A Sound of Sheer Silence

On Friday (4/19/24), in Allen’s ICN morning meditation offering, Allen introduced the perspective that meditation is a secret communication between God and us.

This spawned the following reflection…

 A Sound of Sheer Silence

In meditation we gain insights,

                                                      but God is not in the insights.

We have feelings,

                                                       but God is not in the feelings.

We have bodily sensations,

                                                              but God is not in the sensations.

Where is God in meditation?

In meditation perhaps

we are secretly and silently,

very silently,

receiving God’s transmission of

the Mystery of Truth and Love.

God’s transmission of

Truth and Love



our being distracted by






Even when our egos MUST

jot down one or two of those

exciting, dare-not-forget insights.

In our regular morning meditation practice with Allen I picture us gathering together, a group of thirsty ICN souls among many such groups of thirsty souls around the world, coming into our meditation time.

We come together much like cars pulling into a gas station, each with the driver’s strong intention to fill up his or her tank with the Mystery of God’s Truth and Love adequate for the day’s travel. Yes, our intention is all important!

We leave the gas station “topped off” so to speak,

feeling alive in the Joy of Life.


Background to these reflections

Margaret Paul

A few weeks ago, a Pathwork friend of mine referenced being helped by writings of Margaret Paul, a prolific author and counselor regarding inner bonding. I was drawn to purchase two of her books on Audible (and Kindle) and listened to both in rapid succession. These are:

How to Become Strong Enough to Love: Creating Loving Relationships Through the Six-Step Pathway of Inner Bonding ©2022

Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection ©2018

I was drawn to her clear and convincing description of our higher power being the inner guidance, our deep inner intuition, describing it as being our closest connection to God. Margaret Paul was not raised in any particular religion, and yet it was clear to her that she had a source of trustable divine inner guidance that consistently led her in life as a source of Truth and Love. She equates this Truth and Love to the Divine, or to God, to God within. I come from early conservative German Lutheran roots, quite distant from such an idea of God being anything other than the God of the Lutheran creeds and not a more general “higher power” of AA circles, and certainly not my inner God-self worthy of serving as a source of Truth and Love! Now finally, at age 81, with Margaret Paul’s words, I am able to take this in as true for me! I have a trustable divine inner guidance, a deep inner intuitive Knowing that is my connection to God, is my being God, is my I AM, is my being a channel through which Truth and Love can flow. This experience with Margaret Paul has been a big deal for me these recent weeks.


A few years ago, when I was choosing words for my grave’s footstone, I had chosen the words based on a line from a Pathwork Lecture: (Pathwork Lecture 191¶17) “The pain dissolves into its original nature, the blissful, peaceful vibrancy of the river of life that flows through you and of which you are a part.”  This phrase was integrated with words penned into my confirmation bible by Mom and Dad that was presented to me on May 20, 1956, when I was 13: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life” Revelations 2 v10. Then more recently this notion of God within was reinforced by reading Paul Smith’s Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve where on page 162 (see Note 28) he quotes John 7:38 [Jesus said] “As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart [or belly] shall flow rivers of living water.’” From all of this, the words selected for my foot stone several years ago became, “Being faithful to the river of life that flows through us and of which we are a part.” These words have grown in meaning for me since I selected them several years ago.

Now back to a quote from Margaret Paul

Here is the quote from her Diet for Divine Connection: Beyond Junk Foods and Junk Thoughts to At-Will Spiritual Connection, that gave me the phrase, “sound of sheer silence.”

“One key to separating the ego from intuition is to be aware that loud voices are generally the ego, whereas Divine guidance is generally quite subtle. This requires us to be truly present so that we are attuned to what our guidance is trying to show us.

Hebrew scriptures contain a story that illustrates the difference between the external loudness and showiness of the ego and the quiet inner knowing of our authentic selves receiving Divine guidance. At a time when the prophet Elijah was experiencing a great deal of opposition and felt discouraged, he asked to see God. He was told to journey to Mount Horeb and to stand on the mountainside whereupon God would pass by.

The first thing to occur was a mighty wind that was so powerful it dislodged huge rocks that tumbled down the mountain and broke into pieces. But God wasn’t in the wind. Following the wind, there was an earthquake, and still God didn’t make an appearance. Then a firestorm ensued, no doubt caused by an awesome display of lightning. Was God in the fire? Nope.

It was what happened next that’s so insightful and relevant to our everyday lives. Absent any external signs, God’s presence was made known in what the translators tend to describe as “a still, small voice.” However, this is an inadequate representation of the intent of the Hebrew. The translation provided by the New Revised Standard Version [1 Kings 19:12] makes it intelligible: “a sound of sheer silence.” It was in this complete stillness, this utter silence, this absolute peace, that the Divine was made known. When we are able to attain this inner stillness, the Divine is made known to us.”

A commentary from a Google Search on “A sound of sheer silence:”

The phrase ‘sound of sheer silence’ in the context of 1 Kings 19:12 (NRSV) implies a profound sense of quietness and stillness that signifies the presence of God. This ‘sheer silence’ is distinct from the preceding events of a great wind, an earthquake, and a fire, which did not contain God’s presence. The term ‘sheer’ emphasizes that this silence is unmitigated and uninterrupted, representing a moment of deep contemplation, self-reflection, and connection with the divine. This concept of ‘sound of sheer silence’ is also explored in other contexts, such as in the song “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, where it is associated with the inability of people to communicate with each other, and in various personal experiences where individuals find a sense of peace and tranquility in moments of absolute silence.

The reflection was reinforced in Pat’s and my morning devotional conversation the day after Allen’s meditation reflection…

4/20/24 Saturday

Before I spoke of my experience on Friday regarding Allen’s meditation and his “Secret communion with God in meditation,” Pat began. She noticed that the past few days she and I have been living with the phrase, “Sound of sheer silence.” Pat offered that the “sound of sheer silence” points to our communion, our union, with God. She further observed that perhaps this is the meditation Jesus offered in Gethsemane, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me; yet, not my will but yours be done.” She noted that our time in devotional conversation includes such silence and that this meditation is good for us humans.

Secondly, Pat brought in her own practice from a Buddhist program she was in many years ago and to which she remains faithful. Part of this practice is “Mind Training,” a set of Buddhist affirmations for living as translated and compiled by Ken McLeod. Pat referred to one of the affirmations relating to holding within one’s deep being all that is happening in one’s external and internal world. It is the following:

A joyous state of mind is a constant support.

A deep and quiet joy is always present when your internal peace is such that you aren’t disturbed or thrown into confusion by events in the world or by your own thoughts and feelings.

I smiled at her sharing.