Saturday, December 7, 2013

Stillness at the Heart of Being

The unique property of consciousness—perhaps one of its most singular aspects—is its ability to manifest stillness.

Stillness is often perceived or spoken of as silence; yet there is no silence, really, because consciousness, in the instant and eternal moment of its manifestation, is already a word. We might suggest it is a single word, infinite and complete: the comprehensive manifestation not of individuated languages, but the idea of language. The dharma, in other words, is a language; and as it is expressed, it always speaks. So there can be no silence... not really.

Despite the fact that scriptures teach this—the Bible says, In the beginning was the Word—we mistake things and believe in this property of silence. 

Even in silence, the Word exists. We may experience it as silence; but what it truly is is stillness, that is, a change in relationship to the eternally moving nature of creation.

This is a very difficult concept to explain. What comes to mind is clay on a potter's wheel: when it is centered, all the clay is perpetually moving at a high speed, yet in the center, there is stillness. 

This stillness has a tactile quality that speaks: a certain, that is, inalienable, truth; and anyone who has ever centered a piece of clay will know what we speak of here. This tactile, inexpressible territory in which all of the movement is centered is akin to the nature of real consciousness: imperturbable, immovable, aware. It forms the center of Being for all the manifestations which are perceived; and without it, the manifestations, which exist with or without this center, have no intelligible form.

Consciousness is the intelligible form; and, as we can see from the exacting and relentlessly lawful processes of nature, nothing exists without intelligible form. Yet this form doesn't emanate from itself; it emanates from the principle of consciousness, Divine Love and Wisdom, that creates it. In this way there is a creationism; yet it isn't the creationism of literalists, not in the least. It is a creationism in which the stillness and perfection of the unseen informs the seen. 

All which is emanates from this stillness at the heart of Being; in the search for silence, we move past silence and into stillness, where we become vessels able to receive what is. 

Only when all the inner movement stops and we become still does this unobstructed state arise; and only insofar as our inner state is unobstructed do we receive life in the manner that we ought to.


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