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Is silence simply the absence of sound?
Episode 114th March 2021 • The Contemplative Edge • Rashmir Balasubramaniam
00:00:00 00:12:35

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In this episode, we explore what silence is. Is it simply the absence of sound? Do different silences spaces have different soundscapes? Is there a connection between the tones of silence and how they make us feel? And if silence isn't the absence of sound, what is it?

Timestamps to key points

[01:16] - Introduction

[01:50] - Ilya Kaminsky quote “silence is an invention of the hearing”

[02:52] - The soundscapes of silence spaces

[06:20] - Listen and silent are anagrams of each other

[06:59] - Exterior vs interior silence

[07:32] - Paul Goodman’s nine types of silence 

[10:34] - A simple silent challenge

[11:03] - An altogether different definition of silence by Gordon Hempton

Key points/questions

  • Is silence the absence of sound?
  • Is silence an invention of the hearing?
  • Different silence spaces have different soundscapes
  • Silence has different tones and felt effects
  • True silence may be an interior condition
  • There are different types of silence, Paul Goodman delineated nine types of silence
  • Hurrying and rushing are inherently devoid of silence
  • "Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything” ~ Gordon Hempton

What do you think? What is silence?

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In upcoming episodes, we’ll explore silence in nature, the power and potency of silence, our fear of silence and ways to experience, deepen and make use of silence.