Note: the blue italics indicates the teacher, in black other participants.

Listening from the heart

Listening has become the key to many remedies. The psychologist, psychoanalyst, doctor, teacher, political, etc., all are claiming the need to listen to the other. But in this context, listening means taking a certain attitude.


How do you see these particular approaches? Are they listening to the other? And for you, what is listening?

In all the contexts mentioned, listening to an other person is generally filtered through the ego of the listener. It is not easy to get rid of all of our ideological filters, our conditioning, our personal interests and beliefs that preclude really listening, as I define it.

As long as there is an ego, there is a separation between myself – other, making real listening impossible.
Really listening to the other is to: listen with his ears, his bones, with his deep being, with his divine being that is pure and innocent as a child, and does not judge.

Etymologically, listening comes from the Latin “auscultare”: listen carefully, and also “obey”. We know the times when a child is not listening, in the sense of not obeying.
A child who is always listening could not evolve, could not develop an ego, a social identity. To build up an identity one must be opposed, one must affirm oneself in the separation, and one way is through intentional non- listening.

As an adult, we have the opportunity to get rid of our identity mechanisms and find listening unfiltered by our ego. This is the purpose of all true teaching.

How can listening, which is not limited to an attitude or a position, be a step towards freedom of being?

According to my observations, the freedom of being is there or it is not there.
I cannot imagine that there are “steps”.
However, there are exercises that can provide insights for this freedom of being, provided that such exercises are part of a teaching guided by an instructor (see below).
Listening in the sense of “obey” IS freedom of being. One who says obey says accept, welcome, by consciously separating filters of the ego, so beliefs, concepts, desires, fears, even as they arise.
Welcoming amenities at the same level as inconveniences keeps us in listening to non-duality.

The difficulty that we have to listen comes from a fear to no longer exist while listening, to disappear as a person or ego. Is this fear of no longer being an independent individual justified?

Justified or not, the problem does not lie there. The fear of not being an individual remains as long as the belief that one is an independent person is active. I called this belief “the original belief. ” Stephen Wolinsky calls it “false core”. Deactivating it cannot be done overnight; the conditioning is too significant, and by getting rid of this belief, one must be physically prepared to undergo a true withdrawal treatment, with well-known symptoms just like those experienced by drug addicts because the nervous system is accustomed from infancy to live in the separation.
Learning to listen beyond the ego (which basically is just a belief and does not actually exist) cannot, as a rule, be done alone; we need a guide to learn, and who is himself in this listening continually.

Is the practice of listening a way “to realize ones own nothingness” in the words of GI Gurdjieff?

I would phrase it like this: to rediscover the real listening in oneself, it is essential to recognize one’s own nothingness.

To explain the concepts employed by Gurdjieff, how do you see listening as “food for the soul”? With this listening quality you defined, is there a new energy development, and spiritual energies?

By listening from the heart one perceives the essence of the perceived. When I direct my attention on listening to the essential I allow the soul to feed and I connect with the meaning of life.

But also as a practice of “non-inner considering”?

Any inner considering is an obstacle to listening from the heart. In the teaching of Gurdjieff, denouncing inner considering (manifested primarily through internal dialogue which in turn is fed by all kinds of fears) goes with “cultivating” the external considering, making oneself available to serve the context, to allow the free expression of one’s essential value, “the best of the best ” that reigns in us.
Listening from the heart is at the base of external considering.

Is listening from the heart as much listening to oneself as it is listening to the other?

Yes absolutely. Listening to oneself cannot be separated from listening to the other.

Here is an exercise that I recommend:
Listening to another is done simultaneously with listening to oneself. It’s a bit hard to describe this with words, but I’ll try. For those who are familiar with the teachings of Gurdjieff: this is about divided attention (hearing). 50% of this hearing attention is directed to “oneself”, i.e. to one’s body (biologically, there are two simultaneous tracks: listening ear and listening bones that vibrate by the perceived sound) and to one’s heart. The other 50 % are directed to the other, listening to his intention, not his words. In fact, it is essential to know how to dissociate from words because words have a different meaning for each of us.
Staying at the speech and words level produces confusion of languages and misunderstandings.

In listening from the heart, we are united.