Legal Assistance Fund:
The proposed "Legal Fund" (Spring 2002 newsletter) has now come to fruition. With the help of a lawyer we worked out two documents: LEGAL ASSISTANCE  APPLICATION INFORMATION and APPLICATION FOR A LOAN OR GRANT FROM RQS, AND AGREEMENT.

Both information and application form will be posted on our website under ≥Legal Assistance Fund". Thanks to a number of very generous donations, we can now offer such a grant or loan of up to $1,000 and receive applications in accordance with the information and agreement as posted. Interested parties can either download the documents from our website or, without access to the Internet, request a copy from our office.

To enable us to continue this work, donations will be needed on an ongoing basis. Please, when remitting your contribution (dues and/or donations), always fill out our membership slip and indicate on it to which account you wish your contribution or part of it to go. If you do not specify we,ll use it at our discretion. We appreciate any amount we receive and thank you all very much for your generous support.

Book Review

Noise in this world is a very much neglected matter. It is getting noisier each year, especially since the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Relatively few people appear able and willing to come to the rescue of our badly over-burdened soundscape, the acoustic component of the environment. In his newly published book "STILLNESS: Daily Gifts of Solitude" Richard Mahler, a journalist, teacher and environmentalist, tackles the question of what to do about this problem. He offers valuable information and explains some of the underlying causes, along with good advice for making positive changes.

The author voluntarily withdrew from society to live for several months in solitude. He draws from a comprehensive understanding acquired in part through the experiences he had there, which were so radically different from living conditions in the "industrial world". One of the essential things he points out is to reduce the pace of one's life and learn to truly listen. Without attentive listening we are unable to attain a level of awareness so critical to understand this world and our role and position in it, as well as to properly respond to what we may encounter in the course of life.

Throughout this well-structured, very educational 166-page book the author explains many real-life situations and human traits with deep insight. He shares entries of his diary to more vividly show how he, too, had to struggle and come to terms with stillness and solitude. With observations like "In the 21st century, quiet places are most notable by their absence," Mr. Mahler reveals the truly pathological state of the modern soundscape on Earth. While living in solitude, he came to such profound realisations as: "The quiet is a mirror held up to my brain reflecting - with awful certainty - things my mind does that aren't flattering." Or "The human ego often shrinks in the bright light of truth, preferring to remain in the dark about its own reality." Then "In the midst of silence, our options expand. When we do 'nothing', we stare into the potential of 'everything'." And "The rewards of quiet alone-time have been greater than I could ever describe to you and most of these benefits are beyond the capacity of mere words. Now it is time for you to discover them on your own." Indeed, we all ought to heed Mr. Mahler's well-meant advice.

It's a privilege for me having been asked to write this brief review of a book with such deep insight into a matter far too much ignored by far too many people. Richard Mahler's partially illustrated book "STILLNESS: Daily Gifts of Solitude" was published in April 2003 by Red Wheel/Weiser (, 368 Congress Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02210, USA. It is available in hardcover for $21.95 USA or $ 29.95 CAN by calling Red Wheel/Weiser at (800) 423 7087. ISBN: 1-59003-042-7; Category: Self-help/Memoir; includes an index of recommended books, magazines, internet resources, courses, organisations, and retreat centres for exploring silence and solitude.



- Hans Schmid

Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Fall 2003
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