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Res above sea level they have both been freeze dried They lie there in silence looking no differentor less from the way they were last time I saw them twenty two years ago For once there was silence around the table One of our mobile phones pinged with an incoming message but none of us thought to check our phones just then Instead we filled the silence with ourselves Not long afterwards I was invited to give a lecture at St Andrews University in Scotland I was to choose the subject myself I tended to talk about extreme journeys to the ends of the earth but this time my thoughts turned homewards to that Sunday supper with my family So I settled on the topic of silence I prepared myself well but was as I often am nervous beforehand What if scattered thoughts about silence belonged only in the realm of Sunday dinners and not in student forums It was not that I expected to be booed for the eighteen minutes of my lecture but I wanted the students to be interested in the subject I held so close to my heartI began the lecture with a minute of silence You could have heard a pin drop It was stock still For the next seventeen minutes I spoke about the silence around us but I also talked about something that is evenimportant to me the silence within us The students remained uiet Listening It seemed as though they had been missing silenceThat same evening I went out to a pub with a few of them Inside the draughty entrance each of us with a pint of beer it was allor less exactly the same as my student days at Cambridge Kind curious people a humming atmosphere interesting conversations What is silence Where is it Why is itimportant now than ever were three uestions they wanted answered That evening meant a lot to me and not only for the good company Thanks to the students I realized how little I understood Back home I couldnt stop thinking about those three uestions They became an obsessionWhat is silence Where is it Why is itimportant now than ever Every evening Id sit puzzling over them I began writing thinking and readingfor myself than anyone else By the end of my search Id come up with thirty three attempts at answering themAs much an object as book something to be handled and savored I too remember crunching over ice at the South Polethough I had not walked there like the authorand thinking about the ethere.

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Silence: In the Age of Noise

Al uality of silence that the owned world cannot give no country owns the Antarctic Erling Kagge captures that wonder on the page Wall Street Journal The book both contemplates the various forms of silence around and within us and offers solutions for finding such silence amidst endless interruptions and opportunities for distractionWith a sense of awe Kagge wanders rather than narrates moving intuitively between philosophy science and personal experienceIts always good to be reminded of ancient truths And with Silence Kagge provides a much needed reminder Los Angeles Review of BooksFrom the North Pole and the summit of Mount Everest to Sri Lanka and the coast of Chile Kagge investigates the wonder and mystery of silence He writes in a chatty accessible style and with a healthy dose of humor even when discussing philosophical subjectsOffers thoughtful meditations on the importance of pausing to breathe deeply shut out the world and use the time to experience ourselves Minneapolis Star TribuneBreathtaking and inspiring it teaches us how to find precious moments of silencewhether we are crossing the Antarctic climbing Everest or the train at rush hourSir Ranulph Fiennes author of Cold Extreme Adventures at the Lowest Temperatures on Earth Silence braces a space within which we can hear ourselves think uietly wisely it makes a case for dumbing the din of modern life and learning to listen again Drawing on the experiences of Kagges extraordinary life in wild places this is a book of great concentration Robert Macfarlane author of The Old Ways A Journey on Foot Searing and soaringFor Kagge silence isthan the absence of sound it is the incubator for thought the conscious eradication of external distraction and the ability to live in ones own mind as fully as one lives in the physical world Infused with powerfully evocative art and photographs that enhance his salient concepts Kagges treatise on this endangered commodity provides an intriguing meditation for mindful readersBooklistThe book expands the concepts of silence and noise beyond their aural definitions and engages with modern cultures information overload need for constant connection and cult of busynessGreat pleasure lies in Kagges creative investigations The reader leavesmindful of the swirl of distraction present in everyday lifePublishers Weekl.

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Whenever I am unable to walk climb or sail away from the world I have learned to shut it outLearning this took time Only when I understood that I had a primal need for silence was I able to begin my search for itand there deep beneath a cacophony of traffic noise and thoughts music and machinery iPhones and snow ploughs it lay in wait for me Silence Not long ago I tried convincing my three daughters that the worlds secrets are hidden inside silence We were sitting around the kitchen table eating Sunday dinner Nowadays it is a rare occurrence for us to eat a meal together so much is going on all the other days of the week Sunday dinners have become the one time when we all remain seated and talk face to face The girls looked at me sceptically Surely silence isnothing Even before I was able to explain the way in which silence can be a friend and a luxuryvaluable than any of the Louis Vuitton bags they so covet their minds had been made up silence is fine to have on hand when youre feeling sad Beyond that its useless Sitting there at the dinner table I suddenly remembered their curiosity as children How they would wonder about what might be hiding behind a door Their amazement as they stared at a light switch and asked me to open the lightuestions and answers uestions and answers Wonder is the very engine of life But my children are thirteen sixteen and nineteen years old and wonder less and less if they still wonder at anything they uickly pull out their smartphones to find the answer They are still curious but their faces are not as childishadult and their heads are now filled withambitions than uestions None of them had any interest in discussing the subject of silence so in order to invoke it I told them about two friends of mine who had decided to climb Mount Everest Early one morning they left base camp to climb the southwest wall of the mountain It was going well Both reached the summit but then came the storm They soon realized they would not make it down alive The first got hold of his pregnant wife via satellite phone Together they decided on the name of the child that she was carrying Then he uietly passed away just below the summit My other friend was not able to contact anyone before he died No one knows exactly what happened on the mountain in those hours Thanks to the dry cool climate met.