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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Study to be quiet.

The much used, but little practised, quote from Izaak Walton's book, The Compleat Angler, first published in 1651. I have an 1897 reprint of the 5th edition, the last edition to be edited by the author.

This stained glass window is just above Walton's tomb.

It would seem to me from daily observation that most people dislike intently, maybe even hate silence  or quietness, they need some kind of constant noise to fill the emptiness of their souls.

Here in South Africa there are dozens of FM radio station in all the 11 official languages, all of them spouting non-stop drivel, 24/7/365. Go where you want you will hear at least one of them. Here in KZN it's East Coast Radio in English, 'nKhosi FM in isiZulu and there are others.

People working at their computer are connected to their favourite station via the internet, car radios blast them, the home without several radios and more than one TV is rare, most of them switched on, often to different stations, plus a CD player going somewhere. The moment people wake up they switch their radios and TV's on and they stay on until they go to sleep.

If you visit people you actually visit their TV set, heaven forbid that they miss one moment of some program. With satellite TV you now have 100's of programs to chose from, I'm of the opinion that most people would rather go without food than not pay the monthly rental for satellite connection, in SA only the really destitute don't have have satellite connection. Characters in TV soaps are discussed as if they were real and if you don't know who is being discussed you are looked at as if you come from another planet.

Watch CNN or Sky News 24/7 so that you can be up to date with what's happening in the world. Why anyone would want to watch the Syrians killing each other and destroying Damascus and their country is beyond me, none of us can do a thing about it except pray for the suffering thousands. America has been in debt since WW 2, so if the almighty $ is about to crash what can I do about it or anyone for that matter, but TV will rub your nose in it and the talking heads on CNN will discuss it endlessly.

Another source of "un-quietness" is the so called social media, which is anything but social, twitter, face book, (even blogging) texting, etc., etc. Where ever you go, almost every one has their cell phones in their hands, "communicating" (what is misnomer). Even while they are talking to you their fingers are busy.

I got rid of my TV twelve years ago, my radio hasn't worked for years, my car radio doesn't work and I haven't missed the noise one bit. I love to listen to classical music and I have 100's of classical CD's but unless I'm sitting and actually listening to the music I don't put one on.

I love silence, you can think, you  can dream, and listen for that tiny voice inside you. No better sound than the sound of silence.

This rose, which I photographed yesterday in the back garden, reminds me somehow of quietness.

I end with the title of a six part sermon by George Webb;

"The practise of quietness, or a direction how to live quietly at all times, in all places, upon all occasions, how to avoid or put off occasions of un-quietness."

I would have liked to have heard those.


Jo said...

Phil, Zechariah 2:17 says : Be silent before the Lord, all humanity... Since reading this Scripture a few days ago, I've practiced being silent (no thoughts) before the Lord for a minute and intend to increase this silence as I strengthen. Good post. Love and blessings, Jo xxx

Pumice said...

I don't know how it is down there but libraries have become baby sitting services where everyone is noisy, brings their favorite drink and plays tag in the stacks. I had been thinking it was just a personality thing but you point out it is perpetuated by our culture.

It is difficult living with a noisy.

Grace and peace.

Gorges Smythe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gorges Smythe said...

I wrote a post in the same vein once, and I believe you hit the nail squarely on the head with the line about the "emptiness of their souls."

Joyful said...

I practise silence and quietness. I try to do it daily but people often want to interrupt me :-)) I think quietness is necessary for our peace of mind and regeneration.