Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Grape #21: Soul Silence
Imagine you had two hearts beating inside you, and each one took turns pumping your blood. Your doctor wouldn't know you had two hearts when she checked your heartbeat. She'd just assume your one and only heart was doing exactly what it was supposed to do. Not unless someone actually took a photograph of your insides would they realize your heart had a secret sibling.
Now, science has yet to find any evidence of a physical soul inside the brain or the heart, so if it is in there somewhere, it's very well disguised. Human experience, however, points to quite a bit more. People have seen things. They've heard things. They've received messages, proven to be true, from both living loved ones thousands of miles away, and from deceased friends and relatives, long since gone from the Earth. Impossibly true when looked at in terms of brain science, yes, but still part of a worldwide series of phenomena that cannot be explained.
So what does the soul require to do what it does best, to enlighten, teach, and inform? Well, it doesn't seem to require blood flow or synapses, nor any other bodily part or fluid, not even water. The soul, spiritual folks believe at least, requires something more esoteric, something more intangible, something that can't show up on a radar, EKG machine, or CAT scan. Much like microwaves and ultraviolet waves were for many years, the energy of soul is still completely untraceable.
One of the reasons soul is so hard to measure, track, and even locate at all is because it doesn't make any sounds or give off any discernible light. It can't be photographed, seemingly by its very nature. "How convenient," skeptics will say, and honestly, who can blame them? Soul is, by its very nature, a silent, invisible effect more than it is an actual thing. It is existential beyond that which can exist in the known universe, which makes it something no believer can ever hope to prove.
Stranger still, and worse news for the believers who hope to argue their cause, soul seems to thrive on silence. It comes alive when the mind and body are at their most silent, most calm, most still place (be still and know that I am God). Soul can easily be mistaken for unconscious brain activity in this place of greater consciousness, but it's not emanating from the brain at all. Instead, something new is born in the silence. When you quiet your brain and open yourself up to something greater, soul begins to glow with an invisible light within you.
Here's the problem soul believers face. If one of the world's most-respected scientists invited 25 of the world's other most-respected scientists to join him in a large conference room, shut off the lights and asked them to quiet their brains and wait for something to happen, they'd probably do exactly as he said, fully expecting something to appear in the room before them. But if a well-known preacher invited the same 25 scientists into the same room for the same task, many would balk at the idea.
Faith, it turns out, is something of a wormhole. You either step through it and embrace whatever might happen to you, or you dismiss it outright as just another silly theory.
And so there's this soul silence, this immeasurable place of trust that millions of people have leapt through. They've silenced their brains as much as possible, they've quieted their heartbeats as much as they safely can, and they've found another whole universe of experience. They've seen the light, quite literally, in a darkened room. They've heard from loved ones who died decades earlier. They've received startling truths and witnessed incredible scenes that are impossibly true within the known parameters of this universe. Some have even died and come back with stories of what they saw.
What have they done with this information, this amazing experience they can barely explain? They've shared it with whomever is willing to listen. They've shared it just as you would an amazing video on the internet. They've told all their loved ones what happened to them, and they keep on telling anyone else who will listen.
Some refuse to listen, though, and they learn that lesson very quickly. Tell a guy who's colorblind what color is, and they'll believe you, even though they don't understand, because most of the world's people see color. But tell an atheist about an inexplicably amazing spiritual experience you've had, and they won't believe you, because the same thing never happened to them. It's alright, though. Soul doesn't require anyone else's faith, just your own.
So how do you find this soul silence, this place where soul speaks to you? What do you have to do to make it happen?
Well, it's important to know that real soul silence cannot be worked. If you're working at it, you're allowing your brain to search for soul, which is the complete opposite of what you need to be doing. The brain needs to be turned off, not put to work. Soul work is staring at a cellphone waiting for it to ring, but soul silence is when you just appreciate the quiet of the non-ringing phone.
Finding the silent place where soul shines within you is easier and easier to do the more you practice this. It's like closing your eyes at night when staying in a new home, reminding yourself where the bathroom or the light switch is in case you have to get up in the dark. The more you close your eyes or still your senses and listen, really listen with 100% of your being, the more you will absolutely hear soul calling out for your attention. You can even do this at work, or in the kitchen while standing up preparing your dinner. The place and time don't matter, because soul doesn't live inside the boundaries of time and place anyway.
But you do have to first open yourself up to the possibility, otherwise you'll never understand what possibilities are waiting for you. A closed mind, like a closed door, cannot receive any visitors.