The Non-verbal Contact with Life – a Spiritual Cleansing
Author: TC Gopalakrishnan
Most of our responses to life’s demands are through the verbal involvements sponsored by the intellect. That is how the conditioning of the mind sets in. The state of conditioned mind is fundamentally unspiritual because it cannot but be fanatical about the concepts it holds dear to itself. This means that the mind cannot be free to look and listen. The verbal structure of its thoughts controls our responses and, hence, they will always be limited to the verbal knowledge. Self-awareness can bring us to the understanding of these limitations and the slavery to our conditioning. That awareness itself is a movement of the non-verbal contact with oneself. This takes place due to the eagerness to go beyond the conditioned responses and understand what lies beyond the apparent. Consequently, the mind takes on a non-interfering witness attitude. There is a feeling of being unburdened from the tyranny of concepts and pet-conclusions. Thus, there is a spiritual cleansing and a natural movement towards the Truth.
The mind has a tendency to hold on to comforting words. With that inclination, it becomes emotionally attached to them in due course. Belief systems provide the mind with a lot of those clichés that give it a façade of security. As a result, people tend to repeat those clichés, like a gramophone record. That is how the mind gets cluttered up with verbalization and there is very little room for fresh air in the mental domain. Thus, religious conditioning too belongs to the verbal approach; people become emotionally attached to the associated concepts. Living with such a mental block is a burden that vitiates all spiritual blossoming of one’s true self. Freedom from conditioning is, obviously, necessary to bring in the purity of aloneness that is untouched by man-influenced systems. Once we understand the beauty of non-verbal contact with life, there is the willingness to let go of all concepts, no matter how exalted they may appear to be. There is an expansion of the mind’s elbow room and, hence, unconditional love and respect flow towards all living beings. A natural austerity sets in augmenting a truly spiritual life.
The natural question then is “How does the non-verbal contact with life begin?” That is an interesting quest which needs patience and an enquiring mind to discover the answer. An inwardly turned attention comes in naturally and, sooner or later, one senses the non-verbal contact already operating. The seeing of it is the functioning of it! The change shows up in our immediate relationships, moving from a robotic response to one with a human touch. There is a feeling of meeting life’s challenges squarely. The resulting peace of mind makes one live fully everyday without the residual effects of personal exchanges corroding the mind. The quality of sleep improves in the sense that the dreamless-sleep period increases and even the dreamful period gives no room for nightmares and the like. People who return from paranormal phenomena (such as the NDE and OBE) also report similar laidback attitudes towards life. They make it clear that the messages during the experience are communicated in a non-verbal way.
One problem here is that while the non-verbal state of mind is very rewarding spiritually, the verbal state is absolutely necessary for leading an efficient practical life. So, we wonder where the one stops and the other begins. The answer to this is experiential and so non-verbal! Once we begin to appreciate the intrinsic sacredness of the non-verbal state, we understand the rightful place that the verbal state has in our lives. Then we are able to switch between them effortlessly. From there, the quest moves into deeper spiritual grounds, ever sedulously taking us closer to Divinity. The journey of life becomes a holistic one.
The writer has listened to J. Krishnamurti during his talks in the Sixties and Seventies at the salubrious garden surroundings of the Vasanth Vihar inChennai,India. The mind was listening to the words during the early part of the talks. Then something strange usually happened – the mind became aware of a non-verbal essence emanating from the speaker and spreading out. The words were still heard but they became secondary. The wave of non-verbal essence from the speaker ushered in a mental quietude that seemed to cleanse everything. The esoteric value of non-verbal contact was made clear.
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