The Silence of All Flesh

The silence we value is not the mere outward silence of the lips. It is a deep quietness of heart and mind, a laying aside of all preoccupation with passing things yes, even with the workings of our own minds; a resolute fixing of the heart upon that which is unchangeable and eternal.

This ‘silence of all flesh’ appears to us to be the essential preparation for any act of true worship. It is also, we believe, the essential condition at all times of inward illumination. ‘Stand still in the light,’ says George Fox again and again, and then strength comes — and peace and victory and deliverance, and all other good things. ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’

It is the experience, I believe, of all those who have been most deeply conscious of His revelations of Himself, that they are made emphatically to the ‘waiting’ soul — to the spirit which is most fully conscious of its own inability to do more than wait in silence before Him.”

— Caroline Stephen, 1890
Quaker Strongholds
Photo credit: Georgia Sparling

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Stand still in the light and pay attention to what you encounter inwardly and outwardly. Do you encounter the unchangeable and eternal?

What is your relationship with silence and stillness?

What happens for you when you try to sit still in silence? How do you maintain a state of inner stillness through the noise and demands of your daily life?