Never enter the Silence in a negative condition. While we must, if we are in a true state of consciousness, enter the Silence with great awe and reverence, at the same time we must be very positive. The attitude of the body can be a great help or a great hindrance when one sits in the Silence, either alone or in a company of people as we do every morning at the Epoch Summer School, at 8 o’clock. To loll in a chair, or sit curled up in the corner of a sofa, is not the way to enter the Silence. While the body must not be strained or uncomfortable, as that would only keep the attention upon it, yet it must not relax too much, but sit in a reverent, upright and positive attitude with feet ﬁrmly placed upon the ﬂoor, back straight, and head poised and ﬁrm. The hands should never hang down or be left loosely upon the lap. The hands are the correspondence of much that is vital in the spiritual life. The hands in the physical economy are the earnest of our creative power as man made in the image and likeness of God. We work with the hands, we write with the hands, we receive with the hands, the food that sustains the body is prepared and carried to the mouth by the hands—they are the great indicators of the strength of our mentality, and the signposts of our aspirations. If you look at the hands of any man or woman you have there the sure indication of their strength, their reﬁnement, their character. The hands of the weak-minded are always weak, the thumb often turned into the palm of the hand, the ﬁngers weak, and the hand ﬂabby. If you look at the pictures of the saints the hands are always strong, held up, and open; or the palms are placed together against the breast, the ﬁnger tips together, pointing up. Do you remember when Moses was praying for the Children of Israel with his hands upraised to Heaven, the people prevailed against their enemies, but when his hands dropped down the enemy had the victory? Aaron and Hur stood on either side of Moses and held up his hands until the going down of the sun, and Israel won the battle. Think you this is a story without a deep inner signiﬁcance for those who have eyes to see and hearts to understand? The hands of Moses held up were the symbols of positive receiving; the hands that hung down were the symbols of negative weakness and the waste of the divine essence in man. Some will ask you to sit in the Silence with them and will suggest that you place your hands palms downwards on your knees in a loose lifeless condition. Never do it. To do so is to render yourself helpless and unprepared to guard the citadel of your soul against undesirable inﬂuences. Keep the face turned up. Look up—is an admonition with great and important meaning. God is everywhere and we are living and moving and having every moment of our being in him. Then why look up? Because up signiﬁes above and is symbolical of the mind being lifted above the lusts and desires of the ﬂeshly body, the allurements of the physical senses, and the love and temptations of the world. It is symbolical of the mind being ﬁxed on things of the spirit, and not on the things of the earth. So we “look up.” Then with the face turned upward, also keep the hands up, open, if you feel that you are indeed receiving the Holy Spirit and the blessing of the Father; open as a symbol of acceptance of all that is being poured out upon you, to you, and for you, and others. Or, with palms pressed together, and all your ﬁngers pointing upward making a point at which the divine magnetism may ﬂow into your body, soul, and spirit. This is very important. You may ﬁnd at times that you are holding the hands in other positions, sometimes they may be clasped with locked ﬁngers, sometimes clasped crosswise over the breast, indeed that latter may very often come to you without thinking of it, and it is very, very helpful, but always keep the hands raised upwards towards the head and upper part or the breast. I need not go any further into the meaning and signiﬁcance of this, for as you practice it you will understand more than I can write about on such an important subject in the short space available in this little book.
The breath must not be forgotten. Never forget that the breath is the correspondence of the life or God. “And God breathed into man the breath of life, and man became a living soul." The very moment I enter the Silence l ﬁnd myself drawing a full, deep breath. Slowly but in a positive manner I draw in the air until every cell of the body has expanded to its fullest extent. Sometimes those deep breaths continue for some time, and always with each breath there is a taking in of far more than the physical breath, and a storing up of far greater things than the physical energy. Then comes the time of the soul’s listening. Remember you have not entered into the Silence to say anything to God, to ask for anything by supplicatory prayer. You have entered in to listen, to receive, to realize, to wait upon God. “Be still, and know that I am God.” “Their strength is to sit still.” “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”
Of course you will understand that the eyes must be shut when you enter the Silence. It is, I know, at times necessary to have the eyes open and ﬁxed upon some object when concentration is being cultivated. It is also well to have some teaching, some special subject, some, particular aspiration, or ideal, or attainment, upon which the mind must dwell when meditation is practiced, and then it may be at times well to have the physical eyes open, but never when you enter the Silence. The whole of the individual must then be centered in God; lost to all objects of the physical world, and apart absolutely from the senses. Therefore the physical eyes must be closed so that the spiritual eyes may look up. Here you have all the forces of your being—body, soul and spirit,—all united to one end, and positively united in expectation of the outpouring of the Divine Inﬂuences—the Holy Spirit. In such an hour no harmful inﬂuence can come near you, nothing but God can approach you, nothing but the Highest can enter into you. There is absolutely nothing to fear in such a Silence.
After some time spent thus you will surely realize the inﬂow of the Divine Life. You may even feel a tingling of the hands as the higher vibrations enter your body by way of the uplifted hands and ﬁngers. But that is not to be relied upon, and you will not take much notice of it, for it is the spiritual inﬂux you are waiting for, and that comes without feelings or sensations, for the wind bloweth where it listeth and thou canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth, and so is everyone that is born of the spirit. Not always does it come in tongues of ﬁre seen by mortal eyes, but nevertheless it does come to every soul that waits for it. So the soul expands, and the consciousness is lifted up, and up, above the body and the physical and you enter at last into a real consciousness of the life of God. You know that in Him you really live. You know that all that life is comes from the one Source, and that that Source is inexhaustible. Hold that. Hold it, live in it, expand in it, clothe yourself, body, soul and spirit in it while you remain in the Silence, for soon you must open your eyes and come back to the physical body and the world of men and things, and be up and doing. But, oh, what you bring back with you! Oh, what you bring back with you! When Moses came down from the Mount (the Silence where he talked face to face with God) his face shone so that the people could not look upon it and they begged him to cover his face with a veil, the brightness was too much for them. You too will come back to the body, and back to the work-a-day world with the light shining, from you, and you will turn the weary eyes of men from the darkness to the Light that never fails.
Watch yourself to see if the practice makes you less energetic, less practical, less sympathetic, less strong and manly—womanly. If it does, then there is something wrong with you or your methods, and if you cannot ﬁnd the reason of it, then I would advise you to ask help from someone who is strong, robust and energetic, and who proves by his or her life and daily conduct that “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as of eagles, they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint.”
By the constant practice of entering the Silence you should grow stronger and more robust in mind and body, and you should become a better working man, or woman, than you have ever been before.
We must enter the Silence as one seeking the native sphere of his life and the true source of his being. There is much to be said on the practice of the Silence, but perhaps enough has been said just now to help you to seek the blessings and the power of the Silence intelligently, earnestly, and in A positive manner that will very soon enable you to ﬁnd your life becoming full, harmonious and powerful, to be and to do.