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More Thoughts on Silence

couldntthinkofanoriginalname's picture

From the beginning of our 360 experience, I have always been curious as to why we, including myself at times, are uncomfortable with silence. I guess over the weeks, I have found general answers to this question especially from Chittister when she says, "Silence frightens us because it is silence that brings us face to face with ourselves." However, this does not give me any specific reasons. What about ourselves do we not want to face? Is it always something bad, for example a heartache or is it, at times, a positive--innate goodness? Why wouldn't we want to face the positive? What is questioned or what fundamental beliefs are challenged when we fully immerse ourselves in silence alone and with others?

I agreed with Chittister when she said that, in essence, daily noises "protect us from listenig to ourselves" but I think this statement does not acknowledge that the individual who is surrounded by noise has agency. It is not that the environment around us is forcing its noises on us, I feel like it is more of individuals allowing it to do so. As Professor Beard said, silence is "hardly quiet" so how and why do people go about choosing which noises, external or internal, they want to hear?

I guess I am so interested in these questions because I am deeply bothered by the realization that silence is, often times, feared, unacceptable and/or unenjoyable by certain individuals and society as a whole. I beleive that when we are not in tune with our inner-silence, not necessarily God, or are not given the space to do it, we cannot possibly be in tune with the environment and others around us. It just seems like our world would not be as chaotic, hurtful and draining--not that there aren't dashes of positivity--if we truly took care of (perhaps, loved?) our inner selves.