Out of Silence

“…. This energy is not what we ordinarily call thought. But it is this energy that has the power to do what we have wrongly imagined our ordinary thought can do. It can direct all our functions, including our mental thought. This book, therefore …. is in itself a step toward the work of the mind that desperately needs to be rediscovered in our era. The proper work of the mind is to function at two levels, the level of silence and the level of expression. And it is expression that is secondary – that is, truth in the form of words and formulations can come only out of silence, the state of the pure energy of consciousness anterior to its assumption of forms, words, ideas, associations, the organisation of impressions, images, programs….

The mind alone – the mind that is not nourished by the silence of the fertile void of pure Being – as such is incapable of guiding human life. The ordinary, isolated intellect, no matter how brilliant or inspired, has not the energy to command our thought, words, impulses, memories and experiences in a way that conforms to the truth and to the Good. This, in sum, is the tragedy of our era, of our knowledge in the modern world. All that science has brought us – the phenomenal, wondrous discoveries it has brought us about life, matter and the universe – will eventually bring us nothing but destruction because we have forgotten that the mind alone cannot direct itself or the whole of ourselves. It does not have the energy for this. It is an energy that must come from another, higher level within the human psyche, a level that is experienced as silence.” Jacob Needleman, in Foreword to GoT, Leloup, Inner Traditions, 2005, p.ix f.

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