Many things that human words have upset are set at rest again by the silence of animals. Animals move through the world like a caravan of silence. A whole world, that of nature and that of animals, is filled with silence. Nature and animals seem like protuberances of silence. The silence of animals and the silence of nature would not be so great and noble if it were merely a failure of language to materialize. Silence has been entrusted to the animals and to nature as something created for its own sake.
There is a difference between saying goodbye and letting go. Goodbye is not permanent. You can meet years later and share what happened in your life. You can smile and laugh about all the nonsense that you both went through. However, letting go is being okay with never seeing this person ever again…being okay with never knowing how their life turned out…being okay with fifty or more years of silence…being okay with running into that person at a grocery store and having them not acknowledge your presence. This is the part of life that doesn't sit well with me and never will. It tears my heart in pieces, robs me of gratitude, drains me of anything positive and eats at the faith that holds on.
It is my intention to make my entire life a rejection of, a protest against the crimes and injustices of war and political tyranny which threaten to destroy the whole race of [humankind] and the world with [it] . . . . I make monastic silence a protest against the lies of politicians, propagandists, and agitators, and when I speak it is to deny that my faith and my church can ever be aligned with these forces of injustice and destruction. But it is true, nevertheless, that the faith in which I believe is also invoked by many who believe in war, believe in racial injustices, believe in self-righteous and lying forms of tyranny. My life must, then, be a protest against these also, and perhaps against these most of all.
I don't think, in our kind of society, we'll be able to develop a full-blown mystical religion or concept of God because we seek instant gratification, fast food, endless talk and noise. The silence in mysticism is alien. People want to do a few courses in mysticism, rather like the way you do French before going on holiday, and emerge a mystic. Mysticism isn't like that.