We're living in an illusion. But it's a very real illusion, a very noisy one. Our lives are full of busyness and external distraction like no other time in the history of mankind. It's as if everything created has been purposefully designed to pull us into the external drama, to tempt us, to invest us, to entrap us. The paradox is, that every external 'entertainment' is but a reflection, often quite a distorted one, of an end goal that each soul is really, ultimately looking for. It's a place of absolute perfection, crystal clear clarity. It is infinite potential yet absolutely empty. It is the beginning and the end of every inquiry and journey. It is the Void of Silence.
It begins with no-thing
The universe began with no-thing. If it began with some-thing, where did that some-thing come from? Who created it and how was the creator created? Throughout our history, the human mind has played endless control games with that conundrum. The problem is that the mind is so used to some-thing, that it's practically impossible to imagine no-thing. It's like trying to stop your heart beating or lungs breathing. That's what they're built for. Like a camera, the mind's purpose is to take continual 'snap-shots' of what's going on. And there's never no-thing going on.
So you can't truly imagine no-thing. All you can really do is experience it. And when you truly, ultimately do, it's like all the lights of realisation suddenly got turned on at once. After eons of struggling noisyness, there is crystal clear clarity, absolute silence in amongst life's busy goings-on. A realisation that's all there is: everything you've been seeking, a stillness and empty completeness, that eclipses all you've ever hopelessly searched for.
So when it happens, you simply know. And you can't know before it. You can't even imagine it. This is where it all came from. This is the ultimate 'creator', with the power to shape the microcosym of your life and simultaneously the macrocosym of the entire universe. It existed prior to the bigbang, and the baffling paradox is, it still exists here and now, in the background of every event, situation and circumstance, every thought, feeling and emotion we have. All phenomenal experience arises from this source, from this Void, from this presence.
Being and not-being
The known universe is a dynamic equilibrium between being and not-being. It is the state of infinite potential immediately prior to the bigbang, and simultaneously, everything that sprang from it that exists now. In this moment.
"To be" is the question.
"And to not be" is the answer.
The Void notionally separated into 'parts'. AND, at the same time, was, and is, constantly dissolving back into itself. It's a dynamic equlibrium between being and not-being. This equilibrium is how you can get some-thing from no-thing.
Paradoxically the some-thing that emerged was not a thing at all, but pure consciousness. Consciousness that is simply awareness of a difference: of "this" and "that", of "up" and "down" of "left" and "right". This simple dynamic emerged as a ripple of relativity through space. Consciousness and matter are one. Density, solidity and materiality are only manifestations of relativity, condensations of consciousness. They are simply transient experiences and nothing more. This is the ultimate problem the mind - the ego - has in trying to grasp it: the ego is used to singular truths. There is a truth for this and that. After initial Awakening, there's realisation and acceptance that we all have a truth, there's plurality yes, but still another step to be made:
The utlimate key to Enlightenment is being able to hold the notion of two, apparently contradictory, truths simultaneously: it is all an illusion, yet it is a very real illusion; There is existence, but resting within the condition of non existence, the background Void of Silence. All is here, in this singular moment of now.
Flight of the Kingfisher
There's two problems that people encounter when trying to find the Void of Silence: (1) if you're purposefully looking for it, then you immediately create the cause of separation from it. (2) when you find it, it is so complete, so crystal clear that the ego wants to own it with some kind of label, like "infinite love" for example. But once you've formed some kind of internal desire of it, and efforting towards it, then just like a mirage in the desert, the Void of Silence immediately vanishes...
"How can you see yourself when you are all there is? Here is the divine paradox - when you are looking for it, it remains just out of reach like a young child grasping at a helium filled balloon; but when you just let go and open yourself up, the ‘target’ of your aspiration moves to you. You fall into it.
For me it is metaphored wonderfully in the place of all clear answers - Mother Nature. Consider the Kingfisher; since light refracts (bends) when it leaves the surface of water, the Kingfisher never actually sees the exact location of the fish. It simply heads for the image, but knows at some point, that it must step off its trajectory and delve completely into the unknown. Ignoring the image itself - the illusionary reality - it dives through the surface into absolute truth, whereupon its goal is finally realised.
So it is with the soul. The soul is our trajectory to an illusionary target. We follow the path, but at some point, we will see past the target and simply fall into the truth. Then we become the truth and have continual experiences of it; all of life offers the opportunity to taste the constant crystal clear clarity of non-identified presence. Thoughts, emotions, feelings and even the heartfelt longing of the soul all arise within this infinite, unadulterated potential and yet it remains always there - the Seer - an inviolable eternal existence."
Explore more from this extract in: 5GATEWAYS: a profound spiritual routemap
Softening into Ego's tightness
So you can't find the Void of Silence with purposeful silence. Because the very act of intentful purpose creates the very condition of separation from it. You might still the mind for a while, but if you're purposefully aiming for the Void, you'll likely miss it when you're right on the edge of it, or get immediately bounced out when you drop into it. It is only ego that tries to get rid of the ego.
But there is something you can 'do'. You can continually cease doing, efforting, resisting, denying or trying at all. You can continually move into pure being. Which means - like the King Fisher - to follow the path of your soul - and allow authentic doing to arise from this place. It is to follow the heart felt pull and to trust that when you 'do' this, all answers, solutions and goals will simply fall into place.
The soul arises from the Void of Silence, which like the camera, the ego then owns an image of and forms an identity around. So if you continually confront the identity by observing inner tightness around day-to-day interactions - resistances, frustrations and need for an outcome - then soften into the tightness, which is unwinding the efforting your ego was already living with, then you'll drop into the trajectory of the soul. You'll become the soul. And here's the heavenly paradox...
By unwinding the need for any outcome, and surrendering to the heartfelt pull, softening into the ego's tightness, you'll experience the pure beingness of the soul - and simultaneously - you'll get a taste of the tasteless, that which precedes the soul, the dynamic equilibrium between being and not being is finally realised.
The delusion of non-duality
This heavenly dynamic equilibrium shines the light on another misconception prevalent in some spiritual circles right now: the delusion of non-duality.
It is the idea, the notion that we are all one and the same. Indeed, at an absolute level we are. But the absolute can only be experienced through multiplicity of form - through separation. You can't divorce yourself from everything that is going on around. Well, I should more accurately say, you can delude yourself that you are, but really all that's happening is another layer of identity that is avoiding experience. It actually creates a barrier to the Void of Silence. It's a bubble of unity which feels connected, calm and loving, one which people tend to touch on the journey to the pure presence of the Void. But like the Kingfisher, you have to burst through this bubble to truly fall into the Void.
The Void of Silence is to be found in and through all things. To be truly enlightened is to be enlightened in and through all events and circumstances, not avoiding anything. When we fully allow it, it moves to us. It simply and effortlessly arises in the background.
The Lens of Presence
When you stop efforting for the Void of Presence and instead continually work to align yourself with the soul, then you'll progressively soften the ego. It unravels and breaks down - including that aspect that is efforting for the presence - for Enlightenment. Crucially, you'll also start to soften that aspect that is close to the source, which tries to own the elation of absolution. Or else resists the absolute because there's fear of complete dissolution (it's only the ego that is being dissolved!).
At this point, where you've journied around the edge of the Void for sometime, you'll start to experience what I call the "lens" which is 'looking into the Void'. It's a subtle level of awareness that exists around the Void. If you look directly into the Void, the chances are it will disappear. But when you're in this subtle level of awareness around the Void, then the clarity and transparency of the Void effortlessly appears in the background of your experience. You realise it's there without efforting to hold onto it.
Now experience can come and go, emerge and dissolve. The soul can conduct its heavenly dance, which you're thoroughly enjoying and it's all being fed from the eternal existence of the source. Since it's not being owned, it's therefore not being constricted. I call this the "Sacred Ground of Being".
Journey of the Soul
What we can do is to keep surrendering. Keep confronting the tightness, neediness or denial of what the moment is truly inviting. We can align with the heart felt pull - which connects into the mainstream of our soul. We can watch our motivations for action and soften into the need of any kind of outcome, yet totally committing ourselves without reservation to what we're given to do.
This will align us with the natural flow of the universe, with the journey of our soul. The universe is simply happening. No one intended it. If we can move without intention, we'll drop into the experience of the Void of Silence and simultaneously become it, expressing fully from it. It feels like heaven.
In fact such liberation, such emptiness, feels so good, and sometimes so terrifying, that we'll keep wanting to land on the safe shore of the ego once more; just for a respite as the trajectory into the void mercilessly shreds anything that is still hanging on. So we'll pop in and out of the Journey of the Soul until finally there is complete surrender, complete alignment. It is then that we fall finally into the Void of Silence.
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