Early on, silence and expression can seem opposed. For example, in a meditation practice, we may seek Yoga.
Yoga Sutra 1 v2-3:
Yoga is the complete settling of the activity of the mind.
Then the observer is established in their own nature.
Seeking a silent mind, we may rail against the mind’s constant expression. And yet that railing is the mind wanting to control. Or as Yoga puts it, aversion that leads to suffering rather than liberation.
In an effortless practice, we allow the mind to do its thing – partly because the practice causes the physiology to settle and that triggers purification. Purification creates activity which causes random thoughts. If we resist thoughts, we’re resisting the housecleaning. This doesn’t mean we sit there thinking – we favour the practice rather than the thoughts. But fighting thoughts is just encouraging an ego battle with itself; something it does surprisingly well.
As we make progress, there’s a similar dynamic with awakening. The old texts say silence (Shiva) is afraid of expression as this breaks the silence. And expression (Shakti) is afraid of silence because silence ends it.
Further, an attitude like neo-advaita sees the world as illusion. Thus expression is just a mirage and has no value. However, I would suggest this is just a phase influenced by the dominant guna. A phase we can outgrow unless we’re on a renunciate path living apart from the world.
The resolution of this conflict and duality is not a philosophy or belief. It is a stage of development, Unity. There, we discover the Self we’ve realized within is the same Self underlying all forms and phenomena. The expression of the world unfolds on the screen of consciousness. We recognize the subject and object side of experience to be one and the same and they collapse together into one wholeness. Shiva and Shakti are united.
Some experience this as the end of silence, but this is just one perspective.
Over time, we unite all values of experience, the past and future, even distant space beyond experience. In this process we can discover that even consciousness itself, the Self, is composed of a simple duality – silent alertness and alive liveliness. United, they create all experience.
Living this reality, it moves forward into all the layers of our being. Personal expression and behaviour are liberated. Emotions are freed. The mind and heart are broken open. Even the physical body is liberated although its rigid nature means this takes awhile.
With liberation, the flows of Divinity move into the open space and we unite things that were unconscious and unknown prior. We don’t just discover who we are here but also our cosmic and divine nature, then we become it. This is our natural heritage.*
* did you think I would say “natural potential”? 🙂
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