BENGALURU: When the mind is preoccupied with its own pains, hopes and fears, there is no space for freedom from them. The self-enclosing process of thought only cripples the mind further, so the vicious circle is set going. Preoccupation makes the mind trivial, petty, shallow. A preoccupied mind is not a free mind, and preoccupation with freedom still breeds pettiness. The mind is petty when it is preoccupied with God, with the State, with virtue, or with its own body. This preoccupation with the body prevents adaptability to the present, the gaining of vitality and movement, however limited. The self, with its preoccupations, brings about its own pains and problems, which affect the body; and concern over bodily ills only further hinders the body. This does not mean that health should be neglected; but preoccupation with health, like preoccupation with truth with ideas, only entrenches the mind in its own pettiness.
There is a vast difference between a preoccupied mind and an active mind. An active mind is silent, aware, choiceless. “Consciously it is rather difficult to take all this in, but probably the unconscious is absorbing what you are saying; at least I hope so. “I would like to ask one more question. You see, sir, there are moments when my mind is silent, but these moments are very rare. I have pondered over the problem of meditation, and have read some of the things you have said about it, but for a long time my body was too much for me. Now that I have become more or less inured to my physical state, I feel it is important to cultivate this silence. How is one to set about it?”
Is silence to be cultivated, carefully nurtured and strengthened? And who is the cultivator? Is he different from the totality of your being? Is there silence, a still mind, when one desire dominates all others, or when it sets up resistance against them? Is there silence when the mind is disciplined, shaped, controlled? Does not all this imply a censor, a so-called higher self who controls judges, chooses? And is there such an entity? If there is, is he not the product of thought? Thought dividing itself as the high and the low, the permanent and the impermanent, is still the outcome of the past, of tradition, of time. In this division lies its own security. Thought or desire now seeks safety in silence, and so it asks for a method or a system which offers what it wants. In place of worldly things it now craves the pleasure of silence, so it breeds conflict between what is and what should be. There is no silence where there is conflict, repression, resistance.
“Should one not seek silence?”
There can be no silence as long as there is a seeker. There is the silence of a still mind only when there is no seeker, when there is no desire. Without replying, put this question to yourself: Can the whole of your being be silent? Can the totality of the mind, the conscious as well as the unconscious, be still?