Dr. Vijai S Shankar MD.PhD.
Published on www.academ-advaita.com
6 February 2020
Understand that listening is different from hearing. You are neither listening to the other, nor hearing the other. You are listening and hearing to yourself, who is not the real you.
Understand that by talking to yourself, you miss knowing who you really are. You will miss answering the question: who am I really? That is what happens. You do not listen; you hear yourself in the mind.
Understand that when you hear a word, what happens? You listen to that word and immediately your mind is elsewhere: is he or she right, is he or she wrong, what did he or she say? You are judging the speaker.
This means you are not listening; you are hearing what you believe is right or wrong. Understand that, when you are judging a word, you will not hear the next word that is said. There is a gap and you miss listening to the speaker.
When you hear another word from the speaker, you make yet another judgment and miss listening. And then you wonder - what did this speaker say? - because you have been accepting and rejecting, according to what you think,
If you reject, the speaker is wrong; if you accept, the speaker is right, because the mind only listens to itself. It hears itself, it talks to itself. Understand that you do not talk with each other; you talk at each other.
Understand that communications between two minds is impossible. You put your meaning in the communication which is not the speaker’s meaning. Understand that when this happens confusion is always the result.
Now why won't you be confused? That is what you have been doing all your life. This is what is happening to the mind. You do not listen. You cannot listen. You never had the wisdom of listening.
Listening means simply listening: neither accepting, nor rejecting. Simply listening. That is all. Mind here, body here, listening.
When listening happens to you, you will observe that words automatically come out of the body, whether you like it or not. You will understand that wisdom reveals that words are illusions of sound.
Wisdom reveals that the body makes sound and every atom of the body is light. When this wisdom cements, you will understand that the both the speaker and the listener are an illusion of light and sound.
The enlightened realise that they are an illusion of light and sound and light is who they really are.
Author: Dr. Vijai S. Shankar
© Copyright V.S. Shankar 2020
There is scarcely a living person who does not recognise the process of simple listening that is revealed in this article. There is scarcely a living person who does not share this article’s understanding of the process of non-listening. Nature itself displays many different species of creatures in constant communication with their own kind, answering each other’s calls. Yet the wisdom of simple listening to each other has failed to evolve in man himself. Has evolution made a u-turn? Mercifully, the evolution of men of enlightenment is gifting their light to shine onto man’s confusion.
Julian Capper. UK
German Translator‘s Note:
When true listening happens, the other is accepted as he is, not as he should or could be. This is true empathy and not a pretended, manipulative empathy that serves the sole purpose of giving the other person one' s own opinion sooner or later. True empathy gives the other the feeling of security and acceptance. Unfortunately, this quality of listening is found far too seldom in everyday life, whether in the family or among friends. Dr. Shankar's article makes us aware of how the conditioning of our mind, as long as it seems real to us, prevents true listening and true being present for the other person. A valuable hint for everyone who wants more closeness in their relationships and encounters!
Marcus Stegmaier, Germany.