The Sacred Hub
by Robert Rabbin
One way to enter the sacred hub
is through inquiry. Inquiry is simply
the starting place from which to go
deeper into the unplumbed depths
of inner awareness. Questions that pertain to life should not be
answered immediately, they
should not be assaulted with what
is already known. Rather, these
questions should provoke careful
and deep reflection about the question and about the questioner. This spiraling inquiry leads us beneath the conditioned mind to awareness itself. The Indian poet Kabir once wrote, "I reached the place inside me where the world is breathing." It is into this billowing awareness that inquiry takes us.
The mind wants to understand, to grasp some specific meaning. Inquiry, however, does not provide this. Inquiry sabotages the mind and its need for security and certainty. Inquiry confounds the mind's patterns to allow the awareness behind the mind to reveal itself.
Through inquiry we seek to awaken a capacity of self-knowledge which is deeper than thought and prior to the impressions of acquired knowledge. What we already know is of the past, a mote against new and fresh insight. Insight in the present is not conditioned by the past. Insight in the present is being, and it is this being, free and unconditioned by acquired knowledge, that inquiry awakens and arouses. The intelligence of our being is an innate capacity. It is wisdom. In arousing our innate wisdom, we can clarify ourselves and our actions. We can illuminate the very causes of conflict, doubt, and fear within us. This path of inquiry is a direct way to realize our essential nature. When we discover our essential nature, when we recognize who we are—through deep and persistent inquiry—we become free.
I have found, as perhaps you have, that there is a tremendous "knowing" that leaps into the mind when it is silent, when it has given up trying to understand, when all of its false imaginings and projections have been exposed. Inquiry take us into this depth of silence, and then the silence reveals itself like primordial breathing. This kind of knowing is transmitted to us as pure revelation, unformed by words and images. It is like a potent dye released in an ocean that instantly permeates every drop. When we open ourselves to this deep unconditioned knowing, we too are completely permeated.
Entering this inner silence unifies and makes whole what had seemed piecemeal and fragmented. In this wholeness, we experience a oneness of being in which the tension of feeling separate from life disappears, in which internal and external conflicts are resolved in an encompassing clarity. I call this silent intelligence, this wholeness, the Self. The Self is not a thing, like a brick, nor is it an abstraction, like patriotism. The Self is pure primordial awareness: the supremely intelligent current of life that enlivens and animates everything in existence. It is a fountain of insight and clarity, a presence that is the fragrance of reality. The guidance of the Self is what we all turn to in times of need. The Self is the sacred hub of the universe out of which everything else appears, and around which everything revolves.
We have all experienced intimations of the Self and we have all experienced its cleansing effect on the confusion, fear, and doubt of the mind. The Self is outside of time, outside of convention, outside of expectation, outside of self-concept. It is an illumination in which everything merges into an ineffable oneness. It is a rapture of self-transcendence. This is the place in which the whole world breathes, and it is the place that is aroused and awakened through persistent inquiry into our lives and into the nature of the mind and of the separate self with which we normally identify. It is a place known to us, though we may not remember; familiar, though we may not admit it; treasured, though we may discount it; utterly real, though we cannot prove it.
Can you imagine trying to explain love to someone who has not experienced it? This is the irony of the Self. We are all searching for the love of the Self but we cannot explain this to ourselves or to others. So we look for the Self where it isn't—in objects and ideas—and remain unfulfilled.
The Self can never be known in the way we know how to repair cars. It can never be measured; it can never be proven. It simply is, without qualification or condition. The Self is beyond any measure, any knowing, any experience. The Self is always present, always moving from the hub to its spokes.
Modern science tells us that within our very own cellular structure is the imprint of energy released when the universe was first created, that we have the dust of ancient stars in our hair. We say this, but we don't actually grasp it. If we could actually grasp it, we would see in a flash that we are part of that supreme creative force that is even now creating and dissolving immense galaxies and dimensions whose measures cannot be taken. We would put everything else to the side and give ourselves fully and freely to this force which pulsates in each human heart as the Self.
When we enter this creative force of the sacred hub, we are able to answer the questions of living through being. The only impediment is the outward turned mind which creates, projects, and identifies with false imaginings. In this way, we look for truth where it isn't. Our only problem is that we are estranged from the Self.
There is a natural expansion of awareness that occurs in silence. This silence emerges in a deep and profound relaxation of thinking when one turns the attention within. This expansive awareness is inherent to everyone. In this awareness, we glimpse the Self. This silent awareness speaks without words and acts without thought. Whether speaking or acting, the Self is striking and sudden; its clarity is spontaneous.
We might think that only special people are endowed with this knowledge of the Self. But this knowledge of the Self is within each of us. All we have to do is see what is within us. We tend to discount our own capacity to know the Self now, as we are. We tend to distrust the spontaneous knowing that comes to us from silence, from the Self, because it often contradicts and violates the conventions of our own thinking.
Still, there is something within us which can hear reverberations from the place where the world is breathing. The mind can't fathom those things which are only known through being. When we face the vast, eternal silence of the Self, the mind stops. When the mind stops, an eruption of pure awareness pours through the gaps between our thoughts. In that timeless moment we become what we are: the Self. The Self shines when the mind falls into the silent awareness that we have all experienced.
My teacher, Swami Muktananda, said that the love of the inner Self is alive within each of us as a divine flame. All we have to do is turn our attention inward. He said, "If you understand your own Self, you will never have to learn how to love because you will become the embodiment of love. You are the source of love. Give up all your worries and try to understand who you are."
This love is the real teacher,
the real teaching, the real path. This love is what we seek and it is
who we are. This love is the language of the Self. We should give ourselves
freely to the Self. We should enter the sacred hub of the heart and live
in our real Self. Here, with tears of rapture streaming from our grateful
eyes, we will be what we are, restored through love to wholeness, peace,
Robert Rabbin is a contemporary mystic and catalyst for clarity;
a speaker and writer who presents Radical Sages programs
throughout the world. He is a leading exponent of Silence and
self-inquiry as a way of revealing our authentic being and of
living an inspired life. www.radicalsages.com
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