You know where that comes from, right? The ‘speak now or forever hold your peace’ thing? The tense moment in a movie wedding where the bride is standing at the altar with the wrong guy and the hero comes in just at the very moment the priest is saying this? What he is actually saying is ‘keep schtum’, or, more politely, ‘remain silent’. I just like the idea of ‘holding your peace’. It makes it look and feel like something you can have and hold, something separate from you that can get away from you if you’re not careful.
The latter is true, but not the former. This peace we’re talking about is not your ordinary, run-of-the-mill peace, nothing to do with the quiet of an English country evening or a still, sparkling morning on some remote Pacific island – although both those things, and many others, give you a taste of what you’re looking for. This is the peace that passeth all understanding (see ‘Peace of mind. A piece of my mind’), because you can’t use your understanding to get to it, in the sense that mental or intellectual activity – ‘cerebration’ – will not lead you there. You can’t think it, you have to unthink it. In that sense yes, it is a result of an intellectual process – the process that says, OK, now I have to stop thinking. You can’t force yourself to do this, of course; you can only let it happen. Only when we become silent, listen to our breathing as a way of opening the door into inner space, and focus on our Self as Soul, the pinpoint of conscient energy that is so small it has location (the centre of the forehead) but no tangible form, do we get to experience the peace that is the energy that is the essential ‘I’.
Which is a really interesting one, and again one that you can’t cerebrate into experience. You can cerebrate after the experience, which is what we’re doing now; trying to express, trying to understand. But it passeth all understanding, remember? If peace is energy, and energy flows, how is that then stillness? This is the nub and the crux, the place to point your mind so that it gets kicked out of gear, like the Zen kõan that asks you to consider the sound of one hand clapping. It’s your Power Seed for today’s Magic Minute. You are Peace; you are Energy; You the Soul power all your mental, cerebral and intellectual activity (much of which is un-conscient, unknowing), but the true, essential You is stillness living in stillness. This is why this Peace is so Powerful (again see ‘Peace of mind. A piece of my mind’), because it is pure energy. You are pure, metaphysical energy, sending out a vibration but perfectly still.
I can bang on about this for ever, keep trying to find new ways to express it (which I love doing, because it is such a beautiful idea and a beautiful experience), but the only way you’ll really get it is by doing it. Call it auto-suggestion if you like – that’s another way of describing meditation – but if it works, why not. Harness your mind, which by now you are getting used to thinking of as a useful but on the whole wayward and wilful component of your consciousness, to this end. Make it think: ‘I am a Soul. I am not this body. I live in the body, up here in the forehead, but my true nature is something else. I can disconnect, withdraw the outgoing control mechanisms that govern my mind and body – all of which are energy that consumes my essential energy – and consolidate. As I do that, the deeper I go inside my own awareness of my awareness, the more my mind shuts down and I am left with my Self as the light that burns eternally, silently, an infinite stillness in infinite stillness.’ Just focus on that for your 60 seconds. Or 60 minutes, if you prefer. And now tell me that doesn’t have an effect on your everyday actions. Hold your peace? This is more like your peace holding you, isn’t it?