Imagine your mind as a telephone. When you think, it is as if someone is talking on the telephone and nobody can call in; the line is busy. When you find Silence, the line is free to receive incoming calls. To focus on thoughts diminishes receptivity. So do not keep the line busy; enter Silence and receive.
Once, I was talking to veterans about Silence, and one veteran said:
“The closer I get to Silence, the more I am reminded of speed reading. In speed reading, I don’t say the words to myself as I read, nor do I try to comprehend what the words mean. My brain automatically knows what they mean, and comprehends a lot faster.”
Speed readers receive input without having their awareness stopped at the thought level. This is a good example of how higher consciousness can be reached. When a person uses the speed reading technique, he absorbs what he is reading without saying or thinking the complete word. Without analyzing or thinking about what is read, the speed reader trusts his brain’s comprehension of what is written without “normal thinking.” The trust needed to absorb information in a new way is difficult if importance is bogged down in thoughts.
By entering Silence, we can extend this example and live our entire lives with the consciousness of a speed reader, absorbing information in a non-linear fashion. Living your life this way does not mean you have to be hyper. You can use speed reading in a relaxed state of mind and perceive reality as it is., from a higher consciousness.
For instance, in a relationship, if we interact with another person connected to our past conditioning instead of Silence, it would be like the speed reader not connecting his reading to his thoughts. Instead of going through the filter of the mind, interactions could go directly into Being and its wisdom. This could be true of every interaction, for we can deal with every issue better from wisdom than from past conditioning.
When these qualities are developed and trusted, we can program our subconscious with our goals and have our deeper wisdom work on accomplishing them. We actually do that already; we just are not aware of it. When we develop conscious habits, we can be more effective on this subtle level.
We can live in this consciousness when we learn how to place trust in our Self. If only thoughts contain our importance, it will be harder to open our awareness in this fashion. The more our importance is in thoughts, the more we will focus on them. The more we focus on thoughts, the less we are aware and open to our inner wisdom. Without wisdom, performance is always limited.
Here is a very simple example of how thinking limits awareness. I was once talking to a ten-year-old friend. He is a first baseman on his little league team. He told me that sometimes when a ball is hit to him, he thinks to himself “get the ball and don’t drop it,” but that when he thinks those thoughts, he messes up. “Self-talk” like that limits awareness. We don’t “play” as well at those times. I then told my friend that the best players don’t have the same “self-talk” as amateurs. When we are confident, we naturally rely on our abilities without self-talk.
The combat experience also reveals how thoughts limit awareness. One veteran said:
“When we were in combat, we were naturally aware of Silence, meaning there was no self-talk. But afterwards, people had a ‘1000 -yard stare’. This was when we remembered what happened and tried to understand it. In that stare, we were focused on our thoughts and were not very aware.”
This is an excellent example of how thoughts limit awareness. One veteran in the group said that mistakes were most often made in combat when a soldier first arrived and right before he was going home. Upon arrival, the soldier was afraid, and later, he was thinking about going home. In both situations, his awareness stopped at thoughts and was distracted in the moment.
Once a sergeant said that when he gave combat assignments to his men, he would ask them if they had recently received any letters from home. If they had received a “Dear John” letter or a letter from their wife saying that she had given birth, he wouldn’t assign them to an important position in battle, such as being the “point man”, entering the combat zone first and leading others. The “Dear John” soldier could tend to be too aggressive, and the new father could be too cautious to be able to do a good job in an important position.
It doesn’t matter what we “think,” for thoughts alone put us on a level of consciousness that isn’t always aware. Most people believe that thoughts are very important, but in the moment, life is what is important. In combat, the veteran could be distracted by even the most righteous thought and that could cost him his life.
Imagine driving on a vacation. It is normal to refer to a map for directions, but it is dangerous to look only at the map as we drive. The map symbolically represents the road, but just focusing on the symbols of the map can cause an accident. It is dangerous to confuse the map with the territory, just as thoughts are never the reality we think about. Our thoughts are symbols, only symbolically representing reality.
The highest consciousness is found in Silence. One veteran expressed discomfort about “not thinking.” He said he felt as though something was “missing” and that it felt right to “think about” what was going on. I told him that thoughts were like clothing, appropriate in a social situation, but when we are with a lover it is comfortable to take our clothing off. When you go deep within and establish a loving connection to your life, you don’t need thoughts. Our thoughts, like the ego’s “clothing,” do not make up who we are. We have to learn to accept the being experience and be our real Self in Silence, especially if we are fighting for our life.