Noise

They say to fruit-bearing trees: "Why do you not make any noise?" The trees reply: "Our fruits are sufficient advertisement for us."

Are we no greater than the noise we make along one blind atomic pilgrimage whereon by crass chance billeted we go because our brains and bones and cartilage will have it so?

Eternity is with us, inviting our contemplation perpetually, but we are too frightened, lazy, and suspicious to respond; too arrogant to still our thought, and let divine sensation have its way. It needs industry and goodwill if we would make that transition; for the process involves a veritable spring-cleaning of the soul, a turning-out and rearrangement of our mental furniture, a wide opening of closed windows, that the notes of the wild birds beyond our garden may come to us fully charged with wonder and freshness, and drown with their music the noise of the gramaphone within. Those who do this, discover that they have lived in a stuffy world, whilst their inheritance was a world of morning-glory:where every tit-mouse is a celestial messenger, and every thrusting bud is charged with the full significance of life.

How can you expect God to speak in that gentle and inward voice which melts the soul, when you are making so much noise with your rapid reflections? Be silent and God will speak again.

There is something terribly wrong with a culture inebriated by noise and gregariousness.

Social reform is not to be secured by noise and shouting; by complaints and denunciation; by the formation of parties, or the making of revolutions; but by the awakening of thought and the progress of ideas. Until there be correct thought, there cannot be right action; and when there is correct thought, right action will follow.

I ask no one who may read this book to accept my views. I ask him to think for himself. Whoever, laying aside prejudice and self-interest, will honestly and carefully make up his own mind as to the causes and the cure of the social evils that are so apparent, does, in that, the most important thing in his power toward their removal. This primary obligation devolves upon us individually, as citizens and as men. Whatever else we may be able to do, this must come first. For "if the blind lead the blind, they both shall fall into the ditch." Social reform is not to be secured by noise and shouting; by complaints and denunciation; by the formation of parties, or the making of revolutions; but by the awakening of thought and the progress of ideas. Until there be correct thought, there cannot be right action; and when there is correct thought, right action will follow. Power is always in the hands of the masses of men. What oppresses the masses is their own ignorance, their own short-sighted selfishness.

People who make no noise are dangerous.

For me a page of good prose is where one hears the rain. A page of good prose is when one hears the noise of battle.... A page of good prose seems to me the most serious dialogue that well-informed and intelligent men and women carry on today in their endeavor to make sure that the fires of this planet burn peaceably.

A man makes no noise over a good deed, but passes on to another as a vine to bear grapes again in season.

Today words no longer arise out of silence, through a creative act of the spirit which gives meaning to language and to the silence, but from other words, from the noise of other words. Neither do they return to the silence but into the noise of other words, to become immersed therein.

The language spoken by men in cities does not seem to belong to them any longer. It is a mere part of the general noise, as if the words were no longer formed by human lips but were only a scream and a shriek coming from the mechanism of the city. It is said today that people need only go into the country to reach the "quietness of nature" and silence. But they do not meet the silence there; on the contrary, they carry the noise of the great towns and the noise of their own souls out into the country with them. That is the danger of the "Back to the Land" movement: the noise that is at any rate concentrated in the big towns, locked up as in a prison, is let loose on the countryside. To decentralize the big towns is to decentralize the noise, to distribute it all over the countryside.

There is a difference between ordinary noise and the noise of words. Noise is the enemy of silence; it is opposed to silence. The noise of words is not merely opposed to silence: it makes us even forget that there was ever any such thing as silence at all. It is not even an acoustical phenomenon: the acoustic element, the continual buzzing of verbal noise, is merely a sign that all space and all time have been filled by it.

Language has become a mere mechanical vehicle transporting the outward signs of language. Language has ceased to be organic and plastic, ceased to establish things firmly. Words have become merely signs that something is being fetched out of the jumble of noise and thrown at the listener. The word is not specifically a word. It can now be replaced by signs—colour signs or sound signs; it has become an apparatus, and like every mere apparatus it is always facing the possibility of destruction. And therefore the man who does not live directly from the word, but allows himself to be dragged along by the apparatus of noise, also faces destruction at any moment.

Verbal noise is neither silence nor sound. It permeates silence and sound alike and it causes man to forget both silence and the world. / There has ceased to be any difference between speech and silence, since one single noise of words permeates both the speaker and the non-speaker. The silent listener has simply become a non-speaker. / Verbal noise is a pseudo-language and a pseudo-silence. That is to say, something is spoken and yet it is not real language at all. Something disappears in the noise and yet it is not real silence. When the noise suddenly stops, it is not followed by silence, but merely by a pause in which the noise accumulates in order to expand with even greater force when it is released. / It is as though the noise were afraid that it might disappear, as if it were constantly on the move, because it must always be convincing itself that it really exists. It does not believe in its own existence. / The real word, on the contrary, has no such fear, even when it is not being expressed in sound: its existence is in fact even more palpable in the silence.

I don't think people are any more concerned about noise now than they were in the past. I think the concerns are the same, but there are now more opportunities, more solutions available, to help with the problem. These solutions may or may not have been available in the past.

He who establishes his argument by noise and command shows that his reason is weak.

We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature - trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls.

My beloved children, who are the pupils of my eye—Truth is silent. If Truth has dawned within you, then there will be no further speech. It is silence, and silence is the greatest Truth, the best question. If there is no Truth, then there will be a lot of talk and questions. One is good and the other is bad. If there is good within you, there will be no further noise within. But if you are full of bad, there will be so much of talk, speeches and questions. Therefore, seek the good. God does not make a noise. If you need anything, then you will have only to knock, and if you are tuned to that point, with the sound of that knock you will get an answer immediately. No noise, you don't have to make a sound. This is the Truth.

If you must cry, cry like a child. You were once a child, and one of the first things you learned in life was to cry, because crying is a part of life. Never forget that you are free, and that to show your emotions is not shameful. Scream, sob loudly, make as much noise as you like. Because that is how children cry, and they know the fastest way to put their hearts at ease. Have you ever noticed how children stop crying? They stop because something distracts them. Something calls them to the next adventure. Children stop crying very quickly. And that's how it will be for you. But only if you can cry as children do.