Listening: When the soul touches another



What is the toll when for those we love, we fail to pay full attention to the subtle qualities of their life?  We are sometimes caught up in our own lives so much so that we are often not “there” for others around us.  Our focus is primarily on how we fit into the world.  It is our issues, our needs, our wants, and other ego related concerns which take precedence over the interests of another person’s.  And what about those we love?  At what result do the people we love get overlooked when we do not truly listen to them and take all of them into account?  What do you pay attention to when your family members or other close friends speak out about their affairs?  We may just brush them off because we think we know them well enough,  and since we have already figured them out, we pay little observance to them.

One result may be the dilution of the relationship in that it greatly diminishes the authenticity.  We drift apart and this could happen to the relationships within our families.  We end up not validating others because we are not “present” with them in their accounts with us.  Our diversions take us away from being “present” when we are with them.  Presence in mind or mindfulness about them is such a crucial skill we do not often employ.

We all want to be understood, we all want to be acknowledged, we all want to be remembered and some people want many admirers.  In terms about our emotional connections with other people, I think that it is more important to be loved deeply than to be loved widely.  This irrefutable fact is more than what most of us get!  You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have a say in who hurts you.

I have struggled greatly with the relationships growing up as a boy with my family.  I often internalized the behaviors I observed and thought much on the subject for many years.  It is precisely why I feel deeply about such matters, because of the impact it had on my life, how I grew up, and to what extent it shaped my values and sensitivities at a very early age.  I had little validation and acknowledgement because I was the child that did not give my family any reason to fuss over.  I learned very early to self-soothe myself since I had little connection to the rest of my family.

I think that because of my awareness, I have seen the full spectrum of the emotional pendulum.  The examples of extreme detachment and extreme empathetic people are self defining.  I vowed to study and understand these phenomena so that I may never repeat the unfortunate examples that I experienced in my life.  That I would live my life in accordance with the values I recognized to be essential for “connecting” to other people.  Authenticity was a central theme for me through-out my progress.  In the course of my discovery, I gave of myself as I would like to receive.  In that odyssey and experience with others, I felt some of them on some very profound levels that I don’t think they even identified.  It taught me much about the human heart and the entanglements we can find ourselves in.

I must admit that I still value those moments I’ve shared with people because I have confirmed and substantiated my beliefs.  I have certified that I have loved deeply without misplacing myself into the equation.  I have never forgotten those moments when I was presently minded and without my ego to muck things up as I listened to another person’s heart open up to me.  It is why we as people can connect at great depth to others because of the power it provides us with.



We take exams about our reading essays and when graded they measure our reading comprehension.  Educators do this on all grade levels from elementary schools to University level students.  I ask why we do not call out for more training in human communications and ask for listening comprehension between people?  Think of the skills learned and the lessons learned that could greatly impact the communities at large when empowered with such training.  Sadly we do not invest in such matters, and many do not comprehend themselves let alone others.

When you open yourself up to other people, do you expect them to listen to you with an authentic ear extended?  What is the feeling you get when you share an emotive pairing of the minds and become one with others?  Not that you agree with what they say necessarily, but rather that you completely understand what they have said, empathize and give of yourself to them while they speak without judgement and accept them for who they are in the moment.

The tragedy found in many people’s lives is the non-recognition of how important the art of listening is and what it means to others.  If you have ever felt left out, if you have ever been ignored or not validated on how you feel or think, I can only say that there are people who will listen and are attentive even when the people you want the validation from are not there for you on this level.  If you are mindful and aware of this dynamic, then maybe you will express yourself in a way that will touch another persons soul.

Leo Buscaglia

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
Leo Buscaglia
Jiddu Krishnamurti

“How do you listen? Do you listen with your projections, through your projection, through your ambitions, desires, fears, anxieties, through hearing only what you want to hear, only what will be satisfactory, what will gratify, what will give comfort, what will for the moment alleviate your suffering? If you listen through the screen of your desires, then you obviously listen to your own voice; you are listening to your own desires. And is there any other form of listening? Is it not important to find out how to listen not only to what is being said but to everything – to the noise in the streets, to the chatter of birds, to the noise of the tramcar, to the restless sea, to the voice of your husband, to your wife, to your friends, to the cry of a baby? Listening has importance only when on is not projecting one’s own desires through which one listens. Can one put aside all these screens through which we listen, and really listen?”
Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life
Jiddu Krishnamurti

“You are now listening to me; you are not making an effort to pay attention, you are just listening; and if there is truth in what you hear, you will find remarkable change taking place in you – a change that is not premeditated or wished for, a transformation, a complete revolution in which the truth alone is master and not the creations of your mind. And if I may suggest it, you should listen in that way to everything – not only to what I am saying, but also to what other people are saying; to the birds, to the whistle of a locomotive, to the noise of the bus gong by. You will find that the more you listen to everything, the greater is the silence, and that silence is then not broken by noise. It is only when you are resisting something, when you are putting up a barrier between yourself and that to which you do not want to listen – it is only then that there is a struggle.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words, like silent raindrops fell
And echoed
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence

Simon and Garfunkel