You can tell a person by their speech, their words, written or spoken. The most important quality of a person is their words. Your words reveal your mind and the tongue can thus be considered the most important of the senses. A person reveals themselves by their words and we can tell the state of consciousness of a person by their ability to control the tongue.
The tongue is said to be the most voracious and uncontrollable of all the senses. This implies that what we eat as well as what we speak can be our salvation or our downfall. By controlling what we eat, we can maintain not only good physical health but also a good state of consciousness. We are what we eat. Food is medicine. So by controlling what we put into our mouths to consume, we will also be able to control what we speak. The two are interlinked. Consciousness is affected by subtle things like the food we eat and digest, which goes on to affect our thinking.
Take the obvious example of alcohol. The tongue may desire to consume it and as a result the mind and the speech - which is the symptom of the mind - is affected for the worse. If you can’t control your eating and drinking, you will not be able to control your mind or specifically your speech. We have all seen and heard the speech and words of a drunken person. They will say things when drunk that they would never normally say and surprise even themselves in the clear light of sobriety. The frontal lobes of the brain have been dulled and reasoning flies out of the window.
Similarly, whatever we eat or consume affects our consciousness. So if you want to control your mind and words, then begin by controlling your consumption of food and drink. Traditionally yogis would never eat anything cooked by another person not engaged in yoga because the consciousness of the cook is said to go into and affect the food and thereafter also the person eating the food.
Consciousness is the real goal of life and the real treasure to be attained in this lifetime. Enlightened consciousness is priceless, though it’s also free. It does however require your determination to achieve it. And to achieve awakened consciousness, we may need to set aside other tastes that are less valuable or actual obstacles to awakened consciousness.
One clear insight we get into the pursuit of consciousness in its fullest manifestation is to be found in the ancient yoga text called Bhagavad Gita, written down about 5000 years ago by Vyasadeva in the original language of the planet, namely Sanskrit. Here we get the treatise on how to awaken your original awareness of self along with the eternal bliss and knowledge or full consciousness that comes with it. This real state of self-realization is our pure and natural state, while the rest is a temporary covering. We are already covered over by illusion, ignorance and forgetfulness that cloud our true state of full consciousness. The body and mind are already an aberration or covering bewildering us as to our true state of transcendence, which is not limited by mind or body.
When we add to that further substances that are desired by the mind, tongue or other senses, we simply add to the potential bewilderment or illusion in which we already find ourselves. Sometimes we become bored or feel limited so we attempt to break out of that mindset by consuming mind-enhancing substances, most commonly alcohol. The result is that a fleeting stimulus is felt but ultimately further ignorance or bewilderment arises. The bored mind that feels stuck in a limited space is a symptom of a covered consciousness, like a diamond that is covered by dust. Normally it sparkles and shines with brilliance, but just a little dust can cover all of its beautiful radiance.
The solution is not to stimulate the mind via the senses with temporary substances like tobacco or alcohol, but to do the opposite and still the mind by reducing the cheap thrills. There is no short cut to true enlightenment or inspiration. Coffee is another stimulant that we assume will uplift our thinking. It may for a moment but ultimately it is a hollow victory. Caffeine is actually a toxin, which is why the body tries so hard to expel it via increased urination. A true seeker of enlightenment realizes that the tongue needs to be controlled if the mind is to be harnessed. Control what you put in and you will have more control of what comes out. Jesus only had half the story when he said it’s not what goes in but what comes out that matters. The truth according to far more ancient yoga practice dating back 5000 years is that what goes in directly determines what will come out. Any attempt to justify an uncontrolled tongue is only fooling yourself.
And you can tell a fool as soon as they open their mouths. In other words, even a well-dressed fool can hide until they begin speaking or writing. Then immediately one can see by those symptoms what their true state of consciousness is. We can read the blog posts or literature of others and tell where their mind is situated. Regardless of the likes they receive or the money they make from their words, the contents is evidence of their state of mind. Your free speech is your own personal expression, your own free will, your own mental state revealing itself to the world, and by that you are revealing your quality of consciousness.
Dressed up in lavish attire and remaining silent are sure ways to disguise a fool, but let him say one sentence or write one paragraph and they will reveal themselves for who they are. So controlling the tongue will be your best endeavor on the path to attaining the real goal of life. Flowery words or word jugglery or fine oratory are all good and well for armchair philosophers or manic street preachers or politicians, swaying the mood of the crowd like a ballad singer in a band, but the lyrics are going to reveal you for who you really are especially to the people who really matter. Those with a degree of awareness will see right through your emperor’s new clothes, even if you can convince the masses. You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool someone who has already seen through the illusion, who already has insight.
This is revealed in the beginning of Bhagavad Gita where Arjuna is hearing from his friend and guide Krishna about the process of awakening. In chapter two Arjuna asks:
स्थितधीः किं प्रभाषेत किमासीत व्रजेत किम् ॥ ५४ ॥
sthita-dhīḥ kiṁ prabhāṣeta
kim āsīta vrajeta kim
“Oh Kṛiṣhṇa, what are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus merged in transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?”
Bhagavad Gita as it is chapter 2:54 translated by Swami A. C. Bhaktivedanta
In the commentary to this Sanskrit verse the translator describes clearly that it is the quality of speech that is the most obvious indicator of the consciousness of an awakened soul. Politicians and even priests are well known to be able to bewilder their listeners with deceptive speech, so to those in ignorance such alluring speech may not initially be an indicator of the mind of the speaker, but to those who have the realization already of what is truth and what is illusion, such fools are exposing themselves with every word. One can tell the state of consciousness of those who write literary pieces in the same way, either by the topic of importance to them about which they write, or by the quality of their realization. When you’ve heard real insight from authoritative sources like the ancient yoga texts found in the Vedas, it’s easy to tell the writing of a mental speculator or someone concocting a theory based on limited insight or zero research.
Therefore rather than reveal ourselves to be the fools that we are, it’s recommended that we hear from bona fide sources on the subject and even more importantly, a wise person will rather remain silent than open their mouths and reveal their foolishness. Is your speech the egocentric braying of a donkey, or the sweet but empty birdsong of a canary, or do you have real insight that acts like the roar of a lion to chase away the jackals and hyenas trying to scrounge a stolen prize while merely pretending to be the pride of the plains?