Sound is outside, silence is inside. Silence and inside are synonymous. If you move out, then you move in sound. If you move in, then you move in silence. And unless you reach a point where no sound is…or, as the Zen masters say, the soundless sound, or as the Hindu yogis have always called it, anahat nada, the uncreated, soundless sound. But one need not use these paradoxical words. It will be easy to understand with simple words. Outside is sound, inside is silence, soundlessness.
But Cage is right. If you are thinking in terms of objective silence, there is no possibility. There is no possibility if you are thinking of silence somewhere other than your inner center – then there is no possibility. But you can create a pseudo silence very easily. You can cultivate it, you can practice it.
For example, you can use any mantra. Constant repetition will give you a pseudo-feeling of silence, a false feeling of silence. Constant repetition of a mantra hypnotizes you. You begin to feel dull, your awareness is lost, you become more and more sleepy. And in that sleepiness you can feel that you have become silent. It is not silence. Silence means: mind dissolved through understanding. The more you understand your mind, the more you become aware about its mechanism and working, the more you are disidentified from your mind. It is identification which creates inner noise.
Anger is there in the mind: you are identified with it. You don’t see it as an object, anger there, somewhere outside you. You begin to feel angry, you begin to become one with it. Then you will miss your inner center, you have moved. Many thoughts are flowing in the mind continuously; the thought process is on. You are identified with each and every thought. Any thought is yours; you become one with it. Then you have moved.
Not only with thoughts do you become one but also with things still further from your center. Your house is not only your house: you have become your house. Your possessions are not just your possessions: you are identified with them. When your car is damaged, your inside is also damaged. When your house is on fire, you are also on fire. If all of your possessions are just taken away, you will die.
We are identified with our possessions, we are identified with our thoughts, we are identified with our emotions, we are identified with everything, except ourselves. Except the innermost center, we are identified with everything. Because of this identification, noise is created, conflict, a continuous anguish, tension.
It is bound to be there because you are not your house. There is a gap and you have forgotten the gap. You are not your wife, you are not your husband. There is a gap – you have forgotten the gap. You are not your thoughts, your anger, or your love, or your hatred. There is a gap. When you begin to feel this gap, you are always out, a witness, not involved in. Anything you are not involved in, you are outside it.