September 16th, 2015

Book Cover

Silence -

I just finished reading George Prochnik's book, In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise.

I thought it was just an aging me that is so disturbed by constant, loud music in restaurants and stores but it seems it is a carefully orchestrated industry.  Eat and drink quickly and much.  Turn over tables.  Buy!  Buy!  Buy!

I don't know how we can turn this around since we may not be the target consumer audience, but this relates to the separation that continues to widen politically.

The author is speaking to a priest who said he and other religious leaders are prescribing "very basic, pragmatic experiences of silence as part of their ministry".  He tells people to "Sit alone in quiet for a while."  Even half an hour of this can lead people to say, "Father, that was the most profound thing I've ever experienced."  Imagine that.

One man, Father Stephen, says that "in his experience the problem was that without silence people had no ability to understand one another.  He currently oversees meetings for councils that set policy for different parishes, and he has recently stopped allowing any difficult decisions to be made by discussion.  Doing so, he has found means that "the noise makes the decision".  Instead he sends everyone off to meditate on their own about their place in the discord. They'll regather must later and often as not he finds people's minds have changed."

This morning I sit with a new appreciation of my ears and their abilities, and an awareness, they are only one sense.  In silence, I see.