As thinking is an attribute of the mind, feeling an attribute of the emotions, SILENCE is an attribute of the Divine. Silence is one of the many attributes of the Divine including Peace, Light, Love, Delight, Power, Eternity, Infinity, Immortality, etc.

Silence is so difficult to attain through discipline that traditionally it is considered highly valuable and is equated with the Divine itself. Spiritually, when the soul in man comes to recognise the presence of the Divine, the resulting realisation is Silence. When the realisation is total, man merges in the Divine. But if it is partial, it is felt as Silence. Just as success, when it touches man is felt as happiness or excitement, when man comes into contact initially with the Divine, the result is Silence.

The mind is noisy, invaded by constant thoughts. The yogi by an effort of his will can push these running thoughts away or let them pass. When the current of thoughts stops, another part of the mind which is endowed with the ability of converting knowledge into practically usable thoughts becomes active. That part too can be quieted. Above that is the human reason which constructs conceptions that build up into ideas. Silence enters the mind as and when these activities recede. Current thoughts, conversion of knowledge into useful ideas and abstract thinking must all stop for the Silence to enter the mind. Beneath all these high faculties lies the chattering physical mind that never stops running, and uses the mouth to express itself.

What makes us think? Curiosity kindles our thoughts. A desire to understand a new phenomenon engages the thought. A young man suddenly faced with the prospect of self-employment will think, consider, and evaluate the opportunity. Till the mind fully understands, thinking does not stop. Every time something new present itself before the mind, the mind gets active. Its activity is thinking. This is positive thinking.

Sometimes the mind gets restless. During these times, one can find the mind constantly thinking, but this is a way the mind escapes from its restlessness. There are other times when the mind is under the strain of work. During these periods the mind seeks relaxation. Thinking is one avenue of relaxation for the mind.

At other times, there are thoughts or ideas that baffle the intellect. The mind feels challenged. The phenomenon before it is beyond its known capacity. At such times the mind swings into action and the result is intense thinking. There are other occasions when it is enjoyable to think, for example, when it is prestigious to a person to think about something, when it is expansive, when the thinking results in a certain knowledge, when it yields a mental tool, skill or capacity. During these occasions the mind refuses NOT to think. It thinks and thinks through the thought until it reaches the logical conclusion.

Spiritually, we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that knowledge and understanding lie inside us, while the mind seeks it outside through thinking. If something in us can accept the essential validity of that spiritual knowledge, thinking will be stopped, its spirit killed. After that we have the dead corpse of the thinking process left in us for removal.

For the intruding thoughts from outside, Sri Aurobindo and Mother have given a method to tackle each of them. Restlessness can be handled by calling in Peace. Relaxation can be sought in rest. If thinking is sometimes enjoyable, we can try to compare its intensity with Silence and thinking will pale in comparison. Even though on some occasions thinking yields a skill, Silence can give the entire capacity of which that skill is only a part. He who seeks a capacity from thinking but resorts to Silence will gain a creative capacity.

How to control Speech:

Man knows that he speaks in response to the demand of an outer occasion. But actually this makes up only a tiny part, about 1% of our entire speech. 90% of our speech arises out of our desire to relate to others. Speech is a medium of expressive human relationship. Man loves to hear his own voice. The urge to speak out a newly learnt idea, news, phrase, etc. constitutes maybe another 2% of our speech. All these are physical ways of expression and are easy for a mental man – a man centred in mind – to give up. For a physical man who thinks while he is doing something, or an emotional man whose thought process is mixed up with his sensations, it is difficult to give up these habits of speech.

If you put into the mind one piece of information, be it about blood circulation, rocket launching, computer software or the life of a famous singer, it will come out a few hundred times involuntarily until its newness wears out. Give one small success to a man at his office and it will loom large in his mind, being expressed umpteen times. Even if you give your body one more bit of energy than usual, the intensity of speaking will rise.

New knowledge, success, energy, impact on the nerves, etc. leads to endless speaking. When you like someone, you go on talking about him. Likewise, when you dislike someone your speech will be virulent against him. In both cases, when the surface energy is slightly in excess in people used to talking, it simply spills over. We label it excitement, expansiveness, new knowledge or fresh experience.

All this can come down or be wiped out when we are conscious of their origin and nature. Silence issues when the gaze is turned inward. Speech wells up when the eye looks outward. People who have an inferiority complex, shy people, people lacking social exposure will develop talking in the mind. Such talking will come down if they understand the reason. It can be rooted out only when the basic cause is removed.

There are hundreds of psychological types and each has a bearing on speech. The process to curb speech is essentially the same for all types. If we upgrade our speech habits by one more level, Silence will come in. For example, a man who is used to reading aloud can start silent reading. This will attract Silence.

Silence, if invoked through a discipline of controlling one’s speech, or through upgrading one’s speech habits, or through pushing away one’s thoughts, will be received into the mind as Light initially. Afterwards Silence itself will settle in the mind.

Silence can be realised if one sees the Divine in his inner being. When the Divine touches the mind, mind feels it as Light. The emotions feel it as Love, and the sensations feel it as Delight. The Divine comes down into us in two aspects, Consciousness and Force. The different parts of our being which respond, experience Silence, Light, Love, Delight and Power. When the Force aspect of the Divine is recognised, it is felt as Peace. When Peace and Silence combine, they can give a deeper dimension to the response.