The Creative Power of the Silent Mind

For most people there is never a moment of silence in the mind. A constant churning of thoughts, ideas, desires, plans, wishes, concerns, feelings, emotions, perceptions, and needs keeps mental activity of one sort or another always going. We seem to actually fear the silence, so if the inner state seems to be slacking off, we seek out external excitement or sounds to fill the void that we fear. Many people live with a constant state of external sound surrounding them, whether it is a TV, or a radio station, or a podcast, whenever they cannot be in a situation that supplies sound such as sporting events or recreational venues including restaurants, bars or nightclubs. Most people do not even recognise the possibility, not to speak of the value, of a silent mind.

The practitioner of yoga will occasionally experience a state that provides a taste of silence and provides encouragement to develop this state. The silence seems to descend putting the mind into a state of calm awareness, a state of readiness, while at the same time, there is no agitation or any sense of deprivation. On the contrary, this silence seems to be full of possibilities and fills the seeker with a sense of a deep and abiding peace and focus.

We hear stories of the creative process of great artists or inventors. They do not struggle through an arduous mental process during their creative action. They report generally that they enter into what some call “the zone” where everything is suddenly clear, and seemingly effortless, where they can see what needs to be done and they can carry it out with no tension or disturbance in the clarity of their mood. In fact, they will frequently feel a sense of fulfillment, peace, and a wide receptivity that is based in the status of silence as their minds, emotions, vital desires and physical demands diminish or fall away under the impetus of the silent state of creative intuition.

Sri Aurobindo observes: “It is not possible for the spontaneous silent condition to last always at once but that is what must grow in one till there is a constant inner silence — a silence which cannot be disturbed by any outward activity or even by any attempt at attack or disturbance.”

“The condition you describe shows precisely the growth of this inner silence. It has to fix itself eventually as the basis of all spiritual experience and activity. It does not matter if one does not know what is going on within behind the silence. For there are two conditions in the yoga, one in which all is silent and there is no thought, feeling or movement even though one is acting outwardly as others do — another in which a new consciousness becomes active bringing knowledge, joy, love and other spiritual feelings and inner activities, but yet at the same time there is a fundamental silence or quietude. Both are necessary in the development of the inner being. The absolutely silent state, which is one of lightness, voidness and release, prepares the other and supports it when it comes.”

Sri Aurobindo, Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice, Chapter 5 Bases of Yoga, Quiet, Calm, Peace and Silence, pp. 118-122

3 thoughts on “The Creative Power of the Silent Mind

  1. Do you have any suggestions as to how to carry/maintain/reclaim this blissful state inner peace /silence into daily activities, as I observe that it is it gets lost /disappears in the hustle and bustle of everyday life ,thank you.

    • thanks for writing. It is a frequent experience that as we remain rooted in the ego consciousness as our primary standpoint (the normal human standpoint) we only experience a state of peace when we have stepped back from our daily life activities. There are a number of ways that Sri Aurobindo has noted through his writings to carry this state of peace throughout all activities. One of these ways is to develop and cultivate the separation of the “witness consciousness” that is unaffected by outer events, actions or reactions. Over time, as one shifts the standpoint to this witness consciousness, outer impacts affect one less and less. Another way is to continually refocus the awareness on the aspiration and over time let this effectuate a shift in focus. There are other suggestions which you can find in one of Sri Aurobindo’s books, such as Bases of Yoga or Integral Yoga: Sri Aurobindo’s Teaching and Method of Practice. Some people find that making time daily for meditation, and then extending that status as possible through one’s day, can be helpful, and some use techniques such as internal focus on various mantras or breathing, or combined mantra and breathing techniques, can help re-center one when the focus has been lost in the rush of daily actions. In the end, if the transition is being made to a standpoint outside the ego-consciousness, the divine standpoint, the day to day events are no longer troubling.

      • Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation, sir🙏. I practice japa sadhana and will try to carry it with Mindfulness/ mindful breathing into daily activities. ☺️

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