3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 1 May 2014
I had high hopes for this book, but unfortunately it just grated. Sardello takes an awful lot of ink and page to expand and elaborate on the theme and practice of Silence. Put simply, he waffles on and on. There are some good points and some good writing, but it all just gets drowned out in his meandering drones. Sardello also makes disparaging remarks about practices from other spiritual traditions which just seem both unnecessary and ill informed.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2015
The most wonderful book I've read in a long time. I've long practiced Silence, especially since joining the Quakers, but this book taught me, in a very practical way, more about the experience of Silence than I knew there was. It has deepened and enriched my experience beyond measure and I highly recommend it. (All this despite its rather high price for an ebook!) Just reading it leads one into the experience.
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2011
Having now lived, on and off, for two years with this work I can say that Silence is gestated over nine chapters conducting us through the various ways we encounter and enter into silence in healing, prayer, meditation, daily life, etc, etc.
It might take you nine months to get acclimatized to this work, however. Why? Because if you are honest, to almost every other book you ever read you brought the anticaption of 'getting something from it' in some way, whether that be infomation, spirituality, a good story, or to meet certain other needs... or get some knowledge you could later apply, or even (or should that be 'most typically) to have one's beliefs confirmed.
This book is its own application (which poetry is) in resisting again and again our bringing to it what we think we know, or our attempts to acquire something. To find such application in what is ostensibly a prose work takes me back every time I open its delicious pages.
Silence steeps one in the inner expansion of the silence it opens one to, making 'reviewing' it very difficult. It doesn't surprise me there are no other reviews posted here. Sardello explains that the whole book arises from years of workshop practice on silence and the opening chapter, `An Entry', explains the author's intent and claim (that may only be tested against one's own reading):
"If you read carefully and thoughtfully and relinquish running after information, you will be well on the way toward the formation of new capacities. A significant alteration in your consciousness will take place. Any of the stated practices are not more than particular points of emphasis that help you slow down and stay within the process that the writing takes you through."
I find it dropping from my hand, as heavy as lead, after a couple of paragraphs or a single sentence, resisting being read without ones implicit surrender, body and soul to the words themselves, to the activity that the reading entails. It makes you more alert or puts you straight to sleep!
There are occasions where I marvelled at how a dense sentence lasting several lines arrives only to a sweet resounding after-taste, with the very last, ripe word.
In the light of this I found the intro by one Shroeder-Sheker inevitably rather noisy compared with text itself, full of brusque intimations of tradition and theology. However, she points out, in an image I cherish and enjoy, how the structure of Silence offers a "fugue" to the "prelude" of each chapter (written by one Cheryl Sanders-Sardello) in the form of a page of itallicised prose-poetry, a beautifully expressed riff on, and in, silence - each piece reflecting in its unique tone and colour something of what Sardello has explored with us in the prior chapter.
I hesitate to quote any example of even a sentence from either Cheryl or Robert Sardello, wanting not to prejudice anyone, or getting them thinking that they might know what each fresh, always surprising sentence invites to.
See earlier editions of this work on Amazon.com for more reviews.
Silence can be read on its own, or as a vital companion to "Love and the Soul" 2009. Back in 2002 Sardello expressed concern over his use of the expression "Sophia" in his book Love and the World. "I have since stopped speaking of Sophia at all and have discovered the mode of Sophia-awareness rather than the "religious" or "feminist" or whatever concept of Sophia one begins with...."
Thus he describes his book Silence, "as the phenomenology of 'Sophia-awareness'.... I don't speak the name [Sophia] in the book and feel we have to drop all such naming; too much baggage, particularly around religious notions".
By the time "Love and the Soul" came around, however, in a revised and added to 2009 edition, Sardello had returned to speaking the name 'Sophia' with renewed vision. Hence the added 'Sophia' chapters in the 2009 edition of "Love and the Soul' are not to be missd by devotees of divine wisdom and spiritual alchemy. They represent a glorious, experiental practice, a summit in prose writing in this field.
There is a vital dialogue at work between 'Love and the World' and 'Silence' which nevertheless can by read on their own. Both are practices, read by body as much as the intellect. Sardello takes Jung and takes Steiner and creates something completely new for the 21st century that inspires each of us to create something new from our own reading. Great for all 'listeners'. Pure gold for heart mind and soul.