The Disappearance of Silence


Silence is a word pregnant with multiple meanings: for many a threat; for others a nostalgic evocation of a time rendered obsolete by technology; for others a sentence to boredom; and for some, devotees of the ancient arts of contemplation, reading, and writing, a word of profound, even sacred importance.


But silence, like so much else in the present world, including human beings, is on the endangered species list. Another rare bird—let’s call it the holy spirit of true thought—is slowly disappearing from our midst. The poison of noise and busyness is polluting more than we think, but surely our ability to think.

Read the full article by Edward Curtin on the Intrepid Report.

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  1. This is one of the best articles I’ve read in a long, long time. Possibly ever. Thank you.

  2. I found the writer to paint a very good picture of the current state of our minds and so of our society. When everyone lives in this chaotic state and acts based on this, then it’s no surprise to see the state of the world as it currently is, with all of its wars, famine and corruption.

    Imagine if the opposite was true and people sought silence inside and regard it as something of utmost importance. When people act from this silence with proper and well thought off responses and use the time for things that really matter. Personal circumstances would change, family life would change, neighborhoods, cities and then entire countries would change. But if we are not able to find some silence or peace within us, how can we expect that our lives and the people around us will give it to us. A very thought provoking article, thanks for posting it!

  3. I agree with the author and the general consensus about the problem with people escaping the silence that’s within. As a society we’ve allowed ourselves to become accustomed to being surrounded and consumed by the constant hum of activity and distractions that take us away from having to deal with more serious, pressing issues. It’s easier to just sit back and watch the telly mindlessly then it is to actively tune into yourself and the world around you with clarity and stillness. There’s a reason why the entertainment, retailing and travel industries generate multi-billion dollar revenues each year.

  4. What a profound article. If only the world could take the time and effort to contemplate it. It’s something worth reading over and over.


  5. I’ve been a bit worried about silence disappearing. That’s it’s getting harder to find places that don’t have some sort of road noise in the distance. I feel silence is so so precious.

    And silence inside of us too. It’s so easy to want to run away and distract ourselves from what shows up when we’re silent.

    I also feel that when we’re distracted and busy all the time, we miss out on the beauty of life around us. It’s so nice to just sit and look at things sometimes…

    A beautiful article. Thank you.

  6. Despite the grave situation it is great that there are people like the author of this article who question what is going on. I especially liked how the article focuses on the fact that all this bussyness, distractions and hectic activity is mainly coming from within, as an escape from facing deeper and serious questions of life that usually arise in silence.

  7. Very poignant article for today’s ways of the world. Caught myself having a few of the mentioned ‘symptoms’ when trying to squeeze in this article during my short break at work. 🙂

    There’s multiple good points in the article imo, but I think I caught what he meant with the line ”I’m not sure if there is any point in writing these words. “

    A similar wave of thought occurred to me two weeks ago when I happened to be looking at a little show, two separate ones actually, and from both I found an unpleasant feeling to be coming from it. But most people around didn’t seem to perceive this, they thought it was perfectly fine and ‘PC’ and genuinely felt nothing wrong with it. It made me think— what can you do for people who’ve lost the sense of right and wrong?

    Another situation was where I was sitting behind a teenage girl on the bus who was on facebook on her phone. She was flicking very rapidly from post to post, like zapping through tv channels, trying to find something that would do in sparking her interest. Obviously a post with just words was instantly bypassed, ones with quotes longer than 1 to 2 lines were also skipped, images and video even were very rapidly gone through (unless they were really flamboyant, then it would warrant a one second pause, literally). But nothing would do… To me it was obvious she was ‘defeating herself’ as her attention span was so short or superficial that it wouldn’t allow anything to be able to reach her more deeply. And yet she compulsively kept on zapping trying to find that elusive something.
    I was also a teen at one point of course 🙂 and to some extent things equilibrate a bit with adulthood.
    But on the other hand a future way of life where people’s psyche is constantly occupied and where it doesn’t allow the consciousness to breathe even for a moment doesn’t much give much chance for deeper consideration of spiritual teachings to reach someone nor is it conducive for experiencing spiritual feelings much.

    Anyway, a very nice article thanks for reposting.

  8. I really liked this article, especially how the author challenged my own ability to focus and find the silence to finish reading. It’s such a shame that we have become such a super-hyper-stressed-busy humanity that is uncomfortable with silence and unable to reach deep, profound thought. There must be a real benefit to the elites to have us in this busy-yet-subdued state, like the article mentions, not only does this rob us from our precious self-awarenss, but it means that wars can be created almost behind our backs.

  9. A very good article.
    It highlights that without ‘consciousness’ active, there is no point of meaningful reference. No purpose to society, existence or life.
    The quagmire within and without creates confusion and chaos, that unbalances and disorientates causing impotence for the afflicted.
    Rushing around creates an illusion of purpose. A lack of silence means activity. Such activity assumes we are not a failure and can pretend we are alive and in control, living a substantial life before the inevitable unknown end.

  10. I can relate to what the article is saying. Somehow in today’s world it has become the norm to ‘run’ in our minds – to never stay still and listen, or observe. I also face this pressure and I know that it often seems that by ‘running mentally’ I can accomplish more. However, I know that this is more often than not simply an illusion. By ‘running’ I merely think I am doing something, while in reality it is often completely useless what I am doing. I find that silence is required to see the big picture and tune in to what’s truly important, and from that useful action can come.

  11. This is such a true article and really hits the nail on the head, how can we change and fix something when we dont even know its broken, by being manipulated in this way in society we dont even know what we are missing

    I have come to notice the mind and the constant stream of garbage that continually comes and goes and the effort that is needed just to clear it, if at all, but how worth while this effort is when you can reach that silence Thanks

  12. Brilliant article which needs serious attention. Thanks for putting it up.

  13. Extremely well written and deeply contemplative. Thanks for sharing.

  14. That’s a bit different from the most of conscious reporter’s posts and I really liked it.
    There is a lot to say about silence but already so many have already been said by wise people like
    “It is better wither to be silent, or to say things of more value than silence. Sooner throw a pearl at hazard than an idle or useless word; and do not say a little in many words, but a great deal in a few. Pythagoras”

    We live in the age of (free?) expression though, (at western societies) and when people they don’t, they say that they suppress themselves. So there must be a balance between handle the silence and of who is speaking.

    Thanks for posting it