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Here Lies the Whole Secret of Knowing Oneself

Somebody who was truly Self-realized explains how it happened to him and how it can happen to you.
Galaxy NGC 5033

By Ilie Cioara
Translated by Petrica Verdes

The title used on this page is a quotation from the text. The original title is “Listening and Watching.”


Be still, stop, be attentive — a total attention!

Neither past nor future, be with the present moment;

Between you and what you listen to, let thoughts, images disappear,

Be just pure listening, a whole being, boundless.

This article is reprinted from the book The Silence of the Mind.

The divine instrument — observation — alive and crystal clear,

You listen and watch, outside and inside yourself;

The whole thinking is mute — a tomb-like silence,

There are no expectations, no ideal projections.

All these will create in you a perfect order,

Body and mind, the whole being, in a direct relationship,

Able to understand any life phenomenon

In a certain, real and profound way, as ephemeral as it may be.

Such a simple meeting is pure meditation,

Practice this all the time, in every circumstance;

Start and end with a total silence,

The whole being in harmony — in a timeless state.

This peace gives you an ever-renewing mind,

Completely detached from the old, integrating in the present;

Psychologically, you are without center, boundless, you are Immensity itself,

Able to embrace the Eternity of the moment.

Through these simple meetings, the old man starts to crumble,

A crack appears in the egoic structure,

Through it, the accumulated energies start to leak and disappear,

They were holding you prisoner from times immemorial.

The Liberation started thus is continued, in time, until in the end,

When the “ego”, the sad conditioning, perishes,

The Spark — the Sacred within us — returns to the Source,

Sooner or later this is everyone’s fate: total Liberation.

Here lies the whole secret of knowing oneself,

Mystery intertwined with spontaneous action;

The only one which transforms, and finally liberates

The conditioned being from its degrading “ego”.

Always remember that knowledge keeps you prisoner,

Be quick to understand its unintelligent nature;

Give all your respect to the moment — meet it with humbleness,

Through it, wonders open into the Infinite world.


The clarity, accuracy and fluency of this subject, as expressed in verse, is so self-explanatory that writing its prose version seems more difficult and less dynamic.

“Self-knowing” is based on the simplicity of listening and watching, both the outside world as well as the inner world — as reactions of the knowing mind. Finally, outer-inner become one single movement.

The flame of Attention is the instrument which accompanies them, as a lucid flash of pure Consciousness, characteristic of the reality of our being.

Through this wonderful contact between us and the flow of life, made directly and spontaneously, the knowing mind — as past and future — is completely excluded. Thinking becomes completely mute. The whole mind is in a state of complete passiveness, where we don’t expect anything, as a purpose or an ideal projection. The inner order, the psychological harmony from inside our being creates a natural wholeness — body and mind — an unchanging unity, able to have a direct relationship with any life phenomenon.

We can call such a meeting: the state of meditation. It can be realized in any life circumstances — when we are alone as well as, for instance, when we find ourselves among a noisy crowd.

The starting point for meditation is silence — it transcends the whole being into a timeless state.

The peace of the soul — without being desired or forced, as we have shown earlier — provides us with a new mind, integrating us into Eternity on present moments.

In this simple state of “being”, there is no center from which we look outwards and no boundaries which set our limits. We are the Infinite in constant movement, unfolding moment to moment.

Through these meetings with ourselves, the egotistic structure imprisoning us loses its resistance. Finally, a real crack appears in the shell of the “ego”, marking the phenomenon of liberation. Simultaneously with this fortunate event — which comes as an unexpected surprise, uncaused by desire or imagination — the fragmented energies of the ego start to leak and fade away.

From now on the whole being is led by Intelligence, acting through intuitive impulses.

We must mention that the phenomenon of liberation or Awakening from the tyranny of the personal self is irreversible. It sets us apart from the rest of our fellow beings, by giving us a new outlook on life and a new mentality.

Sooner or later, each inhabitant of this planet Earth will have to experience this fortunate phenomenon. It represents a turning point in the spiral of moral evolution reached by that particular individual.

From that moment on, his personal evolution reaches a faster and faster pace, with massive eliminations of fragmented energies, accumulated since ancient times during our association with matter.

One day, in a moment that no one can foretell, the pure Spark, absolute perfection, will return to the Source of the Sacred, from where it descended millions of years before in order to experience the duality with physical matter.

Before ending, we need to remind that any advice on spiritual evolution demands that we put it into practice. By practicing it correctly, it will create beneficial effects, both on ourselves as well as on the world in general.

The whole process of knowing starts and ends with the flash of the passing moment. Let us therefore give the moment all our respect, by encountering it with a humble mind. Only in this way it will reveal the beauty of life to us, as well as the mysteries of the Infinite.

This article is reprinted from the book The Silence of the Mind.
Text copyright © 2011 Ilie Cioara, Pretrica Verdes.

Photo of galaxy NGC 5033 captured by Hubble telescope and processed by Judy Schmidt.

Ilie Cioara (‒1916‒2004) was a Christian mystic who lived in Romania. He wrote 16 books.

Related reading on this site

Recommended book

Ilie Cioara, The Silence of the Mind

The Silence of the Mind

By Ilie Cioara

Let me start this review by saying the same thing everyone else has said about this book who's had a good look at it: it’s excellent. The depth of seeing that the author had was tremendous. One of the problems in Nonduality today is that the language has become so common that it fails to surprise or shock us into hearing what is really being said. It’s not so easy to bypass the truth with these poems. It’s the opportunity to really HEAR something ancient in a fresh way. —Fred Davis

See it on Amazon.

This page was published on December 12, 2019.


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