Yesterday you explained about three types of listening: first, listening through the intellect, second, through emotion, sympathy and love; and third, through the whole being, through faith. Considering the first two types of listening, how does one arrive at the third type of listening – that is, through the whole being, through faith? And are the intellect and emotions included and involved in the third type of listening?
Intellectual listening means that when you are listening you are simultaneously arguing with it. A constant argument is going on. I am saying something to you, you are listening, and constantly there is an argument inside: whether this is right or wrong. You are comparing with your own concepts, your own ideology, your own system. So constantly, when you are listening to me, you are comparing whether I confirm your ideas or not, whether I am according to you or not; whether you can concede to me or not, whether I am convincing or not. How is listening possible in this way? You are too full of yourself, so it is miraculous that within this constant inner turmoil you are capable of listening to something. And even then, whatsoever you have heard will not be what I have said. It cannot be – because when the mind is full with its own ideas, it goes on giving colors to everything that comes to it. It hears not what is being said, but what it wants to hear. It chooses, it drops, it interprets, and only then does something penetrate in – but that has a completely different shape. So this is what is meant by intellectual listening.
If you want to go deep in understanding what is being said. this inner turmoil must stop. It must cease! It must not continue! Otherwise, you are in your own way, and constantly destroying the very possibility of something which can happen to you. You can miss, and everyone is missing much.
We live enclosed in our own minds, and we carry that enclosure with us everywhere. So whatsoever we see, whatsoever we hear, whatsoever happens around us, it is never transmitted to the inner consciousness directly. The mind remains in between, always playing tricks.
One must be aware that this is happening. This is the first thing in order to go deep. This is the first thing for the second stage of listening – to be aware of what your mind is doing to you. It is coming in between. Wherever you move, it moves before you. It is not like a shadow which follows. you have become a shadow to it. It goes, and you have to move. It moves before you and colors everything. So you are never in contact with the “facticity” of anything. The mind creates a fiction.
You must be aware of this phenomenon of what the mind is doing. But you are not – because we are. identified with the mind, we never think that the mind is doing something. When I say something and it does not tally with your thought, it is not that you will think that your mind is not tallying with the thought. You will think, “No, I am not convinced.” You do not have a gap between you and your mind. You are identified – and that is really the problem. That is how the mind can play tricks with you.
You are identified with a thought or with a thought process. And this is strange, because only two days before this the thought was not yours. You heard it somewhere; now you have absorbed it and it has become your own. And now this thought will say, “No – this is not right because this is not according to me.” You will not feel the difference that this is mind speaking, memory speaking, the mechanism speaking. You will not feel that “I must remain aloof”.
Even if you have to compare, even if you have to judge, you must remain aloof – aloof from your memory, from your mind, from your past. But there is a subtle identification: “My mind is me.” So I say, “I am a Communist” or “I am a Catholic” or “I am a Hindu.” I never say, “My mind has been brought up in such a way that my mind is Hindu” This is the fact: you are not Hindu. How can you be a Hindu? It is only the mind. If you are the Hindu, then there is no possibility of any transformation.
The mind can be changed, and you must remain capable of changing it. If you become identified with it, then you lose your freedom. The greatest freedom is to be free of one’s own mind. The greatest, I say – to be free from one’s own mind – because it is a subtle bondage, so deep that you never feel it as a bondage The very prison becomes your home.
Be constantly aware that your mind is not your consciousness. And the more you are aware, the more you will feel that consciousness is something totally different. Consciousness is the energy; mind is just the thought content. Be the master of it! Don’t allow it to be the master; don’t allow it to just go ahead of you everywhere. Let it follow you, use it, but don’t be used by it. It is an instrument, but we are identified with this instrument. Mm? So break the identification. Remember that you are not the mind.
But, really, so-called religious persons always remember: “We are not the body.” They never remember: “We are not the mind.” And body is not a bondage at all. Mind is the bondage! Your body is not a bondage at all! Your mind is. And, really, your body comes from nature, from the Divine, and your mind from the society. So body has a beauty, but never the mind. Mind is always ugly. It is a cultivated thing, a false construct. The body has a very beautiful realm. And if you can drop the mind, then you will not feel any conflict at all with the body. The body becomes just a door to the greater – to the infinite expanse. There is nothing ugly in the body – mm? – it is a natural flowering. But the so-called religious people are always against the body and always for the mind. They have created such a nuisance! They have created such confusion! And they have destroyed all sensitivity, because body is the source of all sensitivity. If once you begin to be against your body, you will become insensate.
The mind is just an accumulation of past knowledge, information, experiences. It is just a computer. We are identified with it. […] Remember this: be aware and create a distance between you and your mind. Never create any distance between you and your body. Create a distance between you and your mind! You will be more alive and more childlike and more innocent and more aware.
So the first thing is to create a distance: that is, not to identify. Remember you are not the mind, then the first listening will change into the second. The second is emotional – deeply felt, sympathetic. It is a love attitude. You are hearing some music or seeing a dance, so you don’t just remember the intellect – you begin to participate. When you are seeing a dance, your feet begin to participate. When you are listening to music, your hands begin to be participants; you begin to be part of it. This is a sympathetic way of listening, deeper than intellect. That’s why, whenever you can listen with your heart and feeling, you feel elated, you feel transported to somewhere else. Then you are not in this world. Really, you are in this world, but you feel that you are not in this world. Why? Because you are not in the world of the intellect. A different realm opens – you begin to be actively in it. […]
The second center is more involved. You begin to participate. I say you will understand more if you begin to participate, because the moment you are sympathetic your mind is open – more open than when you are in a constant fight. It is open, receptive, inviting. This is how one can listen through feeling. But still there is a depth even deeper than feeling and that depth I call total listening, with your full being – because feeling is again a part. Intellect is a part, feeling is a part, the source of action is another. There are many parts in your existence, in your being. You can listen with feeling better than with intellect, but still, it is only a part. And when you are listening with your feeling, the intellect will just go to sleep; otherwise, it will disturb. It will just go to sleep!
The third is to listen totally – not even participating with it but being one with it. One way is to watch dance through intellect; another is to feel dance and begin to participate in it. Sitting in your seat, the dancer is dancing. You begin to participate; you begin to keep the beat. And the third is becoming the dance oneself – not the dancer, but the dance. The total being is involved. You are not even out to feel it: you are it! So remember that the deepest knowledge is possible only when you become one with something.
This is by faith. How to come to it? Be aware of your intellect; be unidentified with the mind. Then come to the second – feeling. Then be aware that feeling is just a part and your whole being is just Lying dead. The whole is not there, so bring the whole into it. When you bring the whole in it is not that the intellect is denied, or feeling is denied. They are in it, but now in a different harmony. Nothing is negated. Everything is there, but now in a different pattern. The whole being is participating – is in it – has become it.
So when you listen, just listen as if you have become the listening. […] Be it! Let it go. Vibrate – with no resistance, with no feeling, but with totality! Experiment with it, and you will begin to experience a new dimension of listening. And that goes not only for listening: it is for everything. You can eat that way, you can walk that way, you can sleep that way – you can live that way! […]
If you can be totally in anything, the miracle happens. […]
From The Ultimate Alchemy, V.1 #2, Q3
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For a related post see Total Listening.