By James Bean
Copyright October 2004
THE SOUND CURRENT IN BUDDHIST MYSTICISM
As you calm down, you can experience the Sound of silence in the mind. You hear it as a kind of high frequency Sound, a ringing Sound that’s always there. It is just normally never noticed. Now when you begin to hear that Sound of silence, it’s a sign of emptiness – of silence of the mind. It’s something you can always turn to. As you concentrate on it and turn to it, it can make you quite peaceful and blissful. Meditating on that, you have a way of letting the conditions of the mind cease without suppressing them with another condition. Otherwise you just end up putting one condition over another. (Ajahn Sumedho, a bhikkhu of the Theravada school of Buddhism, from The Sound of Silence)
INNER SPIRITUAL HEARING AND SEEING IN BAHAI [AND SUFI] TEACHINGS
The following quote, which teaches us about acquiring ‘spiritual eyes’ is taken from The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Vol. 2, p.31 by Adib Taherzadeh:
Bahá’u’lláh teaches [quoting from] the Mathnavi [written by Rumi, the Sufi poet] that: ‘man will not be able to receive the Light of God in this day unless he acquires a new Eye. Eyes which are fixed on the things of this world can never see the glory of His Revelation, and ears which are tuned to the voices of the ungodly cannot hear the Melodies of the Kingdom.’ By ‘new eyes’ and ‘new ears’ He means spiritual eyes and spiritual ears. He states that since the Eye of the Spirit receives its Light from God it is shameful to let it turn to a stranger, and re-affirms that the purpose of God in creating the inner Eye was that man might behold the beauty of His Manifestation in this world.
In ‘The Hidden Words’, Persian #11, Bahá’u’lláh reveals:
O Son Of Dust!
Blind thine eyes, that thou mayest behold My beauty; stop thine ears, that thou mayest hearken unto the sweet Melody of My Voice; empty thyself of all learning, that thou mayest partake of My knowledge; and sanctify thyself from riches, that thou mayest obtain a lasting share from the ocean of My eternal wealth. Blind thine eyes, that is, to all save My beauty; stop thine ears to all save My Word; empty thyself of all learning save the knowledge of Me; that with a clear vision, a pure heart and an attentive Ear thou mayest enter the court of My holiness.
THE SOUND CURRENT – THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM IN CHRISTIANITY
Experiences with the Sound Current – people hearing heavenly Music -are also recorded in the Bible and other spiritual writings of the West. In the Book of Revelation we find this: “And I heard a Sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters, and like a peal of thunder. After that, the Sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.” (from Revelation, 14)
Hildegard of Bingen, the German Mystic, wrote: “To the Trinity be praise! God is Music, God is Life that nurtures every creature in its kind.” She also said:
“The soul is kissed by God in its innermost regions.
With interior yearning, grace and blessing are bestowed.
It is a yearning to take on God’s gentle yoke,
It is a yearning to give one’s self to God’s way.”
“The marvels of God are not brought forth from one’s self.
Rather, it is more like a Chord, a Sound that is played.
The tone does not come out of the chord itself, but rather,
through the touch of the Musician.
I am, of course, the lyre and harp of God’s kindness!”
The English Mystic Richard Rolle reflects in “The Fire of Love:”
When Christ wishes it ….. he receives within himself the Song sent into him from the heavens, and his meditation is changed into Melody, and his spirit lingers in marvelous Harmony.
The great Masters teach that the Sound of God is within everyone – this Holy Stream of Sound is within every living thing. This is why those given to exploring inner space through meditation, be they from the East or the West, have discovered this Reality playing within themselves.