The attraction of silence


I am suddenly acutely attracted to silence, like sitting in or nearby a piece of open veld and just listening, and maybe having a whispered conversation with myself.

Some might consider this to be the flipside of a desire for non-appearance; the latter, of course, in order to protect oneself. I believe that I have become increasingly alienated from people because most people I meet are not on the same journey as me – intellectually speaking, but it can also be seen as a spiritual process.

If I had, for example, converted to an orthodox version of Judaism, my relationship with my immediate family and some old friends would have been at a similar level of alienation than is now the case. But now the convictions to which I have come and which I have worked out for myself, is my own faith, with no external paraphernalia like a prescribed dress code and a prescribed style of facial hair growth shared with others in a community of faith, as in the case of, for example, orthodox Jews. I am still trying to be recognisable (“basically the same guy you’ve always known”), but it is becoming increasingly difficult.


[To some extent I do not blame my family. They love me, and they probably wish that I could be “more like other people” because they are convinced of the fact that I am miserable most of the time. It is also possible that if I were not so stubborn and if I did not hold so many beliefs unfamiliar to them, they would find it easier to relate to me.

In terms of a lot of things I say, I am indeed a stranger to the people who have known me a lifetime, and because they do not live the process with me day-in and day-out, they do not know where I am coming from half of the time I open my mouth.]