Listening is something we do to someone

To my good friends–

Is it possible we don’t need to learn how to listen better? By blaming listening we have not solved the “problem” of dialogue; we have not even named it. Listening is not discrete from speaking—it is integral with it in meeting. We do not know how to listen because we do not yet know how to meet. We listen “critically”—which means we are thinking how the other is wrong or what our next point is. We are not meeting. We do not even listen to our own thought and its methods. Neither of us is even getting heard. Meeting is more than either of these.

After all, listening is something you do to someone; meeting we do with. Being heard does not so much partake of a passive nature as at first it may seem, but of a shared nature. I allow you to come in when I hear you; I even allow me to come in when I truly hear myself; there is an intermingling of the selves. As ten year old boys we thought by holding cuts together we’d become “blood brothers;” here we find its living fulfillment.

Here there be possible new life. Here there be. Here we be.

:- Doug.

Published in: Conversations | on July 15th, 2006 | No Comments »

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