In 1986, Parabola conducted an interview with Father Bede Griffiths entitled “The Silent Guide” in our Spring issue: “The Witness.”
On the subject of what a witness means in the context of religion, he replied:
“In meditation one tries to calm the body and the senses, to calm the mind, and become what’s called “the silent witness,” the witness beyond the mind. We in the West think that the mind is everything, but all Eastern practice is to get beyond the mind to the point of the silent witness, where you’re witnessing yourself, where you’ve gone beyond the ego, beyond the self.
The Indian tradition rests on what the West has largely lost: that there are three levels. There is the level of the body and the level of the mind, which the Western world thinks is the end. But beyond the body is the spirit. It’s the Atman, the pneuma of St. Paul, another dimension where we go beyond the mind, the senses, and the feelings, and we’re aware of the transcendent reality. And that is the goal of life, to get to that.”♦
—Father Bede Griffiths, an excerpt from an interview with Parabola in our Spring 1986 issue: “The Witness.”