the unnameable is the eternally real

This piece was drafted a year ago as a second post-script to a post called why you don’t really want to awaken. The first post-script was called your original luminous brilliance. There, I attempted to clarify what I meant by “whose only beacon is this unlit light”.

This post revisits the preceding lines: … whose only muse is this nameless name.  Here’s an extract from the original post, the poem, and a few quotes from different traditions about this “nameless name”.

Who’d have thought that the estrangement and agony, the confusion and the sheer vertigo of dropping out of every version of a self would eventually be known as a blessing, a grace beyond words?  But words are all she has, so the song goes like this:

the blessing

emelle says

homeless
I found the unassailable
rock of refuge

penniless
I found the treasure
that can’t be bought or sold

exhausted and ill
I found healing
in that which is ever whole

purposeless
I found delight
in every uninvited chore

outcast
I found my tribe:
the wild wideawake
wanderlings
whose only muse
is this nameless name
and whose only beacon
is this unlit light

 ~

Tibetan 'Double Dorje' energetic diagram

The “nameless name” is sometimes referred to as “the Word” (“In the beginning was the Word …”) and “the unstruck sound” of  Vedic scriptures. Poets and mystics throughout the ages have coined their own terms for this enigmatic primordial sound, while acknowledging that it can never be named.

Contemporary science now demonstrates what ancient teachings have claimed for millenia – that all living things – including you and me, in fact all things in existence, are made up at the most essential level of vibrating, pulsing energy.

Mystics and meditators are familiar with this energy. I was introduced to its vibration when practicing yoga kriyas – it was referred to as The Holy Name. It manifested in my auditory awareness as a roar similar to the thrum of huge dynamos at a power plant. Eventually it was perceived as a humming vibration around and within all phenomena. And further along, it was realized that my perception of it could not be set out, separated, from it.

In other words, like the Unlit Light of Awareness, the primordial Nameless Name is the essence of what one actually IS. They go together like up and down.

I’m sure many readers are familiar with this “roar on the other side of silence”. (See below.) What seems more elusive, however, is the closing of the gap of separation between the subject (me) and the sound (conceived as an object). The roar and its perception are One. One vibration that has neither cause, beginning or end.

In the Sanskrit tradition, this sound is called “Anahata Nada,” the “Unstruck Sound.” Literally, this means “the sound that is not made by two things striking together.” Its familiar symbol is the OM or AUM Sanskrit seed syllable.

Sanskrit energetic diagram: OM

Lao Tzu:

The Tao that can be spoken of
is not the enduring and unchanging Tao.
The name that can be named
is not the enduring and unchanging name.

The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.

He who would rest in perfect peace
must know the nameless name
whence all things rise, and bloom and cease
returning whence they came.

The unnameable is the eternally real.

~ Lao Tzu (a selection of verses from The Tao Te Ching)

Kabir:

If you want the truth,
I’ll tell you the truth:
Listen to the secret sound,
the real sound,
which is inside you.

~ Kabir

Rumi:

I’ve been looking for a long, long time,
for this thing called love,
I’ve ridden comets across the sky,
and I’ve looked below and above.
Then one day I looked inside myself,
and this is what I found,
A golden sun residing there,
beaming forth God’s light and sound.

and

Seek the Sound that never ceases,
seek the sun that never sets.

~ Rumi

Shamas-i-Tabriz:

The universe was manifested out of the Divine Sound;
From It came into being the Light.

~ Shamas-i-Tabriz

Guru Nanak:

The Sound is inside us.
It is invisible.
Wherever I look I find it.

and

High above in the Lord’s mansion
ringeth the transcendental music.
But, alas, the unlucky hear Him not;
They are in deep slumber.

~ Guru Nanak

Ravi Shankar:

Our tradition teaches us that sound is God – Nada Brahma. That is, musical sound and the musical experience are steps to the realization of the self. We view music as a kind of spiritual discipline that raises one’s inner being to divine peacefulness and bliss. We are taught that one of the fundamental goals a Hindu works toward in his lifetime is a knowledge of the true meaning of the universe – its unchanging, eternal essence – and this is realized first by a complete knowledge of one’s self and one’s own nature. The highest aim of our music is to reveal the essence of the universe it reflects, and the ragas are among the means by which this essence can be apprehended. Thus, through music, one can reach God.

~ Ravi Shankar

George Eliot:

If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heartbeat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.

~ George Eliot, Middlemarch

(My emphasis in all quotes)


OM/AUM image credit: that buzz – an article about “the sound of silence” well worth reading at Sharanam Katherine Rand’s beautiful blog on the precipice.

memo from a madonna

Our Lady of Grace - c. 1470 Languedoc

She looks one way
He looks the other –
don’t tell me her far-seeing heart’s not
breaking

and yet

this is her memo to me:

if you can’t trust
that every sentient soul
is moving
– by Divine default –
along their unique lifeline
towards reclamation of all they
agreed to forget

namely
their unborn, changeless, true nature
(aka God)

how can you trust your own
crazy convoluted life-path?

and with that trust intact
how can you speak of tragedy
and evil and every form of
unspeakable suffering
without drowning
in
all-encompassing
compassion?

~

Image:  Our Lady of Grace (Notre Dame de Grasse) c. 1470.
Languedoc 112 x 75 x 38 cm.
Musée des Augustins, Toulouse

a b i d e … r e s t … m e l t

What if there was a world you could slip into without effort of any kind, a world where you had no name, no status, no history?  A world where you didn’t have to know anything about striving to be richer, healthier, more creative, more attractive, more lovable? Imagine a world where the words enlightenment, awakening, freedom, salvation, were yet to be thought-up.  What if that world was real and ever-available, no conditions ever attached?

And what if that world was the Real World, for it was – unlike the dream world one normally inhabits – ever-present and changeless?  What if that world – which would be more accurately called ‘world-ing’ – was one’s natural home and substance?  What if IT was closer, more intimate than anything one could conceive?

Wouldn’t that change everything?

IT is here, right now, in just this.  Just this everythingness and whateverness.

Abide.  Rest.  Melt.

The Oneness we fondly call Beloved is waiting: bouquets in one hand, a big broom in the other.  You will be taken, you will be loved, you will be cleansed and re-formatted.  And you will eventually  – it might take a while, depending on the extent of your self-delusion – find it impossible to return to the old world.  In fact it ceases to exist for you; it has been absorbed by the new View.

What if all it took was a backing away from beliefs of any kind – even poetic expressions like the previous paragraph?  What if thoughts of any kind were the only obstacle to Truth?

Wouldn’t you want to find out for yourself?

You are warmly invited.  Admittance is free … but costs everything.

.

this is for beautiful, brilliant, You

Light

 

Has anyone taken the time to tell you,

this morning, today,

Sunday the 9th of August 2009,

that you are immaculate perfection on feet?

Has anyone assured you

that regardless of what you are reading in the Sunday Papers,

you are unable to be threatened or affected?

That nothing, ever,

can change the changeless awareness that is scanning the news,

sipping coffee, munching on Sunday breakfast treats?

Has anyone reminded you yet,

that regardless of your dubious escapades last night,

your killer hangover, your domestic discontent,

your mind-crazy morning meditation,

the brilliant beingness that you are is unaffected?

No?

Then this is for you:

You are beautiful, brilliant, brilliance,

shining on,

shining on,

regardless.

 

– miriam louisa