By Suryc Nayr
The Voice of the Silence – Some Insights into the Question of SELF
“Saith the Great Law: “In order to become the KNOWER of ALL SELF, thou hast first of SELF to be the knower”. To reach the knowledge of that SELF, thou has to give up Self to Non-Self, Being to Non-Being, and then thou canst repose between the wings of the Great Bird. Aye, sweet is rest between the wings of that which is not born, nor dies, but is the AUM through eternal ages.” Voice of the Silence, Pg: 5, H.P.B., The Theosophical Company.
The Voice of the Silence is probably one of the most esoteric treatises of instructions for aspirants searching for key points to gain occult insights related to the Path of Practice and check one’s progress on the Path of Return. But the Voice of the Silence is very enigmatic. It is not easy to understand. It needs to be studied over and over again in conjunction with one’s discipline of meditation. It is very poetic, engineered to help awaken deeper feelings of effort in the pursuit of the Dharma in the aspiring disciple. A good time to read it is just before you meditate. Read a few pages at a time each night as part of your discipline. Read slowly, with feeling and visualize as you read. This takes more effort and time as it is a more conscious effort. Make it feel like a meditation.
The above quote is very interesting and also instructional. The word ‘Self’ is used five times in this quote, sometime fully capitalized and other times not. Why? What is the ALL SELF? This points to that Great Life that gives life and light to all in creation. This is the correct meaning of ‘Atma’ or you can use ‘paramatman’, the Supreme Self as Atma implies that there is nothing but Self in the universe, all is an expression of the ONE GREATER SELF, the Logos, Ishvara, the ONE in whom we live and move. The next SELF is fully capitalized and refers to our Higher Self or Soul. You cannot get to the ALL SELF without first becoming a soul-infused personality. The Soul on its own plane, the Jiva-atma, the vijnana maya kosha is vehicle for a ray of that ALL SELF that has been individualized, separated, and becomes the true SELF. But before you can become that Soul/SELF you have to give up all the worldly “I’s” that go to make up the personal psychology of the personality. The above quote really reaches very deep into the meaning of the spiritual idiom, “Know thyself”. As you can see there is a progression in attaining the knowledge of the Self. This is a key point. The occult constitution of man is composed of several selves. We are not just one self. The One Life and Light, the Divine Spark is focused in our heart chakra but it has been filtered down through several planes of matter and is thus hidden within the folds of dense matter in our manifested selves, the personality. It is the work of the aspirant to first find, then experience and finally uncovers, or liberates this spark from matter.
Step 1) Learn how your personality functions. Study the activity of the 5 Centres; Intellectual, Emotional, Moving, Instinctive, and Sex. As the observer study them and realize that you are not these centers but they are used to interact with the environment through the 5 senses.
Step 2) Daily observe your personality activity. Next you have to transfer the sense of “I” from the observer to the Essential Nature, the Soul in-incarnation centred in the heart chakra. This is accomplished through meditation by detaching from the 5 Centres and 5 Senses, accomplishing “Pratyahara” as outlined in the Yoga Sutras. This creates alignment with the SOUL on its own plane. This requires a determined focused daily discipline, perseverance, and wholesomeness of thought. The feeling of this independent individuality, this one “I”, this Essential nature increases as the ability to detach grows.
Step 3) Realize the sense of “I am” as a separate identity within the matrix of your psychological self. When you attain this feeling and you can centre your awareness there, you will see the constant flow of thoughts, just as clouds constantly drift by over the horizon. Your intuition and inner contacts with greater intelligences will become a reality. You will have entered the real occult world. Then you’re beginning to understand the meaning to give Self to Non-Self. You now can SEE what it is you’re really detaching from as your “viveka” or spiritual discrimination is awakening. You are beginning to let go of the lower self, giving up your ‘lunar self’.
Step 4) Your foot has now touched the stream of enlightenment, you are now “Strotapadi”. You have been searching for the path, then found the path, now you’re becoming the Path. There is still a long, long way to go but you now know for sure that you are not alone and those greater forces are there to help uplift, guide, and transform. The Path is found. You can now ‘split your awareness’ between the peace and stillness of the inner world of your centre of awareness to the outer world of constant change. As you look around and see your brothers struggling, a deeper compassion and tolerance blooms within your being. A feeling of humility awakens as you realize your place as an aspiring disciple within the Ashrams of the Masters of Wisdom.