With Silent Knowing

by Christopher Lovejoy on September 22, 2013

Consider this admission: “I sometimes say or do things that don’t make sense to me.”

We could interpret this expression in one of two ways: (1) “I’m at odds with myself” (negative); or (2) “I’m learning more and more about who and what I am” (affirmative). These interpretations are especially meaningful when we can view them from the perspective of a spiritual being in human form having an experience both human and divine.

The NDE literature is rich with accounts of those who have straddled this world and the next, making it possible for us to enrich our perspectives as spiritual beings in human form. With enough NDE study, we realize that the human animal and the spiritual being are distinct forms of life with their own personalities, setting many of us up for inconsistencies (not every human animal has a spirit, which in itself has many interesting implications).

With a potential for conflict, the human animal and the divine spirit have a basis for learning, growing, and evolving into cultivation and realization. Where the human animal must cope with the energy of the spirit, the divine spirit must cope with the energy of the animal. In light of this dynamic, the confession, “I sometimes say or do things that don’t make sense to me”, makes perfect sense.

Tao Te Ching, Verse 56

In my most recent post, In Perfect Harmony, I concluded that being a steady witness to spacious, silent knowing welcomes change, whereby usefulness arises naturally and effortlessly.

As Lao Tzu says, the way to do is to be: essentially, I remain a witness to spacious, silent knowing by relaxing my focus into the space and silence between the sights and the sounds.

Doing and having for the sake of having and doing is replaced by doing and having as expressions of Being, where “making it happen” is never forced and where “letting it be” is never doubted.

This popular verse provides vital clues on why this is so important:

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

Block all passages:
close your mouth, cordon off your senses;
blunt your sharpness, untie your knots;
soften your glare, settle your dust.
This is primal union, the secret embrace.

Those who know this secret
are not moved by attachment or aversion,
swayed by profit or loss,
nor touched by honor or disgrace.
They are beyond the cares of others
and yet come to hold
the dearest place in their hearts.

This is the highest state of humanity.

Edited slightly to enhance flow and to reflect more inclusive language

Ref: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life: Living the Wisdom of the Tao

“This is the highest state of humanity”: for a spiritual being in human form, this is good to know.

My Impressions of the Verse

This verse seems to overflow with metaphors and lessons on the importance of silent knowing.

What sense can we make of them?

Those who know do not talk.
Those who talk do not know.

In the oldest known translations of the Tao Te Ching, this portion of the verse is expressed this way: Those who know it do not speak of it. Those who speak of it do not know it.

Commentators assume that “it” refers to the Tao itself.

Perhaps.

I’ve crossed paths with a few rare souls in my lifetime who abide in silent knowing. If you ask them a question, they won’t answer, or if they do, they’ll take their time to answer, as if they have all the time in the world. They appear strangely aloof even as they emanate a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Block all passages:
close your mouth, cordon off your senses;
blunt your sharpness, untie your knots;
soften your glare, settle your dust.
This is primal union, the secret embrace.

These words seem rather unfair to the human animal, given their restrictive nature, but for the spiritual being in human form, they represent the means for helping the human animal to evolve.

This portion of the verse is also ironic, because those who abide in silent knowing would not be inclined to share these metaphorical clues to being a witness to spacious, silent knowing.

Indeed, it is said that Lao Tzu himself was reluctant to share his wisdom in written form.

Here’s what I’ve learned and experienced about the value of silent knowing: living in silent knowing is about living without an edge, of feeling soft, settled, and centered in the midst of activity.

With due respect for the human animal, and as a spiritual being, I cannot compel the blockage referenced in this verse; I can only manifest it from the inside out.

Those who know this secret
are not moved by attachment or aversion,
swayed by profit or loss,
nor touched by honor or disgrace.
They are beyond the cares of others
and yet come to hold
the dearest place in their hearts.

Somewhere between craving the approval of others and pretending not to care about the approval of others lies a place where we appreciate the approval of others without seeking it.

Somewhere between craving security and pretending not to care about security lies a place where we can appreciate security without seeking it out unconsciously or pushing it away.

This is the highest state of humanity.

Not being moved by attachment or aversion, not being swayed by profit or loss, not being touched by honor or disgrace, indicates the highest level of awareness for a spiritual being in human form. The human animal species also benefits from the awareness of spiritual beings.

The highest state of humanity presumes that all of the suppressed and repressed emotional charges from childhood, adolescence, and adulthood have been wholly integrated in time.

The two most vital capacities of being, attention and intention, are cleared to function and operate at peak efficiency in the present moment.

Implications for Personal Fulfillment

Is silent knowing compatible with the fulfillment of desire?

Or is silent knowing in a category of fulfillment all its own?

The answer is both.

When the human animal body expires, the spirit leaves the body and resumes its silent knowing without a body, and when a spirit inhabits a host human animal body, its silent knowing is joined with animal desires to experience and appreciate satisfaction and fulfillment.

Many spirits are still asleep inside their host animal bodies, too conformed and conditioned to know any better, but this is changing. Many spirits are waking up and remembering who they are and what they’re here to do and have from the perspective of being divine.

Truth be told, the awakening of silent knowing changes everything. For one thing, in remembering that we abide in one and the same Source Consciousness, souls awakened to unity inform spirits guided towards harmony, which inspire animal bodies to abide in peace.

In the past, royalty at its best gave a slowly evolving humanity glimpses of the enlightened animal body.

Today, as these glimpses become more frequent and less privileged, their shining example will have body, mind, heart, soul, and spirit emerge harmonious for everyone – not just a select few.

Next up: On Being a Leader (Living without Authoritarianism)

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This post is one of many in an ongoing series that began here.

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