Silence cannot make a master out of a fool.
But he who weighs only purity in his scales,
who seeks the nature of the two worlds,
he is a master.
He harms no living thing.
And yet it is not good conduct
that helps you upon the way,
nor ritual, nor book learning,
nor withdrawal into the self,
nor deep meditation.
None of these confers mastery or joy.
Rely on nothing
until you want nothing.
Silence has been praised down the ages as one of the most important factors for inner transformation; but silence alone is neither enough nor beneficial. Silence alone can be tremendously harmful. Silence alone is a negative state, it can make you more dead than you are. It can destroy the joy of inner being, it can be an obstruction for the growth of a celebrating soul.
Silence is beautiful only if it is rooted in awareness; if it is not rooted in awareness, then it is utterly empty. With awareness silence has a depth, a plenitude, a fulfillment, a contentment, an overflowing joy. With awareness silence blooms, releases great fragrance; without awareness the silence is utterly empty and dark, dismal, sad.
Silence can be either of the cemetery or of a sunrise. Silence can be of a bird on the wing, or it can be that of a corpse. Both are silences, but diametrically opposite. The silence of a corpse has to be avoided, the silence of a flower has to be imbibed. The silence of the flower will make you a flower, the silence of the corpse will make you a corpse. Both look the same from the outside. Don’t be deceived by appearances – always look for the essential, for the very core.
Two things can appear similar from the outside and may be just the opposite of each other. The seeker has to be very cautious, very conscious on each step; because the false is easy to attain. It is very easy to become dead, and very difficult to be overflowing with life.
That’s why millions of monks and nuns have followed a false path – they have become silent. You can go to the monasteries and you will find people who are silent, but their silence has the taste of death. Their silence is not the silence of a song, of a dance; their silence is not divine. In fact they have fallen rather than risen higher, soaring upwards. They have fallen so much, they have become just dead rocks. Their silence has not been a transformation, it has been a suicide. And because it has not been a soaring up high, you will find all kinds of foolishnesses still in it, waiting for their opportunity, for their moment to explode.