February 23, 2007

Hearing and Recognizing Truth

According to Schopenhauer, "every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self-evident."

I find these stages in my experience, in my mind. It seems to be how the human mind works. It absolutely will not listen to anything except its own meaningless chatter. Everything is looked at through its own judgment and concepts which are all self-contained. To really listen means to refuse, in my mind, to listen to these meaningless comments. It is an act of will, and in order to maintain a mode of true listening, I need to watch my mind continuously. Only then can I hear what anyone says, that is letting it simply be what it is. Anyone says what he says, and not what I think he says, or would have him say.

That is how I let you in, let you be in my mind, and doing so I experience that you truly are in my mind, an idea expressing itself.

To listen in this way is truly a challenge and a great adventure. It opens what otherwise would be hidden from me forever. It all depends on me. It is as Jesus said: "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand." (Mt 13:13 ). To hear, I have to really want to hear.

To hear Master Teacher, I find it necessary and helpful to let him be talking directly and personally, only, to me. That lets me be easily motivated enough to truly listen. The infinite value he has for me is evident if I do this. Yet it all starts with me. To give is to receive. Thank you, God. Thank you, Master Teacher.

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