Quotes about silence

A collection of quotes on the topic of silence, likeness, can, use.

Best quotes about silence

Claude Monet photo

„What keeps my heart awake is colorful silence.“

—  Claude Monet French impressionist painter 1840 - 1926

Jordan Peterson photo

„When you have something to say, silence is a lie.“

—  Jordan Peterson Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology 1962

Stephen Hawking photo

„Quiet people have the loudest minds.“

—  Stephen Hawking British theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author 1942 - 2018

Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968

Source: I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches That Changed the World

Arthur Rimbaud photo

„A thousand Dreams within me softly burn“

—  Arthur Rimbaud French Decadent and Symbolist poet 1854 - 1891

Claude Debussy photo

„Music is the space between the notes.“

—  Claude Debussy French composer 1862 - 1918

As quoted in Turning Numbers into Knowledge: Mastering the Art of Problem Solving (2001) by Jonathan G. Koomey, p. 96; since at least 2010 similar statements are also sometimes attributed to Mozart, and a similar remark, apparently one of Ben Jonson, is quoted in "Notes to Cynthia's Revels, in The Works of Ben Jonson: With Notes Critical and Explanatory, and a Biographical Memoir (1875), edited by William Gifford, Vol. 2, in notes to p. 223, on p. 551: Division, in music, is "the space between the notes of music, or the dividing of the tones."
Unsourced variants:
Music is the silence between the notes.
The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.
The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between them.
Variant: Music is the space between the notes.

Leonardo Da Vinci photo

„Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.“

—  Leonardo Da Vinci Italian Renaissance polymath 1452 - 1519

Friedrich Nietzsche photo

„Silence is worse; all truths that are kept silent become poisonous.“

—  Friedrich Nietzsche, book Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Source: Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Elbert Hubbard photo

„He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.“

—  Elbert Hubbard American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher fue el escritor del jarron azul 1856 - 1915

Plutarch photo

„Silence at the proper season is wisdom, and better than any speech.“

—  Plutarch ancient Greek historian and philosopher 46 - 127

All quotes about silence

Total 1578 quotes silence, filter:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart photo
Citát „In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.“
Martin Luther King, Jr. photo

„In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.“

—  Martin Luther King, Jr. American clergyman, activist, and leader in the American Civil Rights Movement 1929 - 1968

1960s, The Trumpet of Conscience (1967)
Variant: In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

Ram Dass photo

„We're fascinated by the words--but where we meet is in the silence behind them.“

—  Ram Dass American contemporary spiritual teacher and the author of the 1971 book Be Here Now 1931 - 2019

Tupac Shakur photo
Rumi photo

„Silence
is an ocean. Speech is a river.“

—  Rumi Iranian poet 1207 - 1273

"The Three Fish" Ch. 18 : The Three Fish, p. 196
Variant translations or adaptations:
Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.
As quoted in Teachers of Wisdom (2010) by Igor Kononenko, p. 134
Silence is an ocean. Speech is a river. Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation.
As quoted in "Rumi’s wisdom" (2 October 2015) http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2015/10/02/character-of-the-week-rumi/, by Paulo Coelho
The Essential Rumi (1995)
Context: Silence
is an ocean. Speech is a river.When the ocean is searching for you, don't walk
into the language-river. Listen to the ocean,
and bring your talky business to an end Traditional words are just babbling
in that presence, and babbling is a substitute
for sight.

Arthur Rimbaud photo

„I understand, and not knowing how to express myself without pagan words, I’d rather remain silent“

—  Arthur Rimbaud French Decadent and Symbolist poet 1854 - 1891

Source: A Season in Hell/The Drunken Boat

Nora Roberts photo
Sylvia Plath photo
Elizabeth Gilbert photo
Xenophon photo
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu photo
Epictetus photo

„Let silence be your general rule; or say only what is necessary and in few words.“

—  Epictetus philosopher from Ancient Greece 50 - 138

Golden Sayings of Epictetus
Context: Let silence be your general rule; or say only what is necessary and in few words. We shall, however, when occasion demands, enter into discourse sparingly, avoiding such common topics as gladiators, horse-races, athletes; and the perpetual talk about food and drink. Above all avoid speaking of persons, either in the way of praise or blame, or comparison. If you can, win over the conversation of your company to what it should be by your own. But if you should find yourself cut off without escape among strangers and aliens, be silent. (164).

Citát „Silence gives consent.“
Oliver Goldsmith photo

„Silence gives consent.“

—  Oliver Goldsmith Irish physician and writer 1728 - 1774

Act II.
The Good-Natured Man (1768)

Nathuram Godse photo

„I never observed silence till I was hanged.“

—  Nathuram Godse Assassin of Mahatma Gandhi 1910 - 1949

Excerpts from the play Mee Nathuram Godse boltoy

Alexis Karpouzos photo
Elie Wiesel photo

„Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from.“

—  Elisabeth Kübler-Ross American psychiatrist 1926 - 2004

As quoted in " Elisabeth Kübler-Ross: Messenger of Love https://books.google.com/books?id=3esDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA2&lpg=PA2&dq=%22Yoga+Journal%22+Kronisch&source=bl&ots=B895e3lzeI&sig=7V4uALc6CTiPrF02-cV8AAzsgbw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjM1enasPLSAhWs6oMKHbpyAbQQ6AEIJjAA#v=onepage&q=%22Elisabeth%20Kubler-Ross%22&f=false" by Lennie Kronisch in Yoga Journal, Issue 11, November-December 1976, pp. 18-20
Context: Learn to get in touch with silence within yourself and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences; all events are blessings given to us to learn from. There is no need to go to India or anywhere else to find peace. You will find that deep place of silence right in your room, your garden or even your bathtub.

Arthur Rimbaud photo

„I turned silences and nights into words. What was unutterable, I wrote down. I made the whirling world stand still.“

—  Arthur Rimbaud French Decadent and Symbolist poet 1854 - 1891

Source: A Season in Hell/The Drunken Boat

„Never say anything that doesn't improve on silence.“

—  Richard Yates, A Good School

Source: A Good School

Arthur Conan Doyle photo

„You have a grand gift for silence, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a companion.“

—  Arthur Conan Doyle Scottish physician and author 1859 - 1930

Source: The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Susan B. Anthony photo
Audre Lorde photo
Paulo Freire photo
George Washington photo
Vladimir Lenin photo
Thomas Sankara photo
Muhammad Ali photo

„Silence is golden when you can't think of a good answer.“

—  Muhammad Ali African American boxer, philanthropist and activist 1942 - 2016

Karen Blixen photo

„Go Placidly, Amid the noise and Haste & Remember what peace there may be in silence…“

—  Max Ehrmann American writer, poet, and attorney 1872 - 1945

Source: Desiderata: A Poem for a Way of Life

Yukio Mishima photo
Sylvia Plath photo
Audre Lorde photo

„Your silence will not protect you.“

—  Audre Lorde writer and activist 1934 - 1992

essay "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action", in Sister Outsider
Source: Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches

Markus Persson photo
Rabindranath Tagore photo

„Man goes into the noisy crowd to drown his own clamour of silence.“

—  Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds

110
Stray Birds (1916)

Marcel Marceau photo

„In silence and movement you can show the reflection of people.“

—  Marcel Marceau French mime and actor 1923 - 2007

US News & World Report (23 February 1987)

Ramana Maharshi photo

„Silence is most powerful. Speech is always less powerful than silence.“

—  Ramana Maharshi Indian religious leader 1879 - 1950

Abide as the Self

Paul McCartney photo
Michael Parenti photo

„Maintaining silence about a dirty truth is another way of lying, a common practice in high places.“

—  Michael Parenti American academic 1933

2 MEDIA AND CULTURE, The Invisible Bloodbaths, p. 132
Dirty truths (1996), first edition

Markus Persson photo

„Mansplaining is a sexist term designed to silence men via gender shaming.“

—  Markus Persson Swedish video game programmer 1979

[Hansen, Steven, Minecraft billionaire feels oppressed by women, https://www.destructoid.com/minecraft-billionaire-feels-oppressed-by-women-363094.phtml, 12 November 2017, Destructoid, 2016-05-23]

Albert Einstein photo

„Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks. Then I looked to individual writers who, as literary guides of Germany, had written much and often concerning the place of freedom in modern life; but they, too, were mute.Only the church stood squarely across the path of Hitler's campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.“

—  Albert Einstein German-born physicist and founder of the theory of relativity 1879 - 1955

Attributed in “The Conflict Between Church And State In The Third Reich”, by S. Parkes Cadman, La Crosse Tribune and Leader-Press (28 October 1934), viewable online on p. 9 of the issue here http://newspaperarchive.com/us/wisconsin/la-crosse/la-crosse-tribune-and-leader-press/1934/10-28/ (double-click the page to zoom). The quote is preceded by “In this connection it is worth quoting in free translation a statement made by Professor Einstein last year to one of my colleagues who has been prominently identified with the Protestant church in its contacts with Germany.” [Emphasis added.] While based on something that Einstein said, Einstein himself stated that the quote was not an accurate record of his words or opinion. After the quote appeared in Time magazine (23 December 1940), p. 38 http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,765103,00.html, a minister in Harbor Springs, Michigan wrote to Einstein to check if the quote was real. Einstein wrote back “It is true that I made a statement which corresponds approximately with the text you quoted. I made this statement during the first years of the Nazi-Regime — much earlier than 1940 — and my expressions were a little more moderate.” (March 1943) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/200706A19.html
In a later letter to Rev. Cornelius Greenway of Brooklyn, who asked if Einstein would write out the statement in his own hand, Einstein was more vehement in his repudiation of the statement (14 November 1950) http://books.google.com/books?id=T5R7JsRRtoIC&pg=PA94: <blockquote><p>The wording of the statement you have quoted is not my own. Shortly after Hitler came to power in Germany I had an oral conversation with a newspaper man about these matters. Since then my remarks have been elaborated and exaggerated nearly beyond recognition. I cannot in good conscience write down the statement you sent me as my own.</p><p> The matter is all the more embarrassing to me because I, like yourself, I am predominantly critical concerning the activities, and especially the political activities, through history of the official clergy. Thus, my former statement, even if reduced to my actual words (which I do not remember in detail) gives a wrong impression of my general attitude.</p></blockquote>
: In his original statement Einstein was probably referring to the actions of the Emergency Covenant of Pastors organized by Martin Niemöller, and the Confessing Church which he and other prominent churchmen such as Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer established in opposition to Nazi policies.
: Einstein also made some scathingly negative comments about the behavior of the Church under the Nazi regime (and its behavior towards Jews throughout history) in a 1943 conversation with William Hermanns recorded in Hermanns' book Einstein and the Poet (1983). On p. 63 http://books.google.com/books?id=QXCyjj6T5ZUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA63#v=onepage&q&f=false Hermanns records him saying "Never in history has violence been so widespread as in Nazi Germany. The concentration camps make the actions of Ghengis Khan look like child's play. But what makes me shudder is that the Church is silent. One doesn't need to be a prophet to say, 'The Catholic Church will pay for this silence.' Dr. Hermanns, you will live to see that there is moral law in the universe. . . .There are cosmic laws, Dr. Hermanns. They cannot be bribed by prayers or incense. What an insult to the principles of creation. But remember, that for God a thousand years is a day. This power maneuver of the Church, these Concordats through the centuries with worldly powers . . . the Church has to pay for it. We live now in a scientific age and in a psychological age. You are a sociologist, aren't you? You know what the Herdenmenschen (men of herd mentality) can do when they are organized and have a leader, especially if he is a spokesmen for the Church. I do not say that the unspeakable crimes of the Church for 2000 years had always the blessings of the Vatican, but it vaccinated its believers with the idea: We have the true God, and the Jews have crucified Him. The Church sowed hate instead of love, though the Ten Commandments state: Thou shalt not kill." And then on p. 64 http://books.google.com/books?id=QXCyjj6T5ZUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA64#v=onepage&q&f=false: "I'm not a Communist but I can well understand why they destroyed the Church in Russia. All the wrongs come home, as the proverb says. The Church will pay for its dealings with Hitler, and Germany, too." And on p. 65 http://books.google.com/books?id=QXCyjj6T5ZUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA65#v=onepage&q&f=false: "I don't like to implant in youth the Church's doctrine of a personal God, because that Church has behaved so inhumanely in the past 2000 years. The fear of punishment makes the people march. Consider the hate the Church manifested against the Jews and then against the Muslims, the Crusades with their crimes, the burning stakes of the Inquisition, the tacit consent of Hitler's actions while the Jews and the Poles dug their own graves and were slaughtered. And Hitler is said to have been an alter boy! The truly religious man has no fear of life and no fear of death—and certainly no blind faith; his faith must be in his conscience. . . . I am therefore against all organized religion. Too often in history, men have followed the cry of battle rather than the cry of truth." When Hermanns asked him "Isn't it only human to move along the line of least resistance?", Einstein responded "Yes. It is indeed human, as proved by Cardinal Pacelli, who was behind the Concordat with Hitler. Since when can one make a pact with Christ and Satan at the same time? And he is now the Pope! The moment I hear the word 'religion', my hair stands on end. The Church has always sold itself to those in power, and agreed to any bargain in return for immunity. It would have been fine if the spirit of religion had guided the Church; instead, the Church determined the spirit of religion. Churchmen through the ages have fought political and institutional corruption very little, so long as their own sanctity and church property were preserved."
Misattributed

Pythagoras photo

„By Silence, the discretion of a man is known: and a fool, keeping Silence, seemeth to be wise.“

—  Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -495 BC

The Sayings of the Wise (1555)

Han Yong-un photo
Rumi photo

„Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence.“

—  Rumi Iranian poet 1207 - 1273

"A Community of the Spirit" in Ch. 1 : The Tavern, p. 2
The Essential Rumi (1995)
Context: Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking.
Live in silence. Flow down and down in always
widening rings of being.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar photo

„A million words cannot express what a glance can convey, and a million glances cannot express what a moment of silence can.“

—  Sri Sri Ravi Shankar spiritual leader 1956

Narada Bhakti Sutras (2001)
Context: A million words cannot express what a glance can convey, and a million glances cannot express what a moment of silence can. A moment of silence conveys so much more than any other expression. Still, love is beyond silence too. You can describe silence to some extent, but that which is beyond silence cannot be expressed. You give, you hug... but still something remains unexpressed.

Swami Shraddhanand photo
Anne Rice photo
Julio Cortázar photo
Judy Garland photo
Charles Simic photo

„Silence is the only language god speaks.“

—  Charles Simic American poet 1938

Source: Dime-Store Alchemy

Sylvia Plath photo

„All I want is blackness. Blackness and silence.“

—  Sylvia Plath American poet, novelist and short story writer 1932 - 1963

Jodi Picoult photo
Linda Sue Park photo
Paul Robeson photo
Mark Twain photo

„It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.“

—  Mark Twain American author and humorist 1835 - 1910

Cited as an example of "What Mark Twain Didn't Say" in Mark Twain by Geoffrey C. Ward, et al.
Misattributed
Variant: It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

Michel Foucault photo

„There is not one but many silences, and they are an integral part of the strategies that underlie and permeate discourses.“

—  Michel Foucault French philosopher 1926 - 1984

Source: The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction

Robert Frost photo
Yevgeny Yevtushenko photo
Jean Paul Sartre photo

„Every word has consequences. Every silence, too.“

—  Jean Paul Sartre French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary cri… 1905 - 1980

Stephen Chbosky photo
David Levithan photo
Sylvia Plath photo
Thomas Sankara photo
Ben Okri photo
Blaise Pascal photo

„All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.“

—  Blaise Pascal, Pensées

Variant: All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit quiet in a room alone.
Source: Pensées

Robin Hobb photo
Jacques Derrida photo
Sylvia Plath photo

„Worse even
than your maddening
song, your silence." -“

—  Sylvia Plath American poet, novelist and short story writer 1932 - 1963

Source: The Collected Poems

Clarice Lispector photo

„The world's continual breathing is what we hear and call silence.“

—  Clarice Lispector, book The Passion According to G.H.

Source: The Passion According to G.H.

Vincent Van Gogh photo
Elie Wiesel photo
Heinrich Heine photo
Helen Keller photo

„No doubt the reason is that character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.“

—  Helen Keller American author and political activist 1880 - 1968

Helen Adams Keller (p. 60. Helen Keller's Journal: 1936-1937, Doubleday, Doran & company, inc., 1938)

Wisława Szymborska photo
Louise Bourgeois photo
Emily Brontë photo
Dmitri Shostakovich photo

„Art destroys silence.“

—  Dmitri Shostakovich, book Testimony

Testimony: The Memoirs

Lawrence Durrell photo
Robert Walser photo
Oscar Wilde photo
Herta Müller photo
Paul Beatty photo

„Silence can be either protest or consent, but most times it’s fear.“

—  Paul Beatty, book The Sellout

Source: The Sellout

Madeline Miller photo
Haruki Murakami photo
David Foster Wallace photo
Robinson Jeffers photo
August Spies photo

„The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.“

—  August Spies American upholsterer, radical labor activist, and newspaper editor 1855 - 1887

Cited in: Kenneth G. Alfers (1993) America's second century: readings in United States history since 1877. p. 43

Alan Parsons photo

„While the children laughed
I was always afraid
Of the Smile of the clown
So I close my eyes
Till I can't see the light
And I hide from the sound

We're two of a Kind
Silence and I
We need a chance to talk things over
Two of a kind
Silence and I“

—  Alan Parsons audio engineer, musician, and record producer from England 1948

"Silence and I", from the album Eye In The Sky. (Written by Alan Parsons and Eric Woolfson.)
Quotes from songs

W. H. Auden photo
Ursula K. Le Guin photo

„The silence of a wise man is always meaningful.“

—  Leo Strauss, book Thoughts on Machiavelli

Source: Thoughts on Machiavelli (1958), p. 30

Abraham Lincoln photo

„I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865

Remarks at the Monogahela House (14 February 1861); as published in The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln (1953) by Roy P. Basler, vol. 4, p. 209
1860s

Marcel Marceau photo

„Music and silence… combine strongly because music is done with silence, and silence is full of music.“

—  Marcel Marceau French mime and actor 1923 - 2007

US News & World R eport (23 February 1987)

Anna Kingsford photo

„Things are not going well for me. My chef at the Charité strongly disapproves of women students and took this means of showing it. About a hundred men (no women except myself) went round the wards today, and when we were all assembled before him to have our names written down, he called and named all the students except me, and then closed the book. I stood forward upon this, and said quietly, "Et moi aussi, monsieur." [And me, Sir. ] He turned on me sharply, and cried, "Vous, vous n'êtes ni homme ni femme; je ne veux pas inscrire vôtre nom."“

—  Anna Kingsford English physician, activist and feminist 1846 - 1888

[You, you are neither man nor woman; I don't want to write your name.] I stood silent in the midst of a dead silence.
Written to her husband in 1874; quoted in The Scalpel and the Butterfly by Deborah Rudacille (University of California Press, 2000), p. 35 https://books.google.it/books?id=BabamiCYEdUC&pg=PA35.