I thought I would start the New Year with a mention for this absolute gem of a book. It follows on beautifully from Deep Work and Solitude which I have mentioned before. I am grateful to my neighbours Walt and Ann from the other side of the hill here at ReesAcres for their recommendation. They are both mountaineers as is Erling Kagge the book’s author.
We live in a world that is full of noise. Traffic, mobile phones, radio, TV and the other machinery of modern man all conspire to disturb, interrupt and distract us. From what do they distract us? The purity of silence.
Kagge has had a career as a lawyer, publisher and politician but it as an explorer that he has wider acclaim. He was the first person to walk to the South Pole and he describes how he removed the batteries from his radio before exiting the ‘plane at the drop off point. In 1994 he became the first to complete the “Three Poles challenge” – reaching the North & South Poles and the summit of Everest.
These 33 short essays are as much about finding solitude and inner silence and I particularly liked his addressing the need for a control of the chaos in our minds, where we all too often submit to the “noise” of constant sensory input. The quotation of Blaise Pascal’s words of wisdom from the 1600s, “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”, struck home. (Are you listening in The White House?)
A lovely little book, that I hope will help you want to experience more silence from this age of noise.