Silence and mental fitness are birds of a feather

 All calmness and stillness are gone and the mind wanders, exposing the person to mental challenges and in most cases mental unfitness.

Mental Fitness and silence are birds of a feather.

I have come to know and understand that the human baby is born with two natural fears, just two, the fear of falling and that of loud sounds.

 At least you now know what doing those firecrackers does to your baby at the dawn of a new year.

This is a well-researched phenomenon, (T. Gordon Larsen — 2016). What I have not found an explanation for though, has been why? Why those two fears.

 There must be a reason why and my hunch is that it has something to do with where the soul comes from, a place of total silence and stillness.

Dear reader, please allow me to indulge you here. I know that I am delving into uncertain terrains without empirical evidence.

What I always say when I conduct mental fitness workshops and touch on such issues is that the participant should not believe me but can interact with what I am saying and further explore. I will say the same to you dear reader.

The 13th century poet, Jalál al-Dín Muhammad Rumí, had this wisdom, ‘The language of God is silence, and everything else is a poor translation.’

Here is where I get the idea that if souls come from God, they come from a place of total silence and stillness.

Remember you do not have to believe this but feel free to explore, to listen and question.

 The Judaist-Christian Bible has a verse that supports this notion in some way which is in Psalm 46:10 and goes, ‘“Be still, and know that I am God.’

Stillness and silence seem to speak to each other.

This probably means that the baby comes to this world of noise and falling and becomes terrified by it because they never knew noise and were so still, falling was never an issue. What do you think?

They do not come from a place of survival but now must depend on a mother to lift them up and hold them.

Imagine what would happen if the human baby became active immediately after birth like other babies.

I am sure you are aware that it is the most dependent baby physically among all mammals.

I can imagine it getting up and beginning to move like that of a goat immediately after birth.

I think it would be so overwhelmed by the noise and have a serious mental breakdown considering its two natural fears.

 It would get dizzy standing up and running like a headless chicken wondering what was happening.

I am laughing as I am writing this and marveling at the purposefulness of nature. Nothing seems to be random.

So, nature is careful how she brings this delicate bundle of joy to the world of noise and movement but does slowly begin to expose it to some shaking.

 This shaking gets worse as they grow older and must face the challenges of life and many lose it, totally forgetting the silence and stillness and living a life of turmoil and agony.

Even religion makes it worse in some instances, in my opinion.

Somebody has nicknamed some church denominations, ‘happy clappy’ churches and I am sure you understand why.

 There is a lot of noise in most congregations and movement too and one can say, the kind of movement that is not organised in terms of it having the value of grounding the congregate and making them feel connected to something deeper.

Life puts the human baby, as it now enters the different stages of human development, under all sorts of challenges and the wonder child, in most cases, becomes the wandering child as they get wounded by many things.

At age seven, research has found that who they are is fully determined and here, they have acquired a lot more fears now and are a full human being.

 If no transformation is met and embraced by this full human being as they do life, this means that even at the age of ninety, the seven-year-old script is still playing out and that no growing up ever happens but just growing old.

 All calmness and stillness are gone and the mind wanders, exposing the person to mental challenges and in most cases mental unfitness.

Humanity in its quest for sense has all sorts of ways to try and be calm and even happy. Religion leads the way in these creations of ‘sense.’

The biggest weakness in most institutions has been the noise, the anxiety and disorganised movement that leaves the individual tired and fatigued after ‘dancing for the lord…’ so called. This disorganized movement does not help mental fitness.

 If you look around, you will see how in different cultures humans have tried their best to reconnect with meaning having become adults and lost the wonder child.

 It is a hotchpotch of rituals and customs with many getting exploited and manipulated by those who claim to speak to God.

What is clear though is that the quest is there and that the mind is really searching in all sorts of ways.

Judging by the quality of life in the world, the violence, suicides, alcoholism, and psychosomatic diseases, one can safely say that the many methods we use to connect with the meaning of life qualitatively are not really working.

 This is not to be a prophet of doom but to say we really need to look elsewhere.

I have no doubt there is a lot of sense being made in some places. It is not just religious rituals that we seem to seek solace from but a lot of other things, such as relationships, romantic and other, the workplace, food, holidays, sex, money, fashion, cars, and many others.

Do these bring about silence and stillness? I do not think so. We can explore this further.

Informed mental fitness endeavors are there out there in the world that are well researched and do make a difference in grounding someone by turning their mind inwards where there is calmness.

Cultures, based on their own search, have come up with practices that do ground a human being.

In terms of movement, there are soma activities such as yoga that are known to ground human beings with movements that are designed to fix the many damages that life deals us.

While this is a scientifically investigated area, opinion still challenges it and for many religious people this practice has been stigmatized as demoniac and new age.

The same opinion has hit meditation which comes with stillness and silence for those who practice it.

Many lose out because of opinion and myths.

As I said earlier dear reader, please do not believe me, but added to that, do not believe opinions but get into the habit of exploring things for yourself.

The workplace needs robust thinking and fresh ideas to create fit human capital.

  • Bhekilizwe Bernard Ndlovu’s training is in human resources training, development and transformation, behavioural change, applied drama, personal mastery, and mental fitness. He works for a Zimbabwean company as human capital executive, while also doing a PhD with Wits University where he looks at violent strikes in the South African workplace as a researcher. Ndlovu worked as a human resources manager for several blue-chip companies in Zimbabwe and still takes keen interest in the affairs of people and performance management. He can be contacted on [email protected]

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