Rest Here Before a Thought Arises

Dare to rest in the living silence of possibility, before a single thought is born. This is the space where wonder may discover how to love.

It is not the dumb silence of sleep, nor the brutal silence of self-control, nor the silence of any "mindfulness" practice. The innocence of true silence cannot be practiced. It simply is.

Living silence is the rippling surface of eternity, where time arises as an afterthought. This silence is the threshold between form and the formless, between creature and Creator. It is held at the center of every pulsation, whether of a galaxy or a photon, the axial momentous eternal ayin-soph between day and night, Winter and Spring, exhalation and inhalation, the slicing scimitar of now.

Medieval Christian philosophers called this living silence "synderesis," or "pure intellectual soul." Thomas Aquinas told us that the synderesis dwells "on the borderline between time and eternity."

Indian philosophers called it "ritam bara pragyam," the luminous field of intuition where all knowledge is condensed, and all history is available in this present moment. "Ritam" is not a thought, but the field whence intellect arises, prior to thinking. It is our inmost seed, where pure consciousness ceaselessly breathes forth the soul.

In the field of "ritam" we can apprehend anything in the universe, knowing all "about" it without knowing the details, because the diversity and duration of the entire cosmos exists here as a timeless singularity, a point within our pure awareness.

The poet Emily Dickenson wrote, "Dwell in possibility." She was inviting us to repose in "ritam."

Quantum physics also describes this silent field of infinite potential, where no-thing may become anything. The "quantum vacuum" pulsates with virtual photons of light and virtual electrons of energy, particles that are and are not. These "fluctuations of the vacuum" are stirrings of pure possibility, defined in mathematical terms as "probability-waves." What we call "matter" is made of nothing else but these vibrations of possibility in the silence of pure consciousness.

At any instant, one of these immaterial waves may burst out of emptiness as the finest particle, or as a new universe. The brilliant and barely understood philosopher, Baruch Spinoza, called them "monads." They are the "sparks of creation" described by Jewish Kabbala; the original "atoms" (amatu) defined by the Vedic philosophy of India. Our bodies contain countless hosts of these sparks as photons of light. Yet because they are holographic, each spark contains all the information of the universe.

The total sum energy of the possibility-field is zero, but at any infinitesimal point within it, the energy is infinite. That is why the nothingness at the center of a black hole is simultaneously the densest "thing" in creation, a monad containing cosmic information. This omnisciently dense point of no-thing at the center of a black hole, is also the center of every proton. Which means that each infinitesimal point in space contains the knowledge of the universe.

All ancient creation stories explain, in symbolic imagery, how something comes from nothing, what the Church fathers called "creation ex nihilo." The first verses of the Hebrew Bible declare that, when God creates the heavens and the earth, the earth is tohu wa bohu, "formless and void." The same vocabulary we find in Buddhism: "Form is emptiness, emptiness is form." Whether the religion is Biblical or Buddhist, the truth always comes back to the void, and this same void in the creation stories of the world's religions is the "vacuum state" of energy in the creation story of modern physics.

Is the primordial void, the "vacuum state" of quantum physics, synonymous with consciousness?

We can answer this question with a logical argument. Can there be two voids, an inner void and an outer void? Can there be two entities that are infinitely abstract? Of course not. Pure abstraction contains no duality. Voidness must be an indivisible singularity. Emptiness is absolutely empty. Therefor what Buddhists call "sunya," the emptiness of no-mind; what Yogis call "samadhi," thought-free awareness; must be precisely the same void as the vacuum of quantum physics. Mind and matter both arise from one matrix: an insight not only shared by all the ancient mystics, but by today's most brilliant physicists.
"All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force... We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter." ~Max Planck
When, through transcendental deep meditation, we allow our awareness to settle into this primordial matrix of no-thing, we return to the source of creation. Here in the ripples of awakened silence we feel the whole cosmos forming, as pure intelligence. This is not only the thrill felt by God "in the beginning," but by every meditator, and by every artist or poet at the moment of creation. The world on the tip of our tongue!

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