Acquiring Ears That Hear
Always keep in mind the difference between hearing and listening. Hearing is a natural ability, while listening is an art. As an art, it requires the discipline of creating empty, fertile spaces in conversations so another can speak—and also an empty mind! A vacant mind is one where we cease talking to ourselves by ending that continuous inner-dialogue we carry on within. Our multifaceted mind is capable of doing two or more things at the same time. This ability allows us to appear to be listening, while another part of us is talking-thinking about what to say next, wrestling with some problem or planning a future event.
Being a good listener in a conversation requires first empting yourself of yourself. Yet our prehistoric priority is thinking about ourselves—our personal needs, problems, pains, and comfort. So, we need daily enemas! Our patron for these daily enemas (whom I’ve mentioned previously in my writings) is the French King Louis XIV, who had as many as four enemas a day!
Perhaps four or more enemas a day may be needed for those who live under the same roof where the rule of thumb is, “The more familiar the speaker, the greater the effort to truly listen to him or her.” In all listening, good listeners use their “third” ear to strive to hear what is unspoken…and what is being spoken in code.
When the Teacher said, “Let those with ears hear,” he implied a listening that understood what had been said. Each of us longs to be heard, to be understood and therefore accepted. In conclusion, let us discipline ourselves to speak less and listen more to one another—and to God.