„Let silence be your general rule; or say only what is necessary and in few words.“
„Sometimes we like a book, sometimes we prefer music. Sometimes we want to sing out with hundreds, sometimes only whisper with a few. Sometimes we want to say it with words, sometimes with a deep silence.“
— Henri Nouwen Dutch priest and writer 1932 - 1996
Context: Only within this kind of life does a spoken prayer make sense. A prayer in church, at table or in school is only a witness to what we want to make of our entire lives. Such a prayer reminds us that praying is living and it invites us to make this an ever-greater reality. Thus, there are as many ways to pray as there are moments in life. Sometimes we seek out a quiet spot and want to be alone, sometimes we look for a friend and want to be together. Sometimes we like a book, sometimes we prefer music. Sometimes we want to sing out with hundreds, sometimes only whisper with a few. Sometimes we want to say it with words, sometimes with a deep silence.
— Pythagoras ancient Greek mathematician and philosopher -585 - -500 BC
„There is so much silence between the words,
you say. You say, The sensed absence
of God and the sensed presence
amount to much the same thing,
only in reverse.“
— Margaret Atwood Canadian writer 1939
Context: There is so much silence between the words, you say. You say, The sensed absence of God and the sensed presence amount to much the same thing, only in reverse. You say, I have too much white clothing. You start to hum. Several hundred years ago this could have been mysticism or heresy. It isn’t now. Outside there are sirens. Someone’s been run over. The century grinds on. "In the Secular Night"
„But when she tried to say something, the words always seemed trite and inadequate. Nothing measured up. When any moment might be their last, there was nothing she could ever imagine saying that had the necessary dignity to fill that instant. Silence was better. Silence had its own dignity.“
— Alastair Reynolds British novelist and astronomer 1966
Chapter 37 (p. 573)
„A man can keep silence in such a ways that no one will even notice it. The whole point is that we say a good deal too much. If we limited ourselves to what is actually necessary, this alone would be keeping the silence.“
— G. I. Gurdjieff influential spiritual teacher, Armenian philosopher, composer and writer 1866 - 1949
Context: A man can keep silence in such a ways that no one will even notice it. The whole point is that we say a good deal too much. If we limited ourselves to what is actually necessary, this alone would be keeping the silence. And it is the same with everything else, with food, with pleasures, with sleep; with everything there is a limit to what is necessary. After this "sin" begins. This is something that must be grasped, a "sin" is something which is not necessary.
— Elbert Hubbard American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher fue el escritor del jarron azul 1856 - 1915
— John O'Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
„Well may we say "God save the Queen", because nothing will save the Governor-General! The Proclamation which you have just heard read by the Governor-General's Official Secretary was countersigned "Malcolm Fraser," who will undoubtedly go down in Australian history from Remembrance Day 1975 as Kerr's cur. They won't silence the outskirts of Parliament House, even if the inside has been silenced for the next few weeks … Maintain your rage and enthusiasm for the campaign for the election now to be held and until polling day.“
— Gough Whitlam Australian politician, 21st Prime Minister of Australia 1916 - 2014
On hearing the proclamation dismissing him from office, which ended with the previous official wording "God Save the Queen" which had been abolished by his government and unilaterally re-instated by David Smith, the Governor-General's Official Secretary, at that moment - the first of many changes undertaken by the so-called "caretaker" government.
„It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, "Wait on time."“
— Martin Luther King, Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches
"Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution", sermon at the National Cathedral, 31 March 1968, published in A Testament of Hope (1986)
„Discreet silence about the issue I am raising seemed preferable to creating a misunderstanding.
Then… I suddenly realized that there is indeed a very simple word that says what I cherished and tried to nourish, and that word is peace.“
— Ivan Illich austrian philosopher and theologist 1926 - 2002
Context: The impending loss of spirit, of soul, of what I call atmosphere, could go unnoticed. Only persons who face one another in trust can allow its emergence. The bouquet of friendship varies with each breath, but when it is there it needs no name. For a long time I believed that there was no one noun for it, and no verb for its creation. Each time I tried one, I was discouraged; all the synonyms for it were shanghaied by its synthetic counterfeits: mass-produced fashions and cleverly marketed moods, chic feelings, swank highs and trendy tastes. Starting in the seventies, group dynamics retreats and psychic training, all to generate "atmosphere," became major businesses. Discreet silence about the issue I am raising seemed preferable to creating a misunderstanding. Then… I suddenly realized that there is indeed a very simple word that says what I cherished and tried to nourish, and that word is peace. Peace, however, not in any of the many ways its cognates are used all over the world, but peace in its post-classical, European meaning. Peace, in this sense, is the one strong word with which the atmosphere of friendship created among equals has been appropriately named. But to embrace this, one has to come to understand the origin of this peace in the conspirator, a curious ritual behavior almost forgotten today.
„Tried myself in the school of affliction, by the loss of every form of connection which can rive the human heart, I know well, and feel what you have lost, what you have suffered, are suffering, and have yet to endure. The same trials have taught me that for ills so immeasurable, time and silence are the only medicines. I will not, therefore, by useless condolences, open afresh the sluices of your grief, nor, although mingling sincerely my tears with yours, will I say a word more where words are vain.“
— Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Letter to John Adams http://www.masshist.org/database/transcription.cfm?transcriptDir=masshist&transcript=L5058.xml&queryID=1797 (13 November 1818) regarding the death of Abigail Adams