“AUM” is a symbolic sound that puts you in touch with that resounding being that is the universe. If you heard some of the recordings of Tibetan monks chanting AUM, you would know what the word means, all right. That’s the AUM of being in the world. To be in touch with that and to get the sense of that is the peak experience of all. A-U-M. The birth, the coming into being, and the dissolution that cycles back. AUM is called the “four-element syllable.” A-U-M—and what is the fourth element? The silence out of which AUM arises, and back into which it goes, and which underlies it. My life is the A-U-M, but there is a silence underlying it, too. That is what we would call the immortal.
AUM is a symbolic sound
-- Joseph Campbell
Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers (book) (p. 230)
Find more quotations at www.jcf.org/quotes