Ages ago when my friend took a short week off - just a place to stay in the bush and on her own. She took books and some music but not much. And someone who visited her yelled, "How can you stand this quiet? It would drive me crazy!" Unfortunately, the visitor could not share silence with my friend. I wonder if the visitor only felt an empty silence. On the other hand, my friend was enjoying a rich silence. Unfortunately, they could not share it. Do you have a similar experience?
I recall another lady desperately asked me, "Why are you silent?" years ago. I was just concentrating on well listening to her say over the phone. The question puzzled me. Later, I knew she had the depression from the pressure of fame. People are afraid of the lack of conversation called silence. My friend's say, "We are so afraid of silence because we are afraid of sitting with ourselves!" is spot on. However, the friend was, in fact, unconsciously enjoying the richness of silence in the bush!
Me, too, not afraid of sitting with myself in silence. I've felt the difference between empty silence and rich silence. Probably, that's one of what I've learned most important insights in psychology -- love oneself properly = love others properly in silence. Although I'm still learning a lot, that insight has enabled me to taste rich silence and enjoy it with myself and others.
Most of us have fear and hatred to face ourselves. I remember the section I read, "Projection" and "distortion" in "defence mechanisms" in a counselling psychology book at uni. Because of the small capacity of our ego's acceptance of reality, we project our hatred of ourselves or self denials onto an outside world and a third party. In short, we blame on a third party, not us. In counselling, a first and important step of a client is to face her/himself. It's painful to recognise one's own distorted value system. A counsellor assists a clients to dig deep why such self-denial happened and to trace it back even in a childhood, if necessary. As we're so afraid of facing ugly ourselves in silence, we turn away from it and could run into noises in society. Or we can't bear to accept what we are or to see distorted ourselves.
I wonder if, once, we accept ourselves properly, we will love ourselves properly and others, too. We can enjoy the richness of silence and share it in joy with others. At the same time, this sounds contradicted though, we cannot be totally alone even in rich silence and need a third party to share joy in silence, I feel. We need balance between silence and noise. Silence could reveal the level of the intimacy in people. Can you remember when the friend and I visited the all handmade house in the bush and we had a wonderful time? Often we were totally silent. She had some books and I had a sketch book. We seldom spoke or had a flat chat and looked at beautiful nature around the house. We tasted rich silence and came back to a noisy society. When we came home, we began to chat again like before.