Fear is static that prevents me from hearing my intuition.
Listening brings about intensity. The greatest intensity - as experienced in love - is that of becoming one... Seeing is not possible without separating into subject and object. Someone listening, however, takes in, dissolving separation. Hearing disperses 'isolation'.
Your spirit’s life, my brother, is encompassed by loneliness, and were it not for that loneliness and solitude, you would not be you, nor would I be I. Were it not for this loneliness and solitude, I would come to believe on hearing your voice that is was my voice speaking; or seeing your face, that it was myself looking into a mirror.
Thinking should catch sight of what can be heard. Thinking is a fair hearing that catches a glimpse.
When our senses of sight and hearing are distracted by the things outside, without the participation of thought, then the material things act upon the material senses and lead them astray. That is the explanation. The function of the mind is thinking: when you think, you keep your mind, and when you don’t think, you lose your mind. This is what heaven has given to us. One who cultivates his higher self will find that his lower self follows in accord. That is how a man becomes a great man.
You learn by trying out ideas, and hearing reactions to them, and hearing what other people have to say about the topic, and formulating programs, and trying to pursue them, and seeing where they break down, and getting some experience, and so on.
The effects of opposition are wonderful. There are men who rise refreshed on hearing of a threat; men to whom a crisis which intimidates and paralyzes the majority - demanding, not the faculties of prudence and thrift, but comprehension, immovableness, the readiness to sacrifice - comes graceful and beloved as a bride.
The alternations of speaking and hearing make our education.
The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.
The spiritual life is nothing else but the working of the Spirit of God within us, and therefore our own silence must be a great part of our preparation for it, and much speaking or delight in it will often no small hindrance of that good which we can only have from hearing what the Spirit and voice of God speaketh within us.
If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel's heartbeat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence.
But there is only one avenue of access to that higher life. It is through a radical purging of inner unreality and the full and final surrender of one's whole self, all that one is and all that one possesses, to the imperious command of the Living God. From that surrender, when complete and unreserved, will follow release from defeat or ennui and the gift of utterly new joy and strength. The old life will be cast away; the old harrowing problems will dissolve; one will stand free from the shackles of temptation, self-consciousness, selfishness; for the first time in one's life, one will know the meaning of spiritual freedom. All that one has heard with the hearing of the ears about the life of religion, all that one has dismissed as the familiar exaggeration of religious propagandists or naïve faith no longer possible for intelligent moderns — all this will come vividly alive within one's own soul. One now knows, with a certainty for which there is no parallel, the truth of religion's claims — the absolutely unique character of the dedicated life, the vivid and continuous awareness of God's presence, the priceless worth of complete fellowship with Him, the service which is perfect freedom.
Understanding, then, can lead to love. But the revese is also true. Love brings understanding; the two are reciprocal. So we must listen to understand, but we must also listen to put into play the compassion that the wisdom traditions all enjoin, for it is impossible to love another without hearing that other. If we are to be true to these religions, we must attend to others as deeply and as alertly as we hope that they will attend to us; Thomas Merton made this point by saying that God speaks to us in three places: tin scripture, in our deepest selves, and in the voices of the stranger. We must have the graciousness to receive as well as to give, for there is no greater way to depersonalize another than to speak without also listening.
Listening is totally different from hearing. Hearing, anybody who is not deaf can do. Listening is a rare art, one of the last arts. Listening means not only hearing with the ears but hearing from the heart, in utter silence, in absolute peace, with no resistance. One has to be vulnerable to listen, and one has to be in deep love to listen. One has to be in utter surrender to listen.
Whoever feels pain in hearing a good character of his neighbor will feel a pleasure in the reverse; and those who despair to rise in distinction by their virtues are happy if others can be depressed to a level with themselves.
The only way in which a human being can make some approach to knowing the whole of a subject, is by hearing what can be said about it by persons of every variety of opinion, and studying all modes in which it can be looked at by every character of mind. No wise man ever acquired his wisdom in any mode but this; nor is it in the nature of human intellect to become wise in any other manner.
When children ask you questions about gray hairs, and wrinkles in the face, and sighs that have no words, and smiles too bright to be carved upon the radiant face by the hands of hypocrisy--when they ask you about kneeling at the altar, speaking into the vacant air, and uttering words to an unseen and in an invisible Presence--when they interrogate you about your great psalms, and hymns, and anthem-bursts of thankfulness, what is your reply to these? Do not be ashamed of the history. Keep steadily along the line of fact. Say what happened to you, and magnify God in the hearing of the inquirer.
All the masters tell us that the reality of life - which our noisy waking consciousness prevents us from hearing - speaks to us chiefly in silence.
At one time, a freethinker was a man who had been brought up in the conceptions of religion, law and morality, who reached freethought only after conflict and difficulty. But now a new type of born freethinkers has appeared, who grow up without so much as hearing that there used to be laws of morality, or religion, that authorities existed... In the old days, you see, if a man - a Frenchman, for instance- wished to get an education, he would have set to work to study the classics, the theologians, the tragedians, historians and philosophers- and you can realize all the intellectual labour involved. But nowadays he goes straight for the literature of negation, rapidly assimilates the essence of the science of negation, and thinks he's finished.
The eye, which is called the window of the soul, is the principal means by which the central sense can most completely and abundantly appreciate the infinite works of nature; and the ear is the second, which acquires dignity by hearing of the things the eye has seen. If you, historians, or poets, or mathematicians had not seen things with your eyes you could not report of them in writing. And if you, O poet, tell a story with your pen, the painter with his brush can tell it more easily, with simpler completeness and less tedious to be understood. And if you call painting dumb poetry, the painter may call poetry blind painting. Now which is the worse defect? to be blind or dumb? Though the poet is as free as the painter in the invention of his fictions they are not so satisfactory to men as paintings; for, though poetry is able to describe forms, actions and places in words, the painter deals with the actual similitude of the forms, in order to represent them. Now tell me which is the nearer to the actual man: the name of man or the image of the man. The name of man differs in different countries, but his form is never changed but by death.