Silence – Breaking the inner monologue

The innermost center is in silence. Start from there. But that is very difficult. The difficulty arises for so many reasons. The first is that you have never known silence, so the word is meaningless really. You have heard the word, you know what it means, but you do not really know what the experience of silence is, so it connotes nothing. The word falls on our ears; we believe that we understand, but nothing is understood. The actual word is unknown to us as far as experience is concerned, only the sound of the word is known.

Mulla Nasrudin was practising silence in a mosque with three other friends. It was a religious day, and they had taken a vow to be silent for twenty-four hours. This was to be their prayer. “Silence is prayer”: they had heard this. Just five or ten minutes after they started, the first man said, “I wonder whether I have locked my house or not!” The second one said, “What are you doing? You have broken the silence and now you will have to start again!” The third one said, “You fool! You have also broken it.” Mulla Nasrudin was the fourth. He said, “Praise be to Allah! I am the only one who has not broken the silence yet.”

They have heard the word “silence”. They have heard that silence is prayer.

Why does this happen? When someone else was breaking the silence everyone was aware, but when someone was himself breaking it he was not aware.

Why? Because to them, to talk, to utter something, was breaking the silence.

Really, you never hear whatsoever you say. When someone else says it, you hear it. You are so accustomed to your own sound and voice, you do not know what you are saying, that you are talking.

Another difficulty is that you are constantly talking inside, so when you utter something outwardly there is no difference for you. Inwardly, you were already talking. Now you have uttered something outwardly, but as far as you are concerned nothing has changed, nothing has happened. But when someone else utters something, for you something new has happened. He was silent before and now he has uttered something. If you yourself are talking within, then when you utter something you will not be aware. Someone else may become aware that now you have broken silence.

You are aware of others because inwardly you are constantly talking with yourself.

A monologue, a continuous monologue is there. Awake or asleep, you are continuously talking. This continuous talk has become such a habit that you have not known any interval.

When you are not talking inwardly, when you are talking with others, you feel relieved, relaxed, because when you are talking with others you are relieved of the duty of talking to yourself. And that is such a boring thing – to talk with oneself. You already know what you are going to say, and still you have to continue.

No one else can be such a bore to you as you yourself are.

You have told a particular thing to yourself millions of times, and again and again you are telling it. You are not very inventive. You go on in circles saying the same thing again and again.

Watch! Watch for twenty-four hours and note down what you are saying to yourself. Then you will feel a weird feeling and strange, to see that you have been saying the same thing continuously all your life. Even in a single day, you go on repeating yourself. This has become just a habit, deep-rooted.

And when something becomes a deep-rooted habit, you are not aware of it. It becomes automatic. The robot part of your body takes it and continues it.

That is why silence is very difficult, because silence really means breaking the monologue within.

It is not a question of not talking to someone else. Silence, is not really concerned with others. Deep down it is concerned with your own monologue.

Not to talk with yourself is very difficult, so we will have to find out reasons why we talk with ourselves. Why do we go on talking with ourselves in the first place?

If you observe, then you can find out the cause. The cause is that nothing is complete in our lives; everything is incomplete.

You were eating, and then you were thinking about your office. So eating will not be satisfied; it will not be fulfilled; you will not feel content. It remains incomplete. You eat hastily. You fill your stomach and you run to your office. A process has remained incomplete.

Then when you are in your office, you begin to think about your wife, about your children, about a thousand things; then you are not in the office. The whole day, you have been there and still you were not there. The work in the office has remained incomplete, and now you have come to your house. Now you are thinking about your office. You are with your wife, but you are not – you are absent.

It is a rare phenomenon that a husband is present with his wife – rare! And it hurts much because the wife can feel it. The husband also feels that the wife is not present.

No one is present; everything is incomplete.

The mind has to continue the thing which you have left incomplete, and so many things are incomplete. So mind goes on continuously in circles, completing things that you have left incomplete.

Do you remember anything which you have completed? Do you have any moment in your life, any experience, which you can say is complete, total? If you have any experience which is complete, the mind will never go back to it. There is no need. There is no need! It is absolutely useless. The mind simply tries to complete everything. The mind has a tendency to complete. And this is necessary; otherwise life will be impossible.

So this constant monologue within is really a part of your wrong living – incomplete living. Nothing is finished, and you go on making new beginnings. Then the mind goes on becoming piled up with incomplete things. They will never be completed, but they will create a burden on the mind – a constant burden, a growing burden, an increasing burden – and that creates the monologue.

That is why the older you grow, the more the monologue grows with you. And old men begin to talk aloud. Really, the burden is so much that the control is lost. So look at old men. They will be sitting, and their legs will be working, and they will be talking, and they will be making gestures. What are they doing? You think they have gone crazy, that they are old and now they have become stupid.

No, that is not the case. They have had a long incomplete life, and now death is coming nearer and mind is in haste, trying to complete everything. And it seems impossible! So if you really want to break this monologue, which means silence, then try to complete everything that you are doing.

And do not start new things – you will go crazy. Finish whatsoever you are doing, all the very small things.

You are taking a bath: make it complete.

How to make it complete? Be there!

Your presence will do it. Be there, enjoy it, live it, feel it. Be sensitive to the water falling on you, be saturated. Come out of your bath doing it completely, totally. Otherwise the bath will follow you. It will become a shadow; it will go with you.

You are eating: then eat! Then forget everything! Then nothing exists in the world except your present act. Whatsoever you are doing, do it so completely so unhurriedly, so patiently, that the mind is saturated and becomes content. Only then leave it.

Three months of continuous awareness about doing your acts completely will give you some intervals in your monologue. Then, for the first time, you will become aware that this monologue was a by-product of incomplete living.

Buddha has used the term “right living”. He has shown an eight-fold path. In those eight principles, one is “right living”. Right living means total living; wrong living means incomplete living.

If you are angry, then be really angry. Be authentically angry; make it complete. Suffer it! There is no harm in suffering because suffering brings much wisdom. There is no harm in suffering because only through suffering does one transcend it. Suffer it! But be authentically angry.

What are you doing? You are angry and you are smiling. Now the anger will follow you. You can deceive the whole world, but you cannot deceive yourself, you cannot deceive your mind. The mind knows very well that the smile was false. Now anger will continue inside; that will become a monologue. Then whatsoever you have not said you will have to say within. Whatsoever you have not done you will imagine as done. Now you will create a dream. You will fight with your enemy, with the object of your anger. The mind is helping you in completing a certain thing.

But that, too, is impossible because you are doing other things. Even this can be helpful: close your room – you were not angry; the situation was such that you could not be – close your room and now be angry, but do not continue the monologue. Act it out. There is no necessity to act it out on someone: a pillow will do. Fight with it, act your anger out, express it, but let it be authentic, real.

Let it be real, and then you will feel a sudden relaxation inside. Then the monologue will drop, it will break. There will be an interval, a gap. That gap is silence.

So the first thing: break the monologue. And you can do it only if your living becomes a right, complete living. Never be incomplete. Release the inner madness. Not only one whole life: many whole lives that were incomplete is our situation.

When you love, you are doing a thousand things simultaneously. Then love becomes false. Now psychologists say that if you are loving someone and a thought crosses your mind, you have missed love. You are far away from your love object. There is a gap; the communion is broken. When two lovers are really in love, there is nothing else, simply love – nothing else! They are playing with each other’s bodies, absolutely absorbed in it. The whole world has dropped out of their consciousness; nothing is there. Then love is complete. And then they will not become sex maniacs. Then their minds will not be perverted minds.

Psychologists say that Don Juans like Byron, or others who go on changing their love objects, are really incapable of love. It is reported that Byron loved sixty women in his life, and his life was very short. And these are known cases. No one knows how many really. He was expelled from society because everyone became afraid. And he was such a beautiful person – but why this madness?

One may think that he was a great lover. That was not the case. He was not a lover at all!

Psychologists say he was not a lover at all. He was a maniac, just a perverted mind. He could not complete any love, and before any love could be consummated, completed, he had started another.

It is reported that he was forced to marry a girl. Of course, he was forced because he was not ready.

How could he marry? The next day he would run after another woman. After he was forced, he was coming out of the church – the bells were ringing and the guests were still there – he was coming down the steps with his wife’s hand in his hand, and suddenly he stopped; he let go of-the hand. A woman was crossing the street. His eyes followed the woman. Being an honest man in a way, he said to his wife, “Now you do not mean anything to me. That woman has become everything.”

He suffered, because love is a growth. Love is a long growth. It grows, and the more it grows, the deeper it goes. Butterfly minds cannot grow in love. That is impossible because the love never acquires roots. Before the love can acquire roots, they have moved. This type of mind will suffer, because it cannot love and it cannot get love. Nothing is ever completed; nothing ever becomes ripe. Then the whole life will just be lived in wound – incomplete wounds – and this happens in every field.

You have never loved, you have never been angry, you have never acted spontaneously. You have not really eaten, you have not slept totally, you have not done anything with your total being in it, with your total involvement in it. You have always been doing something else simultaneously.

Bokuju was asked, “What is your SADHANA? (spiritual practice)? What are you doing here in this lonely forest? What are you doing?” Bokuju said, “I have no sadhana; I have no method. When I feel hungry I eat; when I do not feel hungry I fast. When I feel that the hut has become cold, I move out into the sun. When the sun is too much to bear, I move into the shadows of the trees. But wherever I am, I am total. When I feel sleepy, I drop down into sleep. This is all I am doing here.”

The man said, “But this is nothing. Everyone is doing the same!”

Bokuju said, “If everyone were doing the same, the world would be quite a different place – silent, peaceful, loving. Then there would be no need to ask for Liberation. This very world would be a MOKSHA.”

No one is doing it. Bokuju’s answer seems very simple, but it is not. It is very arduous. It is difficult just to sleep and not dream, because dreaming means there has been an incomplete day. It is now being completed in the dream. Whatsoever you have left incomplete in the day will be completed in the dream. So if you have been a good man, if you have tried to be a good man and the goodness was not natural to you, not something spontaneous but something forced, then in the dream you will move to the other extreme. If you have been honest with effort, then in the dream you will deceive someone. Then everything is complete.

Now psychologists say that if dreaming stops you will go mad, because dreaming releases much nonsense which you have left incomplete. And unless it is completed, it cannot evaporate: it cannot evaporate from your being. They say dreaming is the daily catharsis. So if you have not slept well, you will feel uneasy. It is not because you have not slept, it is because you could not dream.

Now they say sleep is not so essential. A man can live without sleep for many days, even for months and years. They say it is not so necessary. Dreaming is necessary, and you cannot dream without sleep; that is why sleep is needed. So sleep is needed only for dreaming.

But why is dreaming needed? You wanted to kill someone and you have not killed: you will kill him in your dream. That will relax your mind. In the morning you will be fresh: you have killed. I am not saying to go and kill so that you will not need any dream. But remember this: if you want to kill someone, close your room, meditate on the killing, and consciously kill him. When I say “kill him”, I mean kill a pillow; make an effigy and kill it. That conscious effort, that conscious meditation, will give you much insight into yourself.

Remember one thing: make every moment complete. Live every moment as if there is no other moment to come. Then only will you complete it. Know that death can occur at any moment. This may be the last. Feel that “If I have to do something, I must do it here and now, COMPLETELY!”

– Osho – The Ultimate Alchemy, Volume 2 –