Michael Fallon at Literary Hub:
At every moment we are bombarded by sound waves, light waves, gamma rays, x-rays, the solar wind. All around, through, and even inside of us is restless movement: the brain muses, nerve cells flare, hair grows, food becomes flesh, not to mention all that is going on at the subatomic level. Our senses can only register a narrow band of all this movement, but even what we can sense is far too much for us. To think, to function in the world, to survive, we have to ignore most of what we can see and hear. We need silence.
We need peace of mind to concentrate, which is not possible without silence. Music and poetry—without silence—impossible. Without silence, our dreams—sleeping or waking—are not possible. Without dreams, there can be nothing to imagine, nothing to hope for, no future. Even love is not possible without meaningful silences, and I would go so far as to say that, without silence, there is no freedom.
The composer John Cage was in search of silence when he entered an anechoic chamber at Harvard University in 1951.