Despite this age-old wisdom, in today’s world of instant gratification, on-demand information and entertainment saturation, how many of us stop to nourish our silent source within? We wake up to alarm clocks ringing in our ears. We shower while listening to radio DJ’s belting out the day’s breaking news. We get dressed in front of the TV, read the paper while eating breakfast, make phone calls while driving to work. When we go for a walk or run, we don’t leave without taking our iPod. While ‘silence is golden’ for some, the thought of spending a minute alone or in quiet contemplation is for many a scary thought. We have created such a God of activity in our Western world that we have largely forgotten one of the most fundamental tenets of life—that inseparable from all intelligent, evolutionary activity is ‘non-activity’. Everything in our universe is built on the cycles of activity and rest, rest and activity. We have day and then night, summer then winter, inhalation then exhalation, heart pump then heart relax. Claude Debussy once said, ‘Music is the space between the notes’. Just as it is in the spaces that music gets created, the ancients tell us that it is only in the spaces between our thoughts that we can truly enjoy the ‘music in our lives’.
It is in the silence between our thoughts that we access our highest creativity, our deepest intuitions and our most profound joys. When our minds become so crammed with ‘noise,’ we block the subtle, divine impulses that are there to guide us to our highest health.
As the Tao beautifully declares, ‘You remain silent and it speaks, you speak and it remains silent.’
Recent discoveries in modern science have begun to confirm the wisdom of our ancestors. In the past two decades, quantum physics has discovered that underlying our minds and bodies is a non-physical field of energy and intelligence. This field, from which all the energy and matter of our material world are said to emanate, exists at the basis of our entire universe. It underlies everything from our subtlest thoughts and the beating of our hearts to the movement of the planets. When science describes this non-localised field, it correlates precisely with that of traditional cultures and the age-old natural sciences when describing the spiritual realm of life. Science calls it the ‘unified field’. The ancient Vedas refer to it as a ‘field of consciousness’. Thousands of Native American tribes may be referring to the very same thing when they talk about the ‘spirit that moves through all things’. Other traditions refer to ‘source’, ‘universal intelligence’ and even ‘God’. Regardless of its name, both modern science and ancient wisdom, East and West, point to the same fundamental realisation. At the basis of all that we are is an infinite reservoir of energy, dynamism, creativity, intelligence and power. Most importantly, like a limitless treasure trove, the yogic masters have declared that if we simply know how to contact and enliven this inner field of life, we can begin to command more of this energy, creativity and intelligence in our own lives. The eternal question is: how do we do this?