Shut-Up And Pack Him A Sandwich

The essential character of ‘The-Not’ is that you may not say a word about it. No aspects, no features, no ‘properties’, not a word.

Big Y’s ‘Neti! Neti!‘ applies: Avyākṛta, Anirvacaniya, Mounam [Silence: a word mystified into high obscurity by the Gurus].

Say something about it, however exalted, however learned, and what you have said about, by that very fact, is not ‘The-Not’.

But unlike the original mystified expression Tát’, an expression of inexpressibility, ‘The-Not’ is explicit and achievable to any one who wants to find out what it means.


The auditory equivalent of the ‘The-Not’ as Self-Eating Expression is the sound: ‘Silence!’ [You violate the silence in commanding: ‘Silence!’].

‘Silence’ [Mounam] has a long history going back to the Māṇḍūkya Upaniṣad. But ‘Silence’ is also the ripest plum for mystical obscurantists and book-read teachers who have had a field-day with the word for centuries. They can mystify a brick but this one is a particularly rich lode.

‘Silence’ as used here means just that. There is no mystique hidden in it. There is nothing to say and anything you say will be misunderstood. So you hold your tongue. [In particular, don’t write Websites]. See the next Post: ‘Nirvana‘.


‘Truth’, derives from the Old-English Treiewo, [German Treuwaz], with roots in the Sanskrit Dre and Dhr [as in Dharma]. It originally meant ‘Firm, Immovable’. In contemporary understanding it would be that which is ‘Undeniable and Irreducible’.

[Note Zen’s: ‘Immovable Wisdom’; Aristotle’s: ‘Unmoved Mover’, and so on.]

As late as the 19th Century Academic philosophers were coming up with ‘Theories of Truth’ which by that very fact vitiates its end. The Consistency Theory of Truth; the Coherence Theory of Truth; the Correspondence Theory of Truth and so on. Plato would have gulped.

If you look up modern dictionary definitions you will find explanations in keeping with the times: ‘Actuality, Certainty, Conformance with Facts, Accord with Reality’ and so on although each of these terms [‘Fact’] would itself require a lengthy elaboration.

If someone stops by your door and asks: ‘What is Truth?’, you pack him a sandwich, show him the ‘Backward Step’, and suggest that he watch-out for falling rocks and deceptively shallow puddles. Other than that, you don’t say a word.

If you must say a word, it may only be as Self-Eating Expression. Tell him to go find ‘The-Not’.


The best known of the many short-stops to ‘The-Not’ in the literature are ‘Consciousness’ and ‘True Self’. Both names arise as a result of incomplete combustion. The ‘Backward Step’ stops an inch short of True-Nothing. I’ll get to both in later Posts.

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