many things I have discovered.
I choose to explore its original Latin meaning where one has a dream and then rests in repose and is still. This implies to me that while resting from, we also reflect on, the dream. And that dreams require a certain resting after they visit, suggests their significant impact on the body and mind if we do not. Whether a bad dream or a good one, they are impactful to us. Since we spend a third of our lives in the dream state as we sleep, this land we go to when we dream is as real as our waking life. Apparently, the body and mind feel the experiences even though we may be “quietly sleeping” or while active and moving during our waking life.
It is probable that the origin of quiet meant that in our waking state we are also really in another dream. And therefore, we must have quiet, rest and repose, to look at the waking dream we live in, in the other 2/3 of our lives. If we can get still, quiet, perhaps in a meditative state, we can get glimpses of the “waking dream” we are living within. If we can find a place of quiet, away from the “tyranny of the screens (TV, phone, computer), the noise of political and social unrest, even separate from the real anxiety and worry of a pandemic, we might find some clarity and easier acceptance of the world as it is and not as we would have it. As Joseph Campbell used to say, “Say yes to it all,” for to refuse what is only brings more suffering. And then perhaps to stand up on the ground you find yourself and makes some positive difference in the world. Easier said….
Whether it is a daydream or a night dream, quiet is therefore essential. For me, I often pop out of bed after a dream and forget it forever, unless of course, it is one of those memorable ones that shakes the core of my being or brings me a joyful bliss. And I find that finding quiet for my daydreaming is limited, squelched out by the rush of the world and the “doing” within it which is anything but “rest, repose, and stillness.”
So, what happens when we repress or deny “quiet time” for our dreams? Well Freud found that, when we dream at night, those thoughts/emotions we repress when we are awake, show up in our dreams, and often give us a difficult night or poor sleep. And then in our waking life, dream repression can cause depression, anxiety, and intense stress. So, it appears that the Romans were right, about the need for quiet-rest, repose, and being still. They knew the impact of dreams upon our physical bodies and mind can be substantial without this “quiet time.” In our current waking world, depression is the number one disabling condition in the world, and anxiety these days is palpable, in so many of us, me included. And our sleep is also quite disrupted as we push away or deny what is often so hard to carry, just too much – Trump, pandemic, the economy, separation, isolation, in our daily waking world.
I see that I need to give more credence to my dreams and then finding “quiet time” when waking, and during the day, giving room for these dreams to speak their truth and meaning for my life. I submit, we must be “quiet” more often and give our dreams their rightful place in our waking and sleeping life. During these tense political pandemic times especially, BE QUIET.