Noise Is The Enemy

German writer Hermann Hesse was perhaps the first modern storyteller. Take scenes from his novel, Steppenwolf. The protagonist always turns on the radio upon entering his apartment. He needs noise.

On a recent podcast Episcopal priest and therapist Ian Morgan Cron stated, “Noise is the most underestimated enemy of the spiritual life.”

Is the TV turned on in your house or apartment right now? Is it just background noise? How about streaming music?

Sometimes I like to work in a coffee house where I can derive energy from the conversations around me even though I have no knowledge of the conversation or the people.

But sometimes I like silence. Perhaps the silence of nature. Sometimes the silence in my office with no Miles Davis playing in the background. Just to sit with myself in silence.

Carl Jung wrote of a patient who was burdened with anxiety. He prescribed solitude and silence. The next appointment, Jung asked what the experience was like. The patient replied that he went to his study, closed the door, and sat. Then he grew bored. He stood, wandered around the room, picked up his violin to practice a little, looked out the window.

Jung chastised him. No, no, he said, you must sit with yourself in silence. “But I can’t stand myself,” was the reply. Therein lies the problem. We cannot just sit in silence with ourselves. Perhaps opening our hearts to potential murmurings from God.

How about you? Can you just sit with yourself for 10 minutes? 20 minutes? Half-an-hour?

Try it.

2 Responses to “Noise Is The Enemy”

  1. Lauri Hawley Says:

    Sitting alone in silence certainly takes practice!

    • Gary Mintchell Says:

      Yes it does. It’s the same reason we call Yoga a practice, not a class. But it’s all worth it.

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