To describe evil, St. Augustine wrote, is “like trying to see darkness or to hear silence”. But how can that be? I am sure that I saw darkness and heard silence and did not see it or experience it as evil at all. I actually like darkness and especially silence, so that statement cannot be true.
But in all honesty — when was the last time I experienced total darkness? At home, at night with all the lights turned off and heavy drapes covering the windows — there is still light from the outside, from streetlights and passing cars sneaking in as pale phantoms create delicate shadows on the walls. Even on the outskirts of a forest at night, there is usually moonlight or some stars blinking, making the darkness bearable. Or a city or a village light somewhere in the distance polluting the darkness. And I wouldn't dare go into a forest at night with the overcast sky to actually experience a full lack of light.
And the same about the silence. Lo love it and need it. I experience the silence right now — or so I think. There is a slight clicking of the keys on the keyboard as I write, and there is a muted sound of cars passing on the street. Listening deeper, there is also the slight sound of a refrigerator and tick-tocking of a clock. Even the wind can be heard outside the windows, and then the sigh of my sleeping dog disturbs me and the silence. And I can hear my body, there was a light rumble in my stomach and every deeper breath creates a sound as well. So — it is very quiet, but it is not as total silence as I thought.
But I still am sure I experienced total darkness and total silence, I just cannot place them within my memories of a place or time. Maybe this is just a false memory, a projection of a time when my mind and soul were totally enveloped in muted darkness and a wordless stupor. And now, I cannot stop thinking that I want to experience it consciously. I don't feel any fear, but rather a challenge of finding a place and time when and where I can experience it. I am not sure why is that, and I have to be careful — it is easy to lose the way in darkness and silence. And I already know it from my personal experience.