The Audible Life Stream - Julian Johnson

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 An excerpt from The Path Of The Masters - Julian Johnson 1939 - The first book to introduce Sant Mat to the Western world. :

The Audible Life Stream: 
The Source of All Being 


THE AUDIBLE LIFE STREAM is the cardinal, central fact in the science of the masters. It is the keystone of the arch. It is the cornerstone of the structure. It is the structure itself. And it is the path of the Masters. The great spiritual current is not only the central fact in the science of the masters but is is the supreme fact and factor of the entire universe. It is the very essence and life of all things. It is perhaps less known than any other important fact of nature, yet it is the one determining factor of all nature. 
That is indeed a pity. This great truth or fact is significantly spoken of in the first chapter of the Gospel of Saint John: 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not anything made that was made. (John 1:1-5) 

Here it is definitely stated that something which is called 'Word' is identical with God, the Creator. 

Although not at all understood by the Christian church, this statement is an important announcement of the stupendous fact of the audible life stream. It is often called the sound current, but that is not a good name for it because it is not sufficiently definitive. The Indian name is simply shabd, meaning 'word' or 'sound', but that is not definitely clear. There are many words and sounds. 
Logos was the Greek term used by the Neoplatonic school, whose Masters were familiar with portions of the Eastern wisdom. Logos means 'the divine Word'. It is this divine current, wave or stream going forth from God himself and flowing throughout the universe. It is not only an emanation from God but it is God himself. 

When any man speaks in this world, he simply sets in motion atmospheric vibrations. But when God speaks, he not only sets in motion etheric vibrations, but he himself moves in and through those vibrations. In truth it is God himself that vibrates all through infinite space. God is not static, latent: he is superlatively dynamic When he speaks, everything in existence vibrates, and that is the Sound, the Shabd; and it can be heard by the inner ear, which 
has been trained to hear it. It is the divine energy in process of manifestation which is the holy Shabd. It is, in fact, the only way in which the supreme one can be seen and heard — this mighty, luminous and musical wave, creating and enchanting. 

Now, this great fact of nature, so little known to either ancient or modern thought, is the vital substance of the science of the Masters. It is cardinal and central in all their teachings. It is the one thing which distinguishes Sant Mat from all other sciences or systems. It is the very foundation of the Masters' system of yoga. It is the key to all of their success in unfolding their spiritual powers and controlling their minds. It is the one sign by which a real Master may be known and recognized from all others. No one is or can be a genuine Master unless he teaches and practices the audible life stream, because it is impossible for anyone to become a spiritual Master of the highest order unless he consciously utilizes the life stream to gain his development. 


The supreme logos is commonly called sound current in India, among those who speak English. But the best translation which we have been able to discover is 'audible life stream'. This appears to carry its deeper meaning and is more comprehensive and inclusive. It is, in fact, a stream — a life-giving, creative stream — and it can be heard. The fact that it is audible is extremely important, and that idea must be conveyed, if possible, in any name that is 
applied to it. This current or wave contains the sum of all teaching emanating from God. It is his own Word. It includes everything that God has ever said or done. It is God himself in expression. It is the method of God in making himself known. It is his language. It is his Word. 

This Sound sometimes is called Name; in Sanskrit or Hindi, nam.1 But in English we are not accustomed to put so much meaning in the word name. It is only correct if we understand that Name or Nam stands for all that the supreme being is. It is just another way of saying Word, and Word is what God says. It is 
equally what he does. It is the whole of the divine being in action. To distinguish God in action from God as divine essence, we call him Shabd or living Word. The name of anything or anybody is the sound symbol which stands for the reality itself. The name conveys to thought everything which belongs to the reality for which it stands. When the Master is said to give Nam, it means 
that he gives the current, the reality for which Nam stands. He literally gives the audible life stream itself. (Just how the Master can give it is discussed in Chapter Twelve, Section 4.) 

This divine Nam, Sound, or Word stands for all that God is or has ever said or done. It includes all of his qualities. As said before, it is the only way in which the universal spirit can manifest itself to human consciousness. So when the supreme being manifests himself as Sat Nam in Sach Khand he there becomes fully personified, embodied, and brings into manifestation all of the 
qualities of deity. As Sat Nam he becomes personal Creator, Lord, God and Father. There be becomes the fountain out of which the audible life stream proceeds. This stream may be perceived and heard by all who participate in it throughout all worlds. It may be seen and heard by such as attain an awakened consciousness under the training of a Master, When a man hears it, he hears God. When he feels it, he feels the power of God. This Shabd is, therefore, the divine being expressing himself in something that is both audible and visible. This current must not be understood to be like a river running in one course. It is more like a radio wave flowing out in every direction from the grand central broadcasting station. In fact, it comes from the supreme creative center of the universe of universes. 

This wave has two aspects, a centrifugal flow and a centripetal flow. It moves outward from the central dynamo of all creation, and it flows back toward that dynamo. Moving upon that current, all power and all life appear to flow outward to the uttermost bounds of creation, and again upon it all life appears to be returning toward its source. It is the latter aspect of it with which we have to deal mostly. 

Upon that wave we have to depend for our return to our original home. When the Master makes the connection or, so to say, 'tunes us in', it is then that we begin our homeward journey, leaving all perishable worlds behind us. 

This Word is called nod in the Vedas. In Vedanta, sound is always spoken of as creative. Sound, or anything that sounds, is the creative energy. It is referred to as the nad-brahm, meaning the primal Word of Brahm. By this nad-brahm all creation was brought into existence. The whole of the visible and invisible universe is the manifestation of this primal nad. The nad is the grand symphony out of which all other symphonies flow. It is the primal music of the universe. Every musical chord of this world is an echo of that primal chord. It is the vadan of the Sufis and the shabd of the Hindus. 

But all Sufis do not distinguish between the primal Word and the manifest word, between the original music and its echo. They are not able to point out the difference between the dhunatmak sound and the many varnatmak sounds. [... .] "