John Zerzan maintains an “anti-civilization” view often identified as primitivism, derived in part from anarchist thought (Zerzan edits the journal “Green Anarchy”). His essay “Silence” calls on classic authors from Heidegger to Picard to describe the place of silence, noise, and technology in the modern world. The opening lines:
Silence used to be, to varying degrees, a means of isolation. Now it is the absence of silence that works to render today’s world empty and isolating.
Sister Laurel O’Neal, whose blog is Notes from Stillsong Hermitage, is a hermit of the Camaldolese Benedictine tradition. She was interviewed by Sister Julie Vieira, IHM, of A Nun’s Life. The two installments are: first and second.
Sister Laurel makes a realistic point appropriate to both religious and secular solitaries. When asked what she would recommend to someone interested in the eremitical life, she replies (among other things):
If you have substantial healing of your own to do, get to it before you make any commitments to eremitical life. The hermitage allows for such work to be done but actual commitments to the life need to have that out of the way as much as possible.