unexpected dialogue

“silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.”  ―  Rumi

“silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.” ― Rumi

They rang my doorbell when I did not expect anyone, but I immediately recognized Geoffrey. He had brought a friend with him. The weather was bad, with sleet and snow, and they wore thick shoes, which they politely removed when invited to enter. They both wore the same kind of cap, popular with rappers in the nineties, but now less fashionable.

I offered them a drink, but they were not thirsty. We all sat down in the yellow lounge, my former study, but now more like a playroom for the children.

Geoffrey started the conversation with ‘the end of the days’. His favourite subject. And I told it was apparent that since the beginning of the 20th century things had changed, and were constantly changing, not always for the better. The weather made me a bit pessimistic.
I compared society to a house, and sometimes when you want to build a third floor, there is no other solution but to make a new plan, clear the plot, put new foundations and build from scratch. They liked the idea, but said the problem was much deeper. The other guy spoke my local dialect, and we continued the conversation in it, making me more eloquent and assertive than usual. He mentioned greed and dishonesty.

Greed is based on fear, I said, the fear of not having enough. Not unlike envy, when you fear that you are less worthy than your neighbour or colleague, just because he shows a bigger car on his driveway, or talks about their holiday in Mauritius. And related to that is jealousy, fearing that you will lose something, most often to another, most often the object of love.

Geoffrey took his book and mentioned something from Jeremiah, but undisturbed I continued.

Fear is the opposite of love, even more so, the absence of it. Love is like light, darkness does not spread itself. Darkness is the absence of light and just like that fear is the absence of love. The ground state, that you feel when utterly alone, forsaken by friends, family and even God.

They liked the word God, they nodded, the friend was impressed. Geoffrey mentioned he had a different name for God in his book.

Then a silence came, a couple of seconds. A silence that took my attention. The attention to confirm what they always suspected but never felt through the words of their book. So I continued …

And the source of Love can only be God, the God you feel when Silence is there.
And then a longer silence came. It felt mystical.

Geoffrey had noticed the Buddha altar, my wife made above the television set, and mentioned that God had the plan to inform the chosen people, the twelve tribes, descendants of Jacob, and that by this source and only by this source we could know God. He also tried to dismiss Silence as Meditation – for some reason he was opposed to meditation or the associations the concept brought into his mind.

The other remained silent.

I continued …

Silence is available to all. It is being speechless when seeing something awesome. All people on earth, now and in the past, have always had the opportunity to be exposed to Silence. Silence is not meditation. It happens to you when you least expect it. It can be trained through meditation, but it can not be forced.

The ethics I find inside Buddhism are the same ethics I find in Catholicism. Besides, are the people to have inhabited the continent of Australia, long before time, un-chosen, because they never encountered the Christian or Jewish God before any missionary came there, late in the 19th century? Didn’t they have their own ethics unrelated to any book?

We agreed that you needed a written law for people. So he posited that there was a need for his book. But unfortunately his book was also derived from a book edited by the same Roman emperor as was my mother’s book. They changed some words in his book, although not many, and left out some less interesting chapters, … but basically the same book.

I reminded them that 70% of the population in my country is post conventional. They left the church because the words in the book were made of concrete, and couldn’t be interpreted according to time and place. People are smart enough to think for themselves. Most are consciously aware when they break the law, regardless of the book.

Moreover, God can never be a concept in your memory. You cannot contain God in a concept, even less in a word, never in a book, even if 100 authors and 1000 editors and 10000 translators have contributed to it over 3000 years.

God is beyond mind, and can only be experienced through Silence.

And that Silence is available to you here and now, and has been available throughout written and unwritten history as long as mankind is on earth. If my dog would be interested in Silence, he too could hear God right now.

Geoffrey became speechless. He had come the past 12 years, round Easter, to invite me to their annual celebration of the resurrection. He had once told me that if I did not belong to the 144000 chosen, I would not see the New Earth. He had well remembered that I’m usually home wednesday afternoon, but now he was really lucky to find me. I would only be home for about an hour.

Time was up, and now I started thinking of leaving, and thought of finding a quick and polite way to inform them. Another silence …


The friend broke the silence and said to me: “We think much alike.”
The Silence had bridged two completely foreign minds,
bridged two completely foreign worlds.

I gave some time to let his last surprising sentence reverberate my being.
Then I kindly informed them I had to collect the kids from school, and started wearing my shoes, so they did the same thing and moved towards the door. Geoffrey tried just once more about his book being the only real words of God. But I reminded him of the Silence, and that God was not to be found in words alone, in fact the labyrinth of words kept him hidden from our deepest self.

And with those words they left. And returned to their daily world of conventions. Conventions that were taken away from them by those who think too much about everything. Conventions needed when raising children to an adult, from the world of play over the world of conventions, to the world of discovery of the real truth behind the books.

Those who are afraid of discovery, should never be forced to discover.

Those who want to venture beyond conventions should never be restricted from discovering the Truth their own way.

Truth, whatever truth, is always beyond conventions.

13 thoughts on “unexpected dialogue

  1. Hmmm…this post has made me feel….silent….
    I wonder how this interaction looked through their eyes.

    Thanks very much for sticking by my little blog even when I am not around like I should be.


    • … they liked what I said so they must have down-translated it to their own conventional thinking, and found that it fits more or less, all be it lacking in essence …
      Love and Light

  2. Greed can be based on fear and it can also be based on a self perceived sense of entitlement; for example, “God gave my people [“the chosen people”] the Jews, the land of “Israel”.
    This delusional, greedy state of mind leads to violence and violating the rights of others.

        • If you think deep about it, you will see that it is about the fear of losing something (something dear or loved) that one thinks belongs to one.
          Envy is another kind of entitlement onto something that is not property yet.

          I seldom talk about ego. I used to in the past. Ego is an invention of freud, 120 years ago. I prefer to talk about mental activity (thought, opinion, reason-logic, concepts and memory), but it is not the same thing as ego. I see subconscious but I don’t know much about the subconscious except something called ‘the shadow’ (in the subconscious realms the ego from psychology books is really tricky). I see an emotional system, I see a body with sensory-motoric system. There is something that could be called intuition that seems to work free from the physical brain, but I have no idea how it works, and when it works and when not.
          I see that fear is in all those realms, but it is mostly active in the mental realms, amplifying itself through circular thinking.

          Arrogance is Pride. We are all social animals, but we are living in a competitive world and there is often a desire to have at least as much as your neighbor or my colleague. This desire seems to be an inhibitor to having enough.
          Keeping up appearances is a big part of that problem. And keeping up appearances is caused by pride.

          • The term: Ego, was fist used by the Buddha, Freud, is a copy-cat, and, he used it in its incorrect usage.

            “The Buddhist doctrine of egolessness seems to be a bit confusing to westerners. I think this is because there is some confusion as to what is meant by ego. Ego, in the Buddhist sense, is quite different from the Freudian ego. The Buddhist ego is a collection of mental events classified into five categories, called skandhas, loosely translated as bundles, or heaps.

            If we were to borrow a western expression, we could say that “in the beginning” things were going along quite well. At some point, however, there was a loss of confidence in the way things were going. There was a kind of primordial panic which produced confusion about what was happening. Rather than acknowledging this loss of confidence, there was an identification with the panic and confusion. Ego began to form. This is known as the first skandha, the skandha of form.

            After the identification with confusion, ego begins to explore how it feels about the formation of this experience. If we like the experience, we try to draw it in. If we dislike it, we try to push it away, or destroy it. If we feel neutral about it, we just ignore it. The way we feel about the experience is called the skandha of form; what we try to do about it is known as the skandha of impulse/perception.

            The next stage is to try to identify, or label the experience. If we can put it into a category, we can manipulate it better. Then we would have a whole bag of tricks to use on it. This is the skandha of concept.

            The final step in the birth of ego, is called the skandha of consciousness. Ego begins to churn thoughts and emotions around and around. This makes ego feel solid and real. The churning around and around is called samsara — literally, to whirl about. The way ego feels about its situation (skandha of feeling) determines which of the six realms of existence it creates for itself.”

            • Thank you for this interesting dialogue. I know close to nothing about buddhism. I remember the skandas though, and it seems I am now making my own system, freely, without interference of any conventional system. This is only useful for myself, as I will later, when I think I’m stuck, compare to see what I did wrong, and where possible use the terminology of an existing system.

              I remember that Jayarava wrote some articles on ego on his infamous blog http://jayarava.blogspot.be/2006/03/ego-in-spiritual-life.html

              It seems to me that consciousness wants to identify with something, be it emotional, body, mental or intuition, and that in our society the identification process always points to the mental realms.

              Indeed, what you call ego is always turning around and feeding itself with its own figments. But I wrote extensively about that in februari I think.

              I use strange language for my conceptual system of body/emo/mind where I like to call my mental system the ‘google-in-my-head’

              There is something identifying, but I don’t know what that is. I think it is self. But also, I don’t know what self is and had a dialogue this afternoon with dhammafootsteps (his evening) about self being consciousness, or whether there might be differences between the two. Again, terminology is a big problem.

              If I do not identify, I feel happy, even feel deep rolling laughter. It came often today.

              There is another function in my head, an attention seeker, that so far I have called the interrupt. But few people can tell me whether it exists in their system or not. This interrupt is a kind of operator of consciousness. It points the attention to where it is apparently needed. And I usually identify with that object of attention. Be it pain, emotion or thought. It also tells me that I should continue doing what I was supposed to do. It is close to will and desire, but also to intuition. When ‘google-in-my-head’ is silent, this interrupt is still there.

              The purpose of going my way ‘alone’ (but obviously not alone since I get more and more dialogues on the subject here on the blog, and with my friends) is not to be infected with other system’s concepts and expectations.

              I think our biggest enemy against seeing reality as it is is our ‘mental system’ being full with strong opinions from past experiences or interpretations. I try to bypass this by being unconventional.

            • From what I read on your blog and your comments on it, seems to me that you are practising: Rāja yoga.

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