This March issue of the newsletter casts a glance at, “The Aspiration for Silence in the Mind”. This theme holds within its ambit a number of ideas one should be attempting to make clear to oneself from the out start. Firstly, its about the aspiration for silence in the mind. Next, is the idea of silence and lastly is the idea of mind. It is about the well-being of the mind that we begin with, in this issue, having been very briefly introduced to it in the February issue.
Mind is not mind alone. The Aurobindonian philosophy has treated mind in its complexity and organized it in its many forms and strata. There is the outermost mind, the inner mind and the innermost mind, concentric layers from outside to inside. Then there is the hierarchical strata of mind, from the lowest upwards, namely, the Physical Mind, Vital Mind, Mental Mind, Higher Mind, Illumined Mind, Intuitive Mind, Overmind and Supermind. There are indeed, vistas of mind spaces, many of which are not yet realized by our ordinary consciousness. How many of these layers may we be aware of? Which level of mind is most accessible to us in our day-to-day functioning? What efforts are we making in getting to know the various layers of mind? These are questions that need some contemplation and would eventually lead us deeper into the theme of this issue.
Next, Silence. The commonly known meaning of silence is the absence of any kind of sound. It comes with another connotation and that is ‘stillness’. A silenced mind is one in which the churning of thoughts is ceased. A silenced mind may be, therefore, a mind of “profound stillness”. A silent mind is usually porous, and open. It can open to vistas of force and light from above. In order to know the Self, Sri Aurobindo writes that the mind has to be passive, free of all boundaries and limiting perceptions, hard and fast. “In a complete silence only is the Silence heard…” This Silence with a capital “S” that Sri Aurobindo celebrates is nothing but That; “….to us the name of That is the Silence and the Peace.”
Have we heard that Silence?
Silence is the Highest form of Consciousness, or Divinity. The knowledge of this idea of silence, which is a “capacity” and “power” poses before us a fresh challenge, coupled with the challenge of establishing this very silence in a mind that is far complex, multi-tiered and multi-faceted, of which we may actually know very little of.
Now the idea of aspiration comes before us as something which is within one’s own control, which one has to will and one has to feel and voluntarily put forth as a call to the highest we can perceive from our depths, from whichever mind or consciousness level we operate. Aspiration may be looked upon as the key that would or could enable this huge feat of silencing the mind. Why this task is a feat, anyone of us who has attempted to silence the mind would know.
Here we are then, posed with the task of silencing the mind as the best means of receiving the highest force and light of transformation so that the descent of all that is Light, all that is Ananda, all that is Consciousness can take place in us and establish their reign upon earth. Then, in this state, the total well-being of the being is a given; it becomes then, the natural field of expression and play of Divinity.