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Chapter 27: Soundlessness, Soundfulness and Total Awareness

Try it with some outer sound like a gong or a bell or anything, then close your eyes. Utter any sound inside - Aum or anything - and then do the same experiment with it. It is difficult; that is why we do it outwardly first. When you can do it outwardly, then you will be able to do it inwardly. Then do it. Wait for the moment when the mind is vacant, then create the sound inside. Feel it, move with it, go with it, until it disappears completely.

Until you can do this. it will take time. A few months will be needed, at least three months. In these three months, you will become more and more alert. The pre-sound state and the after-sound state have to be watched. Nothing is to be missed. Once you become so alert that you can watch the beginning and the end of a sound, through this process you will have become a totally different person.

Sometimes this looks very absurd. Such simple techniques, how can they change you? Everyone is so disturbed, in anguish, and these methods seem so simple. They seem like tricks. If you go to Krishnamurti and tell him that this is the method, he will say, “This is a mental trick. Do not be tricked by it. Forget it, throw it!”

It looks so. Obviously, it looks like a trick. How can you be transformed through such simple things? But you do not know - they are not simple. When you do them, then you know that they are very arduous. If you just hear me telling about them, they are simple. If I tell you, “This is poison and if you take one drop of it you will die,” if you do not know anything about poison you will say, “What are you talking about? Just a drop of this liquid, and a person like me who is healthy, strong, will die?” If you do not know anything about poison, then only can you say this. If you know something about it, you cannot say this.

This seems to be very simple: intoning a sound and then becoming aware in the beginning and in the end. But awareness is very difficult, and when you try it then you will know that it is not child’s play. You are not aware - and when you try it, for the first time you will know that you have been asleep your whole life. Right now you think you are already aware. Try this. With any small thing, try this.

Tell yourself that “I will be awake, alert, for ten breaths,” and then count the breaths. “For ten breaths only,” tell yourself, “I will remain alert. And I will count from one to ten, the incoming breath, the outgoing, the incoming, the outgoing. I will remain alert.”

You will miss. Two or three, and you will have moved somewhere else. Then suddenly you will become aware that “I have missed. I am not counting the breaths.” Or you can count, but when you have counted to ten you will become aware that “I was counting in my sleep. I was not alert.”

Alertness is one of the most difficult things. Do not think that the methods are simple. Whatsoever the technique, alertness is the thing to be attained. All else is just a help.

And you can devise your own methods. But remember only one thing: alertness must be there. You can do anything in sleep; then there is no problem. The problem arises only when it is a condition to do it alertly.