Writers and speakers, especially, have a false belief about the relationship of language and intelligence. They suppose that the ability to express oneself eloquently is a sign of high intelligence. They suppose that those who do not understand what is said have inferior intelligence. These craftsmen of language overlook communion and companionable sitting, and in so doing they refuse silent communication.
The bias is easy to find. In the courtrooms, barristers are contemptuous of the farmers and labor workers they represent. In the schools, educators talk about students who communicate poorly as if they are lazy or worthless. The writers and speakers look down on people of the city, and people of the city look down on those of the field. Language is on many inner altars.
But language is less wise and less real than communication. Tilling the land and harvesting crops involves a silent communication of growing thing and man. Seasons are the courtrooms there. Lawyers fumble and fall in that slower, deeper rhythm.
The animal rights movement is all about silent communication. Our furry brothers and sisters, along with those of the seas and our feathered friends, do not speak our language. But they do speak, if you have ears to hear. There is a lifelong companionship and dialogue involved in a human to animal bond, just as there is between the animals. The bond is valuable whether or not it is decorated with vowels and adjectives. Furthermore, the animals are just as meaningful and worthwhile as we are. They simply speak in different ways.
Our parents and grandparents the trees speak volumes. Their patterns of light and shadow on the ground, their gentle hugging wavering in the breeze, and the joyful praise with which they worship are subtle words and sentences. Their rhythm is far slowed compared to ours, and the stars have a pace far slower still, but the meditation and prayer of immense and long-lived giants is all the grander and luminous for that.
Before you dismiss the awkward child, look into his or her eyes. Before you look away from the developmentally-challenged adult, smile encouragingly and wait a while. If you do not have patience enough to join hearts with these your people, how will you find a common altar with the birds and beasts? And if you cannot find them in your spirituality, you will lose the trees and boulders, the clouds and stars. And these, the wisest of all, are your very most precious gurus and priests. They knew of God and mindfulness, heaven and enlightenment, before your form was even dreamt. Without silent communication, you lose your spiritual connection to our planet and yourself.
A clever tongue is a trifling, unworthy thing compared to a heart full of love. The holiest and most trustworthy prayer and meditation is wordless, having moved beyond the realm of conjured things into blissful, silent communication.