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Prior to silence

Satsangs

(2011)

The mind is noise, realization is silent

When reading about silence, understand you are indulging in noise. Writings about silence can only be so many noisy pointers; like writings about the Self. The Self is prior to silence: Silence may be taken to mean absence of noise; in the Self there is no absence and nothing to be absent from; hence we are prior to silence. This will be misunderstood.

Silence is initially understood to be absence of noise; ultimately to be just above the essence of our Being. For so many the essence of Being is sadly assumed to be noise of some sort, or pleasant turbulence. People identify with noise: They assume: If there is noise, there is ego and cognition, cogito ergo sum (I think therefore I am) as Descartes wrote; the truth is cogito ergo occultum (I think therefore I am hidden). In fear of losing their ego, people worship noise or turbulence. Examples of worshiped noise are fanatical bhakti or fanatical jnana; in fact it could be any practice or attitude that gives you a good kick of feeling good about your self or your spiritual endeavours or sadhana.

The nature of the mind is to scrutinize and doubt, not to realize and be. Doubt is noise; so is faith, devotion and wisdom. Realization is silent; the mind is noise. Anything that can be verbalized is junk with respect to getting Self-realized.

When people long for silence, they usually long for a quiet mind. However, they will be disappointed: Quietness of the mind is only temporary; such is the nature of the mind.

Silencing the mind is in itself useless with regard to becoming Self-realized. However, it may help setting the stage necessary for revelation to occur.

Insights are not silent; revelations originate in silence. People have this mixed up. Ecstasy is extremely turbulent. Ecstasy comes before immergence into pure Being and thus before silence. However, this ecstasy charms you to believe it is the Self; so does its absence within the realm of thought.

There are three silences: One prior to ecstasy, one posterior to ecstasy and one transcending ecstasy.

There are no beliefs in radical silence and no believer; nothing to yearn for and nothing to flee from. It is unmanifest; this unmanifest is You.

Silent mind is not the Self

No-mind enhances spiritual pride in a subtle manner; so does bhakti, so does jnan, and so forth. Let go of them all.

Silent mind is not in itself oneness with the Self, it is merely a state of no-thought or no-mind. There can be oneness with the Self and yet thoughts. The important thing is to disidentify with thoughts and the mind, whether the mind is silent or not. The most important thing is to transcend identifications and realize you already are the Self.

You are not even silence. You are prior to silence.

Disidentification is challenging

Initially, when radical silence enters one’s conscious awareness, disidentification may be challenging.
When disidentification challenges you, functioning properly may become difficult. Who is operating? No-one! Thus motivation is no longer present.

When motivation is lost, a phase of spiritual apathy sets in. This occurs in the dark night of the mind.
The dark night of the mind concerns deconstruction of beliefs; the dark night of the soul concerns deconstruction of the believer.

Practice is noise

Meditation-practices are all noise to some extent. Understand that in order to reach the silence of the Self, you have to let go of your practice, whatever it may be. There is no exception to this: All practices must go, even bhakti.

In meditation, every spiritual state that is not samadhi is either practice or distraction.

All spiritual practices should aim at setting the stage for revelation to occur; if they do not, they are merely noise or satisfying rituals, which amounts to the same.

In themselves all spiritual practices are noise; they should aim at transcending themselves, otherwise they are merely mood-making.

No mood is conducive to Self-realization. All are just dreams. Moods and dreams may quieten the mind and heart, or put the mind and heart in a nice state, but they will not lead to transcendental immergence in the Self.

However some moods are more conducive to transcending noise than others; hence various yogas, disciplines and attitudes are prefered.

Silence is not the goal. You need to go prior to silence in order to find the Self.

In the Self there is no turbulence, no noise, no fluctuation of any sort; hence no absence of noise; hence no silence. Yet it is the source of all turbulence and joy.

Don’t worry about what is the right way to meditate or pray, just remember you have to transcend each and every way possible. Prayer is a beneficial kind of noise in so far as it transcends itself; if not it is merely begging. Spiritual begging is detrimental to transcendence.

Surrender!

Silence is not void; void is not silence

With experience one realizes silence is not void; one realizes it is supreme bliss; silent bliss.

When not Self-realized and silent, life’s inherent meaninglessness will inevitably become obvious. This will frustrate the mind and heart. Do not give up your sadhana at this stage. Later the meaninglessness will go away and be replaced with loving no-meaning. Differentiate between no-meaning and meaningless.

Immature silence debilitates the mind and memory. It is not to be cultivated; but it is a common phase prior to Self-realization. When in this phase, do not panic, but let go and surrender to Shakti.

You can be one with the Self, yet have a noisy mind

The nature of the Self is prior to silence and this prior-to-silence is blissful. Understand that though the Self may be silent, and though union with the Self may be silent, the mind may still make its usual noise. So there are two levels: One of silence and one of noise; the important thing is to disidentify with noise and fall into silence. Once in silence, you have to go prior to silence into void. Or jump directly from noise to void if you can.

In meditation, when one first enters samadhi, the mind may go berserk and create an awful lot of noise. The heart will beat wildly, thoughts come and go rapidly, the eyelids will flicker, and so forth. But behind this, depending on the level of samadhi, one rests in void. This void may not be too apparent as prior to silence, but it is so.

Mind may become ecstatic when first suffused with Shakti, but that is just a phase. Truth is silent. Mind can not grasp silent truth. The Self is prior to truth and thus prior to silence.

Though pure awareness may be one with the love and bliss of the Self, the mind may become frustrated; it is a common misconception that this should not be so.

Shakti is prior to silence

Shakti is the potential dynamism of the unmanifest, hence it is prior to silence understood as prior to absence of noise. Shakti is the creative potential.

Shakti is not a burst of energy. Kinetic energy is noise and turbulence. Shakti is the potential dynamism of the Self in a yet unmanifest state. When Shakti bursts forth and begins to manifest, it is called Spanda.

To realize Shakti is to realize the Self. Spanda is subtle noise (turbulence), but can be used as an entry point to Shakti. Shakti is silent bliss. Spanda is turbulent ecstasy.

Initially silence is devoid of bliss. Later bliss becomes realized as noise, in ecstasy. Ultimately bliss and silence are one. Shakti is bliss prior to silence; this is the Self.

Objectless love and radical silence are one with pure being.

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