In a 1955 Talk, J Krishnamurti asks (“As One Is: To Free the mind from all conditioning”): “What is listening?” He goes on:
I think it is important to go into it a little, if you do not mind. Do you really listen,or are you interpreting what is being said in terms ofyour own understanding? Are you capable of listening to anybody? Or is it that in the process of listening, various thoughts, opinions, arise so that your own knowledge and experience intervene between what is being said and your comprehension of it?
In one of his journal notes, (“Commentaries on Living: First Series“), he continues: “To listen there must be an inward quietness.”
Sylvia Boorstein writes about this “inward quietness” in “That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist: On Being A Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist”. Being silent, she observes is about “receiving in a balanced, noncombative way what is happening.”
Cultivating such silence, Otto Scharmer, Senior Lecturer in the MIT Management Sloan School, writes (in “Education is the kindling of a flame: How to reinvent the 21st-century university”) makes us “blackbelt[s] in listening with our minds and hearts wide open”.
The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh writes in “Creating True Peace” that “The secret of creating peace is that when you listen to another person you have only one purpose: to offer him an opportunity to empty his heart.”
Creating peace is possible when we listen with inner silence, we are gifted, as Alain de Botton writes (“The Course of Love”), with the “capacity not to be thrown off course by, or buckle under the weight of, information that may deeply challenge certain settled assumptions.”
Ultimately, as Paul Goodman writes (“Speaking and Language: Defence of Poetry”), silence is a “communion with the cosmos” — leading to the Love that provides Light