Dispatches From Deep Listening

2 Turtles Framed

Dispatches From Deep Listening

A good number of years ago a TV star from the UFO community gave me a piece of long-term advice. He said, “When you’re ready to leave this field you’ve got to write a tell-all book.” I immediately thought, Aren’t you worried about what I’ll say about you?

I’ve pondered the idea seriously since then. Ultimately, what I’ve come to is this: as fun as it may be to write, we don’t have time for a shallow tell-all book. However, I have learned quite a bit about the human condition from the very stories that would have made a perfect tell-all. These morsels of understanding came about through deep listening. Listening, that is, gained through the organ of the ear, discernment of the brain, and compassion of the heart. What I’m outlining here isn’t special knowledge. It is something many of us do every day in everyday conversation: care. Hear the other. Understand the other. Put ourselves in their shoes, as the saying goes.

Deep listening at its best tells us as much about ourselves—or more—as it does the speaker. Sadly, too often it tells us more about the speaker than even the speaker knows. As frustrating as this may sound, it isn’t really, for one ingredient of compassion is the understanding that we have been just as unconscious of ourselves as the speaker—and may right now be living in reaction to certain issues we do not wish to face.

Beyond even that, compassion requires the understanding that the speaker’s problems are our problems, for there is no other to whom we are listening. There is no other whom we are understanding. We are not putting ourselves in their shoes, we are them in deep connection, for there is no we/them—no you, no me, no speaker. There is only one voice speaking, but, crudely put, it is being distorted through the unique translator of each body’s memory-driven life. That distortion is also, still, an emanation of the one voice.

See if these dispatches don’t sound just like all of us.