1 The man whose nature is still possessed by silence moves out from the silence into the outside world. The silence is central in the man. In the world of silence, movement is not directly from one man to another but from the silence in one man to the silence in the other. In the pictures of the old masters, people seem as though they had just come out of the opening in a wall; as if they had wriggled their way out with difficulty. They seem unsafe and hesitant because they have come out too far and still belong more to silence than to themselves. They stop and wait for another opening to appear in front of them through which they can get back again to the silence. It seems that in silence the movements of these people meet before the people themselves meet. If you look at a group of these people together in a picture by one of the old masters—people who have each as it were just stepped out of the wall of silence—it is as though they were all gathered together in a waiting room, waiting for the great opening of silence to appear before them through which they can all disappear again. The situation with people today is exactly opposite. The primary factor is movement for its own sake, move- ment that hits a definite target only by accident, movement that happens before it has been decided why it is happen- ing, movement that is always ahead of man himself—so far ahead that he has to jump to catch up with it, to jump so far ahead of himself that he cannot help jumping into other people, and so making himself and other people nervous. Even in the midst of the modern world of noise, the substance of silence is still occasionally present in men. In the very busy Via Torino in Milan, right in the middle of the city, I saw a man in an old suit that was more than merely a covering for his body: it was part of the man himself, it had suffered with him, it was like a brownish grazed skin. The man was not standing and was not walking: as he walked he stood still, and as he stood still he moved forward a little. His face was gentle and rosy, but from his forehead and cheeks, furrows crowded into his face. His eyes looked out high above everything they met, and yet they were waiting for something to come up to them from near at hand. The left arm was held close to the body, as if the body would not let go of the arm, and yet he held his hand stretched out slightly. I put a note into it, and then I did not know (for I dared not wait to find out) whether the hand went back to the man and whether he put the money in his pocket. Or did the hand move on out to another, seeking for another hand to which he could give money? This man was living in the centre between giving and taking, between distance and nearness, between old age and youth. He was living from the silent substance in the central place within, from the meeting place and focus within from which every movement proceeds outward. A man in whom the substance of silence is still an active force carries the silence into every movement. His move- ments are therefore slow and measured. They do not jolt violently against each other; they are borne by the silence; they are simply the waves of silence. There is nothing vague and undefined about such a man, nothing vague about his language: the fact that his movement and his words are made individually distinct from one another by the intervening silence makes his whole personality clearer than if the silence were not there at all and the man and his words were all part of one con- tinuous noise. The nobility of such a man comes from his carrying the silence into the world. He is not paralyzed by the quietness in which he lives out his life, for the quietness is related to the silence and the silence extends the frontiers of his life. Even unrest could not consume such a man, for it would merely be as it were an oscillation of the silence. Where silence has ceased to be an active force, however, quietness is no use to man, for it paralyzes and consumes where there is no silence; therefore he must trudge along restlessly and an inevitable instability dogs every fresh beginning. (Görres) 2 Within the realm of creative silence the individual does not notice any opposition between himself and the community, for the individual and the community do not stand against each other, but both face the silence together. The difference between the individual and the community ceases to be important in face of the power of silence. In the modern world the individual no longer faces silence, no longer faces the community, but faces only the universal noise. The individual stands between noise and silence. He is isolated from noise and isolated from silence. He is forlorn. In a world in which silence is still an active force, solitude is not dependent on subjectivity, does not derive from subjectivity. Solitude stands before man as some- thing objective, even the solitude within himself; it stands before him as the objective silence. The saints who followed the way of solitude did not find themselves, but the objective solitude of silence, of which their own inward solitude only seemed a small part. The saint took solitude upon himself as if it had come to him from another and he took it as a matter of course. Therefore solitude for the saints was not the result of great exertion like the "inward" solitude of today. On the contrary, it was a token of relationship with the great objective world of silence and with its objective solitude. Therefore the saints received more from the solitude than they could have received from their own inner solitude alone, for it was in fact not merely their own solitude: it was outside themselves and more than their own solitude could ever have been. Where solitude is merely a part of the inward- ness of the isolated individual it consumes and diminishes the individual. 3 A man who still has the substance of silence within himself does not need to be always watching the move- ments of his inmost being, does not need consciously to order everything, since much is ordered without his conscious knowledge by the power of the substance of silence, which can modify the contradictions at war within. Such a man may possess qualities that are incompatible and yet avoid a crisis, for there is room for contradictions within the substance of silence. Life is then not torn apart into the polarities of faith and knowledge, truth and beauty, life and spirit; the whole of reality appears before man, and not merely the con- ceptual polarities. Human life is not determined by the incompatible choices of Either-Or but by the mediation of the polarities. The substance of silence stands between the contradictions and prevents them from fighting each other. The one element in the contradiction must first travel over the broad, appeasing surface of silence before it can reach the other. The substance of silence mediates between the incompatible polarities. It is only here that man is raised above his own inner contradictions, and only here that he has humor. For in the face of silence the contradictions lose their conspicu- ousness, are swallowed by the silence. To achieve a sense of humor, one must have the infinite cheerfulness and confidence which are necessary in order to rise above the contradict- tions of one's own personality and not to be unhappy and bitter about them. (Hegel) If there is no substance of silence within, the contradic- tions are exposed to analysis and discussion. "Happiness and contentment" vanish and humor ceases. Man is better able to endure things hostile to his own nature, things that use him up, if he has the silent sub- stance within. That is why the peoples of the East, who are still filled with the substance of silence, endure life with machines better than the peoples of the West, whose silent substance has been almost completely destroyed. Technics in itself, life with machines, is not injurious unless the protective substance of silence is absent. Unamuno says that Goethe did not develop all the possibilities that were in him. A sentence like that could only be said in a world that has lost all relationship with silence. It has been forgotten that the possibilities that are not fully realized nourish the substance of silence. Silence is strengthened by them and gives of this additional strength to the other potentialities that are fully realized. What falls into the substance of silence is the share that silence has in the things of human life. That is still a part of silence. Sometimes in conversation a man holds something back inside himself, he does not allow it to come out in words; it is as though he feels he must keep back something that really belongs to silence. It often happens that a whole nation may not realize certain potentialities for a long period in its history. For instance, the gift of poetic creation may remain dormant. But the potentiality is not destroyed, it is simply not realized. It may be resting and recuperating in the silence. Yet there is beauty in such a silence, the beauty that comes from the all-permeating silence of unwritten poetry. There is no silent substance in the world today. All things are present all the time in an atmosphere of noisy rebelliousness, and man, who has lost the silence in which to sink the all-too-many, all-too-present multitude of things, allows them to evaporate and vanish in the all- consuming emptiness of language. The silent substance that relieves man of the oppressive- ness of things is lacking in the world today. In order to relieve him of the burden in another way, the attempt is made to classify the individual and bring him into touch only with those things that suit his mental constitu- tion. This is the new method in education. Do no teach the child anything that does not suit its particular mental constitution. But in a world where the substance of silence is known to be still active, there is no danger in teaching a child things not immediately congenial to its particular temperament. The child can be allowed to expand beyond the structure of its own mind into the realm of, for example, Latin and Greek, for which it may not seem to have any aptitude. The silent substance in the child assimilates the foreign material, fuses it with the other contents of the mind, broadens the whole nature of the child, and extends its mental frontiers. Proper education and proper teaching are based on the substance of silence. We have said above that the man who lacks the sub- stance of silence is oppressed by the all-too-many things that crowd in upon him every moment of his life today. He cannot be indifferent to the fact that new things are being presented to him every moment, since he must somehow enter into relationship with them. There must be an emotional reaction to each new object so that he can respond, and it is part of the nature of man that he should respond to the object before him. When too many objects crowd in upon him and he has within no silent substance into which a part at least of the multitude of objects can disappear, the resources of emotion and passion which he has at his disposal are insufficient to meet and respond to all the objects. The objects then lie all around him mena- cingly and without a proper home. To save man from this invasion and congestion of the too-many objects that are beyond his powers of assimilation, he must be brought into relationship again with the world of silence, in which the many objects find their true order automatically, in this world of silence where they spread themselves out into a balanced unity. When the substance of silence is present in a man, all his qualities are centered in it; they are all connected primarily with the silence and only secondarily with each other. Therefore it is not easy for the defect of one quality to infect all the others, since it is kept in its place by the silence. But if there is no silence, a man can be totally infected by a single defect so that he ceases to be a man and becomes so entirely identified with the defective quality that it is as though the defect and the evil it repre- sents were covered merely by a human mask. The silent substance is also the place where a man is re-created. It is true that the spirit is the cause of the re-creation, but the re-creation cannot be realized without the silence, for man is unable wholly to free himself from all that is past unless he can place the silence between the past and the new. Today, with the lack of silence, man cannot be re- created; he can only develop. That is why so much value is set on "development" today. But "development" takes place not in silence but in the to-and-fro of discussion. The substance of silence is necessary for re-creation, and it is also necessary for happiness. Happiness, which comes down to man from the realm of mystery, is glad to find its way into the breadth of silence. There is an immeasurability in happiness that only feels at home in the breadth of silence. Happiness and silence belong together just as do profit and noise. Where the resources of silence have been exhausted, everything about a man is calculated in terms of profit- ability. Profitability and loudness give a man a right to possessions and office today. But in a world where silence was still present far and wide, Cicero said in a speech for Pompeius that he ought to be given the supreme command in the war against pirates not only because he had proved himself a good soldier but above all because good fortune was with him. Grief and silence also belong together. Grief achieves a poise in the breadth of silence. The force of the passions is lost, and grief, purged of passion, appears all the more clearly as pure grief. The lamentation in grief is trans- formed into the lamentation of silence. On the river of tears man travels back into silence.