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        "In seeking Wisdom, the first stage is silence." -- Rabbi Solomon ibn Gabriol (11th Century)

To begin with, there are two Silences and not one: There is the Silence of the Mouth and, in addition, the Silence of the Mind. The former does not necessarily accompany the latter, but the latter always accompanies the former. That is, one can be silent "in-the-mouth" while not, at the same time, also being silent "in-the-mind." On the other hand, one who is silent "in-the-mind" is, at the same time, always silent in-the-mouth. Thus, there are three types of Lomaidim (Hebrew = "Learners"):

  • THE FOOL: Silent neither in the Mouth nor Mind
  • THE HEARING IMPAIRED: Silent in the Mouth but not the Mind
  • THE LISTENER: Silent in the Mouth and the Mind
Of the "fool," Buddhism says, "A fool is like a spoon: it can sit in a bowl of soup forever and never taste it." And in much the same way, the Talmud teaches:

"The wise man does not speak in the presence of one who is greater than he in wisdom; he does not interrupt the speech of this companion; he is not hasty to answer; he questions and answers properly, the point; he speaks on the first point first, and on the last point last; regarding that which he has not learned he says, 'I have not learned;' and he acknowledges the truth when he hears it. The opposites of these traits are to be found in a stupid person." (Pirke Avoth 5:9)

The "hearing-impaired" individual, on the other hand, is one who appears to be silent, while all the while arguing, comparing, and responding to the other in his mind. Despite the silence of his mouth, his ears neither hear nor understand because the chatter of his mind deafens them as if with cotton. It is like the very old joke of the man who encounters his friend on the street:

    "My goodness," says the man to his friend, "You have bananas in your ears! Why do you have bananas in your ears?"

    "I'm sorry," the friend replies with a smile, "I can't hear you; I've got bananas in my ears."

Such a person, of course, is only one step removed from the "fool" in that although "deaf," he can at least be made conscious of not hearing and thereby correct it, but only when he removes the bananas from his ears- -- that is, when he is willing to silence his mind as well as his mouth, which requires an heroic act of consciousness that the Ego is often ill equipped to perform. But this "mind" we speak of is like a wild ox, made even stronger by the Ego, that must be tamed, as we see in the ancient Ox-Herding Pictures of Rinzai Zen Buddhism.


 


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I have discussed the meaning of this "roadmap to God," as I call it, elsewhere in my lectures. Suffice it to say at this point that it is a "quiz," more or less, that each of us can take to determine exactly where we are in our practice of Silence and the Wisdom such practice can lead us to. As I said at the beginning of this lecture: Out of silence comes listening; out of listening comes hearing; out of hearing comes understanding; and out of understanding comes Wisdom. Silence, therefore, by which Wisdom is achieved, means not only shutting our mouths, but Herding the Ox.



Parts: 1 2 3 4




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BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES:
| Sabbatai Zevi | Jacob Frank | Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain |
| A Critical Re-Assessment of Sabbatai Zevi |
| Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain's Professions of a Holy Sinner |
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ESSENTIAL PRINCIPLES OF "YALHAKIAN" NEO-SABBATIAN KABBALAH:
| Knowing the Unknowable |
| A Brief Note on Enlightenment |
| A Neo-Sabbatian Discourse on the Son of God |
| A Primer of "Yalhakian" Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah |
| Participating in the Continuing Incarnation of God |
| Sabbatai Zevi's 'God of the Faith' | Evolution of the Ego |
| Two Torahs of Kabbalah: Torah D'Atziluth & Torah D'Beriah |
| On the Limits of Antinomianism | The Transformation of God |
| Commentary on the 13th Century "Treatise on the Left Emanation" |
| A Selection of Neo-Sabbatian Quotations Culled from Various Sources |
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| A Commentary on the Book of Job | Kabbalah and the Interpretation of Dreams |
| To Die for the People: A Kabbalistic Reinterpretation of the Crucifixion of Jesus |
| The Shemot Shel Katzar Tikkunim: Revealing the Concealed Names of God |
| The Christian Myth of Melchizedek vs. Hereditary Jewish Priesthood |
| The Apocrypha of Jacob Frank | The Tikkun of Raising Animals |
| Appointment in Smyrna: A Neo-Sabbatian Odyssey |
| Sabbatai Zevi and the Mystery of the Red Heifer |
| The Kabbalah of the Hindu Mantra "OM" |
| The Mystery of the Middle Column |
| The Hidden Structures of Water |
| Exegesis on the Rod of Aaron |
| Book of Silence |
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