The sound of silence
The Egyptians referred to God as “the Word”:
I am the Eternal, I am Ra
I am that which created the Word
I am the Word.
This passage comes from the Book of the Dead which is the oldest text in the world. Thousands of years later the Christians would echo this verse in the King James Bible:
In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
The Word comes from the Greek “logos” which refers to the law of all generation in the universe. The Stoics defined logos as the active principle that permeated all reality. They called the logos providence, nature or the soul of the universe. Later, alchemy would refer to it as the quintessence.
Today, eastern religions simply call it OHM: the mantra, the creation vibration. It is just as alive today as it was in the time of the ancient Egyptians. It is the call which rings out when the world is active. It is the ancient sound by which we live. OHM is the pranavah, or the primeval first mantra. The universe therefore consists of glorious trembling tones, of a wonderful vibration.
Above: the call of creation from the elephant god Ganesha
Mantras are tools of power. They are formidable and ancient. The word “mantra” is derived from two Sanskrit words: the first is “manas” or “mind” and the second is “trai” meaning “to free from.” Therefore the word mantra in its most literal sense means to free from the mind. Mantras are consequently used to free us from the vagaries of the intellect and expand our awareness.
This journey to freedom is a wondrous one! Our consciousness deepens, expands and eventually dips into the essence of cosmic existence. On its journey our awareness comes to understand much about the vibration of things. Knowledge, as we know, is power. In the case of mantras this power is T-A-N-G-I-B-L-E.
Nada Brahma: the world is sound!