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Silence beyond mere thinking…



When i was very young, in grade school, i — one day, without motive — went into a profound silence beyond thinking and had the insight that doing so was a wholly different, wonderful form of consciousness.  “Form,” in the aforementioned sentence, is rather misleading because going beyond thinking is of no real form or pattern, otherwise it is just standard “thinking.”  Back then i didn’t name this “meditation” or “mindfulness” or anything whatsoever because such words were — at such a young age — foreign to me.  I did have the insight that this is a “very special” way of being; it continued to take place on occasion now and then for a long time.  It was only later, in college, when one began seriously enquiring into the mind and into spirituality, that words for this (as inadequate as they are) began to take place.

Fortunately, when one was in high school, one became interested in hypnosis and self-hypnosis.  I was wise enough to realize the dangers and limitations of self-hypnosis and saw that it tended to constrain and curb the mind, keeping it in a narrow and circumscribed area.  While away at college, when attending yoga meditation events given by people from Asia — who claimed to be gurus offering special mantras — i quickly realized that this (i.e., what they were offering) involved (and was) a subtle form of self-hypnosis, which i did not wish to have anything to do with.   Anything you repeat over and over again to “get spirituality” is not legitimate as far as i am concerned.  Repeating a series of words, no matter how “special” they are claimed to be, is just rather mechanical and is a mesmerizing waste of time.  Even repeating silence, within (and “as”) the mind, to “get spirituality,” is also likely a big waste of time.  Grasping and effort never lead to true spirituality.  It is like trying to catch the wind.

Thoughts are always symbolic, always fractional and piecemeal.  The intelligent mind uses thoughts often, efficiently, and prudently.  Thoughts, all thoughts, however, are merely tools.  They are limited patterns and symbols to solve problems and to help one to function well in life.   Merely remaining as the tools, accepting them as the essence of what one is (as so many do), however, would be foolish.  Going beyond these tools, not merely to “get spiritual,” not to “get or attain anything,” may be a sagacious, brilliant way of functioning.  Then silence is silence (not “for” something); it is beautifully what it is without ulterior motives or aspirations.  Then one does not fabricate mere outer or inner symbols into what one calls “spiritual”; deception is unlikely for a mind of true insight, true silence.  Thoughts, for so many of us, are like habitual repetitions… not, in actuality, so very different from what self-hypnosis entails.   The wise mind goes beyond this circumscribed (hemmed in) state of unbeing.   

Ready to launch (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Ready to launch (1) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Ready to launch (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

Ready to launch (2) Photo by Thomas Peace c. 2016

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My Blog primarily consists of close-up nature photos (that I've taken locally) combined with original holistic-truth oriented prose and/or poetry involving mindfulness/awareness. I love nature and I love understanding the whole (not merely the parts and the details). I'm a retired teacher of the multiply handicapped. I have a number of interesting hobbies, such as fossil collecting, sport-kite flying, 3D and 2D close-up photography, holography, and pets. Most of all, I am into holistic self-awareness, spontaneous insight, unconventional observation/direct perception, mindfulness, meditation, world peace, non-fragmentation, population control, vegetarianism, and green energy. To follow my unique Blog of "Nature Photos and Mindfulness Sayings" and for RSS feeds to my new posts, please access at: (On my regular Blog posting pages, for additional information and to follow, simply click on the "tack icon" at the upper right corner... or, on my profile page, you can click on the "Thomas Peace" icon.) Stay mindful, understanding, and caring!...

24 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. that was really interesting, Thomas and a wonderful butterfly, too. Have a nice day, regards Mitza


  2. I am still surprised when I come across people whose minds are continuously jumping from one thought to another without awareness. Like birds pecking on the ground.
    I recall being told off for “daydreaming” when I was young. I never understood the term, because I wasn’t thinking or dreaming of anything at all. I was just blank and still.
    The ability to quiet the mind comes more easily to some than others. Mantra can be a useful tool for some as a gateway beyond the thinking mind.
    Great photos too! xo


    • Yes, Val, too many just transition from one series of conceptual symbols to another (endlessly)… which is mere reaction (mere conditioning). So good that you were likely in emptiness and stillness!

      Yes, some people attain silence more easily than others. I respectfully disagree, however, that mantras can be a useful tool to go beyond the thinking mind for some. There are vastly different qualities of silence; a silence created by the mesmerizing influence of a mechanically repeated mantra is a very dead (cadaverous) kind of stillness. One may as well go on thinking endlessly! An effortless silence from an aware (non-robotic) mind is altogether a different thing; it is not a mere result from some concocted, pre-planned, calculating set of patterns.


  3. I agree, anything you repeat over and over again to “get spirituality” is not legitimate… Two great photos!


  4. I just read an article on a “silent retreat”, and it reminded me of some of your thoughts here. I enjoyed this post Tom. Very interesting.


  5. Great read Tom! It appears that whilst spirituality seems to be exponentially growing, there are many who done realise that base interactions in the everyday can be meditative or help us achieve a certain inner mindset. Also that repetitive patterns , whilst maybe having their place are, more often than not, constricting. A well written post on another approach to the experience.


  6. Thanks for visiting my blog, The Worldly Fool! Here’s a post I wrote a while back titled “How to See the Beauty in Everything.” I thought you might be interested in, seeing as how you capture such wonderful photos in nature.

    I see you’re a butterfly hunter like me. If you ever want to try to catch one in your hand, I’ve heard mashed banana attracts them. They like the moisture and the sweetness. My blog post talks a bit about how I found beauty on the muddy banks of the Kern River.


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