When listening moves you.

There is a time for listening, and there is a time for doing.

I have this notion that our culture is still quite immature, and as a people we need to learn much more how to listen, to listen to each other, to listen to the world, to listen to nature and the subtle energies we sometimes refer to as angels. I see all too much how this lack of listening results in brutish insensitivity, the cold, hard, calculating thrust of the “just get it done” mentality.

Interesting side note, the word Brutish is quite similar to the word British… As a British woman, growing up in Britain, I know all too well the cultural stereotype of the “just get it done” mentality.

But this rather brutish attitude leaves little room for reflective, compassionate listening. Rather, it panders to the reactive, subservient, authoritarian ways of just getting on with it. Business as usual. Don’t be so hysterical dear. Just follow the science. Yes sir, three bags full. Doff the cap, whatever you say governor…

Don’t worry about it, the boffins have it all under control, with their mathematics and their quantum computers… So we should just listen when we’re told to, and do what we’re told. Do we really need to inquire into the subtle interplay of listening and doing? Is there really a natural evolution from listening to doing? Or should we just listen to the experts and then act when we’re told to act? When is the right moment to stop listening and start doing?

Yet this is not really an intellectual type of activity. There’s no algorithm, no calculation for determining exactly when is the right moment to move from listening into doing.

There is a branch of science devoted to studying such questions. But I’m not talking about it from a mathematical perspective. I’m coming to this from the perspective of feeling.

We know when a relationship is over. We don’t measure it, or calculate it, or throw a dice. We feel it.

And there’s a similar process at work when we move from listening to doing. From passive to active. Something grows inside us and as a result action naturally unfolds.

Often we look back and wonder where the action came from, and there’s no real answer to that. We say it was just time, just the right moment, it was just meant to be…

Perhaps a quantum computer could calculate the billions of decision vectors to decode the precise moment of the “when”, but I get the feeling that even then, there would be some puzzle, something unknowable about the whole process. And I’m glad about that. Because if we could know exactly when we were going to act, somehow that knowing would get in the way of the action, and it would interfere with it.

When listening moves effortlessly, authentically, into action. Without premeditated calculation, there is a quality to it that is missing when it’s calculated. The clinical decision lacks a deeper resonance with the whole situation. A connection that is only established when listening moves, naturally into doing.

As a natural listener, I find myself inquiring more into the qualities of “doing”, I’m very interested in the turning point, where inaction becomes action.

Often we associate listening with passivity, but if you’ve done a lot of listening, you know how tiring it can be. There is a very active element to really listening. It involves being truly present, open, responsive. Words that reflect activity.

Our culture is very object, physically oriented, and if someone is not frantically moving about, or showing tremendous amounts of strain, then they’re not working hard enough. They’re not “doing” anything!

We have the idea that the clouds just float in the sky, not doing anything. The flowers just bask in the sun, not doing anything. And the Beas… well they’re busy of course!

So this objectifying of the world has lead to this concept of “activity” vs “inactivity”.

Like I said, it’s rather immature. Just think a little more deeply, and we can see how much activity goes on beneath the surface, without the need for any show of strain or busyness. A tree doesn’t exhaust itself producing apples… Yet we manage to be exhausting the entire worlds resources in our busy endeavour to just survive.

Is seems that in the same way we’ve been trying to force action from ourselves, we’re trying to force the world into giving us all of its gifts at once. Like a spoiled child receiving a present, so eager to tear the paper off. Perhaps the paper was the gift…

We miss so much in our rush to apparent physical action, most notably, the beauty of the sublime discovery that out of listening alone, true action grows.

And any activity in the world not born from the deep qualities of this listening is actually quite brutish and violent in its nature.

2 thoughts on “When listening moves you.

  1. That was very interesting. I liked the following lines: “A tree doesn’t exhaust itself producing apples… Yet we manage to be exhausting the entire worlds resources in our busy endeavour to just survive.

    Is seems that in the same way we’ve been trying to force action from ourselves, we’re trying to force the world into giving us all of its gifts at once. Like a spoiled child receiving a present, so eager to tear the paper off. Perhaps the paper was the gift…”

    I’ve seen many people say how the world is speeding up. How people do want things and at a faster and faster rate. They are expecting instant results, instant action. If it is not instant then it is rubbish, slow and old/out of date.

    There is a massive rush for “action” and more so a rush to act from “reaction”. The listening is the slowing down, becoming aware of what is going on. Actually seeing and hearing what is true right now instead of a “Plan” that is laid out for the future or for different scenarios.

    Those plans only applied at that moment in time when the plans were drawn up. The world is always changing, growing, shifting….etc

    The other point about trying to rush the world to produce its resources is a very good one. Has anyone ever actually took stock of what we actually need to survive? What do we actually need? Can we get it in a way that does not drain the planet dry?

    I mean, I don’t need shit loads of food all of the time. (Even though I love to stuff my face)
    Certain kinds of food I don’t even need to eat like sugar, fizzy drinks, ice cream, cake, crisps…etc.
    I don’t need to have a massive house or have lots of objects.
    I don’t need microwaves, dishwashers or even the old internet that I am typing this on (Even though I would really miss it alot – I think)

    Alot of the stuff is things in excess or creature comforts or even this idea that everyone has to have this blanket level of comfort and security.

    It would change depending on the person, of course. What they need and don’t need for their body health and mental health.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yes that’s interesting. Listening is good, listening to music, to words, to talks, to the wind in the trees, to the rain pattering on the roof, etc. But you’re talking about really, really listening. Your counselling skills. No, listening to the world, or listening to subtle energies. That’s probably harder. At the same time as I’m writing this I want to listen to a Ted talk! I’ll come back to this later xx

    On Tue, 28 Sep 2021 at 11:10, 9:46 in the matrix wrote:

    > Jennifer Lions posted: ” There is a time for listening, and there is a > time for doing. I have this notion that our culture is still quite > immature, and as a people we need to learn much more how to listen, to > listen to each other, to listen to the world, to listen to nature ” >

    Liked by 1 person

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