"Mine ears let other Noises in, not theirs; A Nois Disturbing all my Songs and
Prayers. My foes puld down the Temple to the ground, They my Adoring Soul did
deeply Wound, And casting that into a Swoon, destroyd The Oracle, and all I
there enjoyed." Thomas Traherne
There is a noise which drowns out the voice of reality.
When I was a kid I lived with my family overseas. We listened to short-wave
radio for entertainment. At some of the wave-lengths I found loud noise
constantly coming in. It sounded like airplane engines running. I remember one
of my friends saying, that's a Russian jammer. The story was that the
powers-that-be in the USSR didn't want their citizens to hear the foreign
broadcasts that were coming in over those wave-lengths, broadcasts that they did
not deem politically correct, so they overpowered them with a louder signal.
In the quote at the top of the page Thomas Traherne, a seventeenth century
minister and poet, was lamenting the loss of his innocence—his sense of
childlike connectedness. He reflected on the childish kinship with love and
light which was so precious and dear in his memory. He reminisced about an
unselfconscious sense of awe that he had lost to the civilizing efforts of his
trainers and educators. These foes of his young soul had jammed his mind with
obliterating noise, drowning out the oracle, as he puts it—the voice of God in
nature, in relationship, in the inner life of innocents.
Weren't we all innocents once? Weren't we alive to that voice at one time,
even though it might have be so early in our childhood that we don't have any
conscious memory of it?—a time when we could feel connected to everything good
and glorious, everything wise and wonderful, no matter how small, no matter how
humble. In our dreams, in our daydreams, in the thoughts that flow just
immediately beneath the surface of our consciousness we remember that time—that
time that was not necessarily even time-bound; we were connected to the eternal.
We were innocent, unwounded, full of needs and not ashamed.
But that disturbing noise surrounded us and we could not ignore it. It
obliterated the voice of God, the voice of give-love, the voice of need-love.
We, each one of us, permitted the voice of love and magnanimity in our souls to
be enveloped and remodulated until it was no longer recogizable, and then we
told ourselves that no one cared. We bought into the noise. We built our own
jammers and used them to obliterate the voice of reality which at any and all
times might try to jar us loose from our illusions.
© 2000 Joseph Perry, Greyfort