"On another level, silence reminds me that the misuse of words, the abuse of language can also be the sinful abuse of people; silence for us means not talking, more than not making noise... On yet another level, silence means listening. We follow the Rule of St. Benedict and the first word of that Rule is "Listen." That's the great ethical element of silence: to check my words and listen to another point of view. I'll never have any real peace should my sense of well-being depend on soundless peace. When I can learn the patience of receiving, in an unthreatened way, what I'd rather not hear, then I can have a real measure of peace in any situation."Sometimes I'll hide all the clocks in a room and close the door, close the rest of the doors and sit and try and concentrate. But that can't stop the cars outside, the fridges and freezes and sometimes I imagine the hum of electricity from becoming a disturbance. But it's true, there's still a benefit to not hearing the sound of your own voice for a while especially when it says as many stupid things as mine.
Life I prefer silence, but living where I do, it's of limited availability and earplugs are of little use since all they do is amplify my own breathing. So to an extent the life of a trappist monk "sounds" like bliss and indeed in speaking to The Awl about their lives (via email) these examples note that much of the noise most of us have to endure is simple talking, though there's nothing simple about that:
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2012