One moment of complete aliveness without any word. Without division into “me” and “that.” It cannot be described, cannot be put into words. What about the fear that may come up so quickly, the fear of silence? Why does fear of silence arise? What is it?

A moment of being here without that solid sense of “me” may quickly turn into a threat the moment thinking about it arises. Sometimes it feels like the fear or dying, sometimes the fear or losing all that one holds dear, all that one is attached to or invested in. A warning light seems to start revolving in the brain, saying, “Watch out! Don’t go further! This is dangerous ground!” Dangerous to what? To whom?

Fear of Silence

Am I jumping ahead? Let’s just stay with the fear, the scariness, of not being here as solid “me,” of being no one, of having no future … What comes up? Will we immediately be caught up in the content of these
thoughts and the sensations and emotions that arise throughout the body? Imagined danger triggers the same responses as real danger, doesn’t it?

Can there be a pause in this vast stream of conditioned thinking and reacting – a quiet inward looking and listening without knowing, a pause that may disengage the momentum of the past while shedding light on it? Why do we trust our fantasy of what will be there if there is no holding on to this thought/image of “me”? “I’ll be a dehumanized robot,” we may think. But actually, isn’t that what we are now, with all “me-ness” and identification? Aren’t we forever reacting automatically, protecting and
defending something but hurting nonetheless?

So when there’s a moment of no sense of “me,” why not leave it alone completely, come, what may? When a fearful thought or feeling arises in an instant, it can also be gone in an instant, even before it has triggered the thirty thousand chemicals throughout the body. There is just a vulnerable being exposed, alone, without knowing, without a word. Maybe it’s a moment of dying to all the impulses to know, to protect, to maintain, to continue. Not knowing is dying. And at the same time being wholly

Toni Packer
The Light of Discover