All the world is a stage, as Shakespeare says, and we are the actors upon it. We “strut and fret our hour upon the stage, and then are heard no more”. Indeed, in these days of almost overwhelming noise, we are driven to seek solace in silence. At first, the silence we seek often is the absence of noise, of confusion, of conflicting thoughts, right? And naturally, we often dream of someday running “off the stage”, to find that noiseless peaceful sanctuary. That’s how we think a happy life should be – smooth, flowing, peaceful, satisfying as a summer day. That’s before the fire engines of life intrude!
In real silence, there’s none of the escape we’re lead to believe we should find there. As the Bible says: “ The son of man has no place to rest his head.” We find real silence on our busy street corner, or not at all.
Silence is more than the absence of noise; it is the ground, the foundation, the noumena, of all the phenomena that appears to our perceiving senses and mind.
Stillness, silence, is the Absolute, that which underlies the relative perceptions of all human feelings and thoughts. And more.
Silence is a word for what we are –infinite, vast and empty. Spirit. By “empty” we mean spirit has no describable qualities in itself. It is nothing. And it contains every thing, simultaneously! And more.
This Silence contains all creation; silence is the unmanifest, pure potential.
Silence is the unknown; the manifest is the known.
When we rest in the unknown, in awareness, we simply rest in the unlimited wholeness of what we already are: this noiseless, senseless, thoughtless, ground of existence which includes noise, senses and thought, but is not limited to them.
This silence is experienced in time and space, in body and mind. Sometimes it is quiet and sometimes very noisy with sounds and sensations, thoughts and feelings. So, like a movie, sublime silence is the screen on which our experiencing of images is projected. We are that screen and the images that come and go.
To put it another way, that which we call “noise” is all our conditioning; sublime silence is unconditioned awareness – openness simple as a child, to perceive its environment in silence, purely. Not a cold, detached silence that has any attachment, any biased reception, but a warm openness to, curiosity in, and gratefulness for, the totality of this miracle we call “life”. As J. Khrishnamurti puts it: “ ….there is a sweetness to it, there is a perfume to it, there is a quality of tremendous energy.”
This silence is the unborn, uncreated and undying source of all that is known and unknown. It is pulsating, living; it is life itself.
It is what we are –love. And more, always much more! It’s Oneness, way, way beyond our human ability to know it…
Ultimately, it takes One to know One. And you are One!