Your duty is to be and not to be this or that. 'I am that I am' sums up the whole truth. The method is summed up in the words 'Be still'. What does stillness mean? It means destroy yourself. Because any form or shape is the cause for trouble. Give up the notion that 'I am so and so'. All that is required to realize the Self is to be still. What can be easier than that?
As spiritual searchers we need to become freer and freer of the attachment to our own smallness in which we get occupied with me-me-me. Pondering on large ideas or standing in front of things which remind us of a vast scale can free us from acquisitiveness and competitiveness and from our likes and dislikes. If we sit with an increasing stillness of the body, and attune our mind to the sky or to the ocean or to the myriad stars at night, or any other indicators of vastness, the mind gradually stills and the heart is filled with quiet joy. Also recalling our own experiences in which we acted generously or with compassion for the simple delight of it without expectation of any gain can give us more confidence in the existence of a deeper goodness from which we may deviate. (39)
[The modern age] knows nothing about isolation and nothing about silence. In our quietest and loneliest hour the automatic ice-maker in the refrigerator will cluck and drop an ice cube, the automatic dishwasher will sigh through its changes, a plane will drone over, the nearest freeway will vibrate the air. Red and white lights will pass in the sky, lights will shine along highways and glance off windows. There is always a radio that can be turned to some all-night station, or a television set to turn artificial moonlight into the flickering images of the late show. We can put on a turntable whatever consolation we most respond to, Mozart or Copland or the Grateful Dead.
The point is that when I see a sunset or a waterfall or something, for a split second it's so great, because for a little bit I'm out of my brain, and it's got nothing to do with me. I'm not trying to figure it out, you know what I mean? And I wonder if I can somehow find a way to maintain that mind stillness.
Now we will count to twelveand we will all keep still. For once on the face of the earthlet's not speak in any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be an exotic momentwithout rush, without engines, we would all be togetherin a sudden strangeness. Fishermen in the cold seawould not harm whalesand the man gathering saltwould look at his hurt hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars with gas, wars with fire, victory with no survivors, would put on clean clothesand walk about with their brothersin the shade, doing nothing. What I want should not be confusedwith total inactivity. Life is what it is about; I want no truck with death. If we were not so single-mindedabout keeping our lives moving, and for once could do nothing, perhaps a huge silencemight interrupt this sadnessof never understanding ourselvesand of threatening ourselves with death. Perhaps the earth can teach usas when everything seems deadand later proves to be alive. Now I'll count up to twelveand you keep quiet and I will go.