St John the Silent sits with his books, fingers to his lips in a gesture of silent reflection. He pauses and listens, does he hear an angel by his ear whispering insights and instructions for his life and work? St Johns book says, “Spirit is the force and potential proceeding known, knower and knowing”. His wisdom is found through silent listening. Silence is the first language of God.
St John the Silent The icon is a link between humanity and the unknown/unseen. A well written icon portrays an archetypal human experience and sacred space for the mystical encounter between the person before it and the mystery from where we have come. Standing before one potentially opens the heart and mind to see our divine life within us. A fine icon has the potential to move the viewer, in a way that shocks you into seeing.
Our minds are being buffeted daily with noise which is not of God. Internally iconographers believe beauty will save the world, the beauty of humankind and our potential to see the divine in all things. I will take it a step farther and declare the love of beauty will save the world. Mystical silence, love and beauty are experienced in the realm of a still quiet mind.
“be still and know I am with you”
Meditation enables us to experience no purpose, detachment from purpose, inviting us to embrace nothing, the beginning and end of Sacred Stillness.
The icon painter contemplates God
while working out “the” relationship between self and world.
It is the work of iconographers to express in image the inner harmony of humankind reconciled with God through watching and listening. The revived interest in icons today is a glimmer of hope for the continued expansion in awareness of beauty and the creation. The individual who is painting witnesses to thoughts as they are made visible.
Silence is undervalued in our world today. There is much hustle and bustle to become or get there. What Saint John knows is that there is no were to get to and nothing to become, we are process happening and if you cannot sit still you will miss the great mystery contained in Being. Reflect for a moment what value can be found in silence, listening, stillness, watching or hearing. Nothing at first glance. All of them require intent and awareness to perceive the shift within one’s self. Stillness shows us we are complete now, each and every one of us, we simply need to wake up and remember we are mystery happening, no matter what, when, how, why or who it is.