Chapter 27: You Are Sufficient unto Yourself
In the last two years, while in deep meditation I have been hearing a sound. It’s a sort of ocean sound, like distant ocean waves. I call this noise my tone and enjoy it as a sign of the beginning of silence. But the other night I heard you say that we can hear our blood circulating. Is this what I am hearing? Can you give me any insights other than just watching, which is what I have been doing when I hear this sound?
It is not the sound of your blood circulating. The sound of your blood circulating can be heard only in an absolutely soundproof room; there is no other way to hear it.
The sound that you are hearing is far more significant. It is the sound which the ancients in the East have called the sound of the universe, the sound of existence itself. They have named it omkar. It is the sound of Om, and if you listen carefully you will find exactly the word Om repeated again and again in the sound. Om is not part of any alphabet - it is the only word in the world which does not belong to any alphabet - neither does it mean anything. It simply resembles the sound of existence. When you are utterly silent you can hear it.
The ancient seers and modern physics are very close on this point. Modern physics thinks that existence consists of electricity and sound is also only a certain wave of electricity. The mystics in ancient times thought just the other way around. They thought that sound is the basic constituent of existence and electricity is a certain wave of sound.
Hence, in the East there has been a certain music which can create fire. You can keep unlit lamps around the musician and once he plays a particular raga, some particular music, a moment comes when all the unlit lamps suddenly flare up. Fire can be created by sound; hence the mystics thought that electricity, fire or anything is nothing but different variations of sound waves.
Now, both agree in a way. One emphasizes electricity, another emphasizes sound, but deep down there is no difference - except that the mystic’s idea of sound being the foundation of existence is a more poetic conception, because then music becomes of tremendous importance, singing becomes of tremendous importance, dancing becomes sacred.
To accept electricity as the foundation is a very prosaic idea, not very poetic. You cannot conceive of music, song, dance, or rejoicing being made of electricity. So whatever the case may be, I still prefer the mystic’s, the poet’s approach to reality. He may not be so arithmetical, he may not be so scientific, but he is more poetic, more musical, more artistic, more creative. And to me, poetry is a higher value than science, music is a higher value than mathematics, because to me ecstasy is the source and the ultimate goal of life.