This book about silence covers a lot of territory — everything from individual spiritual practices to public green spaces and noise abatement regulations to neurobiology to the way that technology destroys our quiet time. It may change your ideas about what silence really is and how to achieve it. For example, we are prey to both internal and external “noise”, and we can experience silence even in an environment that is not completely quiet. Often our deepest experiences of silence involve a feeling of transcendence and connectedness rather than complete absence of sound.
It is not specifically Christian, but a number of Christian disciplines are discussed (also included are practices from other religious traditions). At the end of the book there is a listing of thirty-three ways to find silence, which recaps all the methods presented. You can also view some of what is said through a Christian lens — for example, at one point the authors discuss what they consider to be “the default position of our minds” –which is ME. To me that rings true, and is an indicator of original sin, since in Latin the term for sin is curvatus inse, which means turned into oneself. In another place, they interview people about that feeling they call “flow” or the “sweet spot” when we may not be quiet, but have the feeling that we are somehow “tuned in,” doing just what we were created to do in a way that is almost effortless (I would call this feeling God’s pleasure).
VERDICT: 3 STARS. Interesting and informative, but don’t expect to agree with all the views presented.
For more book reviews see:
until Leaves fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin–Book Review
It’s Not Your Turn by Heather Thompson Day–Book Review