Asia, South Asia & Southeast Asia
Insights into signature aspects of the world’s most spectacular places
AUMSymbol, Sound & Silence
By David Raezer
The AUM symbol — also spelled “Om” — consists of three curves, one semicircle and a dot. They are symbols of each person’s self and potential:
One of our favorite descriptions of AUM, which touches on many of the symbols described above, can be found in Joseph Campbell’s book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Campbell breaks down each of AUM’s three phonemes:
For Campbell, the most profound element of AUM is not the sound, however, but the silence that surrounds it:
The silence surrounding the syllable is the unknown: it is called simply ‘the fourth.’ The syllable itself is God as creator-preserver-destroyer, but the silence is God Eternal, absolutely uninvolved in all the openings-and-closings of the round.
Watch the video at right to hear Campbell explain the concept — and experience the silence!
See our beautiful world through the eyes of BBC’s David Attenborough
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate, Approach Guides makes a commission from qualifying purchases.