Silo: Explaining the Message is always a problem, because the Message is above all an experience -- and how do you explain an experience? How do you explain to someone what something sweet tastes like? How do you explain what a color looks like to someone who’s never seen colors? For example, what is the color red or the color blue for someone who’s never seen them? But if someone has seen the color blue, then when you talk with them they say, "Sure, I know what you’re talking about." But how do you explain an experience the other person hasn’t had? So when you say that it’s hard to communicate your experience of the Message, I say that’s very reasonable. That’s what happens -- you don’t have a way to communicate this. So when you want to communicate this experience, you need a situation where the other person can make an effort to have this experience, to feel it. Because if you just go on explaining things this isn’t going to touch the person. It’s not going to reach them. And the experiences we transmit are experiences that have to do, not with something everyday, but rather something extraordinary that happens within oneself. These experiences, above all the experiences we’re most interested in, are experiences of change.
These experiences of change – which I’ve talked about before -- are very different from everyday experiences, they’re experiences that change people. When someone is in love for the first time, their cortex lights up, it’s like they’re walking on clouds, they’re weak kneed. It’s a different experience; they have a different experience of the space in which they live; a different experience of the relations between people. The experience of being in love is one of the great experiences -- but how can you transmit this to someone who hasn’t had this experience?
The experiences we have in dreams are more common; you can dream extraordinary things, things you never see in everyday life. And sometimes when you wake up, a dream can keep on affecting you; what’s happened in your dreams can be very compelling, it can be very profound.
But you understand that your dreams aren’t like what happens in everyday life – they operate in a different mental space, in a different place in the mind. We said the same thing about love; that it works in another part of the mind, not the place in the mind where everyday representation operates. So, in each of us there exists the capacity to locate ourselves in other places, to reach more profound places. Our experiences are transmitted in order to produce those changes in the depths of the human mind. That’s where the Message goes, that’s where the Message hits.
Everyone has had experiences of this type, but very few people have gone into them deeply. And that’s where we come in–with these experiences that happen in a different mental space, in a different mental situation, in another state of consciousness. Those are the experiences we deal with, and there’s a little book called The Inner Look that explains quite a bit about those experiences. That is the book we pass along to people, and we say, meditate on this little book; see if this little book resonates with you, with those important things in your life. Because pretty soon the subject will come up that you won’t be here forever. You are going to go. We’re all going to go. Life ends at some point. How will this movie continue? Are you gone forever, or does something in you continue? You’d like to have some answers to this before leaving–because surely you will leave... but you’d like to have some answers about all this. Well, this little book talks about those things, these experiences that happen in life, with the meaning of life, with what happens after life, what happens with death. All these things interest us, and they interest many other people, too. That’s why a lot of people listen to this message. But we don’t talk a lot about a theoretical message, a message of ideas, but rather about the affective, the emotional, and the experiential. This is what we work on with people who come to us. So, people come and ask us questions, and we say: let’s do an experience, and that’s it.
Question: In all these years you have expressed your message in various forms..., (Silo: Through different things, sure.) ...and there are people who say you’re always changing your mind about things... but we, or I, don’t get that impression. How do you explain this?
Silo: But, do you have the sensation that it’s always about the same thing?
Question: The same, yes, right from the beginning.
Silo: It’s as though we talked about translations of the same thing, different translations, different languages, with the same meaning. These various expressions occur because people look at things from different angles, and they ask questions from different angles. And people that ask from a certain angle get an answer corresponding to that angle, different from someone else’s. And this can lead to a lot of confusion, where some interpret things one way, and others a different way.
Question: If you were speaking with someone who had never heard of this message, what would you point to as the central concern?
Silo: The central concern is human suffering,
Logically, there are other themes that are closely linked to that of suffering. One is the theme of illusions–the world one imagines, the things one imagines about oneself, and the things one imagines about others. The theme of illusion is key for us, and it’s closely linked to suffering. Depending on how one handles one’s illusions, suffering will increase or it will decrease.
And finally, there is the theme of beliefs, the things that one believes. What we believe about ourselves, others, the world, about life, about life’s duration. When one is in a normal state doing things it is always with the feeling and the belief that one is not going to die. Of course, if you say to someone: "Listen, are you going to die?" they’re going to answer, "Of course." But at the bottom they don’t believe it.
They say, "Yes, yes, of course, that’s right, we’re all going to die", but they don’t believe it. If in that moment they really felt it, they’d fall down shaking. So then the theme of suffering, the theme of illusion, the theme of finitude, the theme of beliefs–these are the topics that interest us, these are the themes we’re involved in.
Question: People always see these things in a religious framework; whether you believe in god or not.
Silo: Of course, of course, but it turns out that we can’t include our themes within the realm of the religious. To be included in that realm we would have to have gods, priests, sacred books. And for us, the gods or god–which would be the same thing–for us that’s something unconfirmed, for us it’s simply something uncertain...
Many people are going to say, "Well, I believe in god" and others will say, "I don't believe in god." And we're going to say, "God is something uncertain." "What do you mean, something uncertain?" "Of course, obviously god is something uncertain. All I have to tell you is that god is uncertain, for god to be something uncertain." "Yes, but I believe," the other guy says. "Sure, you believe, but I tell you it's not certain..." Then the other realizes that this raises the issue of the gods being something uncertain. And if God is something uncertain then there are problems all over the place. If God is something uncertain, then it’s even less certain that anyone can use the gods to impose things on others–that's much worse.
Question: So then in two steps, one for believers and the other for non-believers. What do you say to the believers, to the ones who believe in god–what do you say to them?
Silo: What I say is, fine, believe or don't believe. I think it's very good if you believe, very good if you don't believe–it's the same. But that isn’t the theme that will get us out of the world of suffering or create a new kind of human being; it isn’t the issue. That's what I tell people who believe. And if someone says they don't believe, fine, then they don’t believe. Because the theme is something else, the issue is something else–it's not about whether or not you believe in god. The real issue is how do you solve your existential problems. And it is obvious that believing or not believing in god doesn't solve those existential problems.
We can do an experiment–it’s like a recipe, take three spoonfuls of sugar–take a person with a strong belief in god. Ask that person how they've solved the problems in their life, their anxieties, their fears. Then take someone who doesn't believe in god and ask them how they've resolved their issues, their fears, and we will find in both cases–cases that are so different because one believes in god and the other doesn't–we're going to find they're very similar. They have the same anxieties, the same fears, the same desperation about dying. So then we're going to say to ourselves, these issues are very interesting, but they don't get to the point. It's the study of suffering, going deeply into the issue of suffering that gets to the point. That is what is relevant. The point is to understand that beliefs are not what are going to solve our problems. The point is to understand that we live afraid of things; we're full of fears and anguish. That's what seems important to us to emphasize.
Question: And what about someone who’s never heard about this before? What do you say to that person? How can they begin? How can I begin to overcome my suffering–where do I start, what's the first step?
Silo: I don't tell them anything. They're the one who has to come and ask. That's also important.
Comment: That’s a very interesting point of view. Not the usual thing.
Silo: No, it's not very common. A little longer with these problems, these things, but what will happen with these ideologies is like what happens in daily life with certain illusions that one has that one doesn’t want to let go of.
Question: There are people who say you are a man like any other, and others who say you are a prophet, others who say you are a demi-god, a god, a devil–people say many things...
Silo: I believe that people have the right to say all that ... and what of it? It doesn’t concern me in the least if someone says, "Well, he’s a prophet..." And? It's neither here nor there. "He’s just an ordinary man." And? Because the theme is how can one move beyond the problems of suffering, of pain, all those things. It doesn’t deform the message at all if a person believes one thing or another about me.