This is the whole circle. The first scientists call the big bang theory because there was so much explosion and so much noise. It was a big bang. Just a moment before everything was silent, there was no noise, no sound, and after one moment, when the existence exploded, there was so much sound and so much noise. All sorts of noises started.
What happens when the explosion disappears into an implosion? The soundless sound. Now there is no longer any noise. Again everything is silent. This is what Zen calls the sound of one hand clapping. This is what Hindus have called anahat nad, omkar – the soundless sound.
The first Hindus have called nadavisphot – big bang, the sound exploded. And the second is again when the sound moves into silence; the story is complete. Science is still clinging to the half story; the other half is missing. And one who watches this whole play – from sushupti, dark night of the soul, to dream, and from dream to awareness – the one who watches it all is the witness. The fourth state we call turiya – the one who witnesses all. That one known, you become a buddha; that one known, experienced, you become arhat – you have attained.
But the whole point to be understood is this: that all the time, when you are asleep or dreaming or awake, you are that. Sometimes not aware, sometimes aware – that is the only difference – but your nature remains the same.
T.S. Eliot has written a few beautiful lines:
We shall not cease from exploration
and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started
and know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
when the last of earth left to discover
is that which was the beginning;
at the source of the longest river
the voice of the hidden waterfall
and the children in the apple-tree
not known, because not looked for
but heard, half heard, in the stillness
between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always –
a condition of complete simplicity
costing not less than everything….
“…A condition of complete simplicity” – utter simplicity – “costing not less than everything….” This is the meaning of Buddha’s renunciation, his path of via negativa. You have to come to the point from where you started. You have to know that which you are already. You have to achieve that which is already achieved. You have to achieve that which, in the nature of things, cannot be lost; there is no way to lose contact with it. At the most we can become unconscious about it.
Religion means becoming conscious of that which you are. It is not a search for something new, it is just an effort to know that which has always been there, is eternal. From the beginningless beginning to the endless end it is always there.