The greatest master move of all. There is something beyond for us to listen to. When we hear that, all other moves fall by the wayside.
I was in a wave pool once, and noticed that if I floated at the deep end, I could hear the mechanism of the wave maker, grinding along, making waves. I was transfixed. “Listen to this!” I said to the people with me. “You have got to hear this!” They listened, but weren’t that impressed. “But it’s like listening to the back stage area of the universe,” I insisted. “It’s the connective tissue, the stuff behind the scenes!”
Of course it wasn’t really that. It merely represented that to me, at the time. Although I still find the sound of a wave maker to be eerie. But the back stage area of the universe–that’s a real thing, a real shortcut, something accessible. I used to think it was like puppet strings, that if I pulled the right one, I’d be able to control my life, my art, outcomes. It’s not like that. This is a dimension you access by surrendering to it, and you do this by stopping thought.
Sounds too easy, or maybe too difficult, in turns. It’s both. It’s easy to start and to see it, but hard to keep it going, as thought has a tendency to return in full force. Still, these little glimpses into the infinite have incredible impact. Some people call this practice meditation, and some call it yoga. Either of those will work to begin the practice of stopping thought for the sake of creativity, for mastering writing.
And oh, what you see, when you stop your thought! Oh, that shiny, shiny world! It creates both ecstasy and extreme positivity, to the point of spontaneous grinning and laughter, and THAT is what allows the something-beyond to whisper through.
Of course, it can get through without such extreme measures. Most creative people do stop their thoughts briefly to let inspiration take hold. But it works better the longer you do not think. I try to stop thought any time I can, sometimes as long as half a day. I would like to do it most of the time, but I’m not really advanced enough yet. And you would assume this would screw up my life, that I would make mistakes and everything would fall apart. Quite the opposite. Things fall into sync, and I’ve done things like found creative solutions, noticed and fixed broken things, evaded car accidents, experienced astonishing insights, gotten places early, impressed people far and wide, and all of it while I’m blissing out from an unreasonable level of happiness.
I’ve been a thinker for most of my life. I’ve got an advanced academic degree; in the past, I pushed thinking pretty far. Far enough that I found its shabby edges. Far enough that I began to suspect its limitations. And when I heard that thought might actually be the problem, I listened, because it rang true. It was one thing I had not tried. With all my thinking, I’d never come to the conclusion that maybe I should STOP.
By the time I realized this, I was in pursuit of creative goals. Creativity teaches us in little ways to stop thought, to let go of ego. I began to experience the truth of it. Not see, or believe, but experience. And that is the greatest master move. The practice of letting go of thought, of listening to the beyond. Hearing the great ineffable silence, and all that is transposed on top of it.
If you ask me how this helps me to write, or to live, I can only present my first tarot card from a reading I had last week: “unknown.” But it does, by leaps and bounds, by moving through the back stage area of the universe, and so turning to the ineffable silence, the luminous emptiness, is what I call the greatest master move.
And this is not a belief of mine. Nothing so grand. It is merely an experience. I’m sure to some, this does sound very woo-woo and airy fairy, but I challenge you to try it nonetheless. It’s not like it’s going to hurt you to stop thinking for one minute.