Any disciplined practice that involves focusing the mind will eventually lead to Silence. Spiritual methods such as meditation techniques, chanting mantras, yoga, tai chi—all of these will lead to Silence. Self-inquiry will lead to Silence. So will martial arts, and dance, and art. So will rock climbing and skydiving. So will cooking and eating. So will playing and loving. Everything will lead to Silence, because Silence is the life force behind everything. It is the oxygen without which everything would fall over dead, flash frozen. Since all things lead to Silence, we must follow the echoes of Silence, inward, to the source of all things within us.
Being led to Silence might imply that Silence is somewhere else. This is only a figure of speech. Silence is always the first thing and the last thing. It is always present, but very subtle, so we must therefore learn to recognize it. The direction of Silence is any direction. There is no place that Silence is not, although we cannot apprehend it with our senses or with our minds.
Still, let me suggest a foolproof way of coming into Silence quickly, so that Silence becomes a fact for us. First, we must develop the ability to distinguish one thought from another. When we can do this, we must then develop the ability to see clearly the space between two thoughts. When that space becomes large and stable enough for us to drive a truck through it, we will know Silence as a fact.
In the very center of universal manifestation, one finds swirling gusts of Silence, vast galactic streamers millions of light years long. If we try to understand this Silence through our mind, we’ll never understand it. Silence is realized in a moment of communion, in a moment of losing our separation from life. The underlying truth of existence is Silence.
Silence embraces everything and cannot be known because to know Silence, we would have to be separate from Silence, and Silence would then be an object of our perception and of our knowing. Silence refers to that which is beyond this dualism of knower and known. Silence becomes a fact when we and life become an inseparable whole. Even though we are trying to define it, no definition of Silence is accurate. We don’t want to think that by defining it, we can know it. Silence is knowable only to itself, and we come into that knowing through an alchemy of self-transcendence.
We can only create a definition that points to Silence. The truth of reality is silent. It is undisturbed. It is causeless. It is out of time, out of space, non-dual. Silence is the preeminent nothingness in which the universe dances in spectacular and mysterious ways.
If Silence is the United States, then intuition is Ellis Island, the first stop of immigrants seeking asylum. Intuition is the first hint, the first experience of the far greater country of Silence. Intuition is not a tool, but rather an intelligence that uses us. We might not see this right away. Intuition is willing to be used, but only for a time. One day, it will require that we suspend our goals and objectives, our plans and aspirations, for a fuller recognition of what intuition is, what it represents. We will come to see that intuition is the ambassador of Silence, and we must serve that Silence, for it is the soul of the world.
In the instant of intuitive perception, we are taken wholly into that power of knowing which is beyond the mind. In going beyond the mind, we go beyond all notions of self and identity, of thought and belief, of perceiver and perceived. A photograph of the intuitive flash would show only light. There would be no other image, only light. The light of intuition is the light of consciousness. Intuition is Ellis Island, the gateway to freedom. In order to be free, we must want freedom, we must be willing to leave behind the old countries of control and manipulation from which we have come. We cannot come to this new country with ideas of exploitation, as gangsters. We have to come as servants of the new freedom. We have to learn new ways of living. We have to become students of Silence and freedom in order to learn how to live without fear, without violence, without cruelty.