The Spirit of Silence
Making Space for Creativity

By John Lane

The Spirit of Silence
Paperback, 128 pages £9.95
Published: 4th April 2006
ISBN: 9781903998748
Format: 216mm x 138mm


The importance of emptying the mind has been recognised for millennia across a variety of cultures. Meditation is a way of life for millions; at the end of a Hindu’s life, he renounces all and becomes a wandering ascetic, seeking union with God; and the Japanese tea ceremony provides an interlude of spiritual relaxation within lives rooted in activity. Others find their creative inspiration in everyday activities such as gardening, walking, watching the sea, or listening to music.
The Spirit of Silence is for those who wish to look beyond the speed and superficiality of our modern lifestyle to find depth and spiritual space. It is devoted to clearing the clutter from our minds, and to feeding the creative heart and soul.

Chapter One: Some Spiritual Spaces
Attitudes to silence and solitude in different cultures: Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist
Chapter Two: Staying Quietly in One’s Room
The creative use of silence: Hildegard de Bingen, Ryokan, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, Paul Cezanne, Giorio Morandi, Harlan Hubbard, Thomas Merton
Chapter Three: The Enemies of Silence
The two-fold enemies; compulsory schooling; the exaggerated importance of money and the myth of consumption; work as a bane; the cult of speed; escaping the fast life
Chapter Four: Tools for Re-enchantment
The art of the commonplace; creativity, gratitude and praise; the healing power of nature; the importance of relationship; living in the moment; looking for the beautiful; the meditative approach; negative capability; reverence; seeing; the virtues of silence and solitude; simplicity; walking; the virtues of slow living
Chapter Five:Just Live Right
Living in the midst of turmoil; Virgil and a civil war; Michel de Montaigne and the French wars of religion; Walt Whitman nurses the wounded of the American civil war; Yusuf Islam and the orphans of war; Wangari Maathai plants 20 million trees; touching peace and stillness; service, expression, silence

John Lane

John Lane (1930 - 2012) was a painter, writer and educationalist. He was Chairman of the Dartington Hall Trust, founding direct of the Beaford Arts centre and instrumental in the creation of Schumacher College. His books include The Living Tree: Art and the Sacred, Timeless Simplicity: Creative Living in a Consumer Society, Timeless Beauty in the Arts and Everyday Life and The Spirit of Silence: Making Space for Creativity. He lived in Devon for over 40 years.

Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 128 pages
ISBN: 9781903998748
Format: 216mm x 138mm

BISAC Code:  OCC010000
Imprint: Green Books

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