Chapter 28: The Art of Listening Is Enough
Friedrich Nietzsche is saying: All that is needed is to know the art of listening. Listening to the winds and listening to the clouds and listening to the dancing trees, the falling leaves - utterly in silence, your mind weaving no thoughts, no thinking - is the very foundation of listening. It does not mean you have to agree. There is no question of agreement, because a man like Nietzsche is not so mean that he wants you to agree with him. He simply wants you to understand him, and then it is up to you what you do with it. Agree or don’t agree - but at least listen!
Naturally, there are only very few people in the world who are capable of being silent, meditative, capable of listening. It is a strange phenomenon: if you can learn the art, it is not a question of listening to my words or Nietzsche’s words. It is a question of the art of listening.
It is within you.
Said differently, I call it meditation - just being silent. Even listening does not give you the accurate description of the state that is needed for you to find the truth of your own self. But listening is certainly one of the easiest processes of meditation.
The whole function of being with a master is to learn to listen not only to his words but his silences. Not only his silences but also his gestures, his eyes, his very being, his heartbeat.
Because the heartbeat of a master is in tune with the heartbeat of the universe. If you can be in tune with the master, without your knowing you have fallen in tune with the universe. The master was only a device. Perhaps the universe was too much - if somebody had said to you, “Go and listen to the universe” it would have been too much, almost incomprehensible.
The master simply says, “Listen to what I am saying and listen so carefully that you don’t miss the silences.” With a simple strategy, the master is bringing you closer to the universe. And as you become able to listen, the master will disappear, will withdraw, and let you listen to the winds and the rain and the clouds and the whole heartbeat of the universe. In that listening, you will open up; your bud will become an open rose.
I will go through the question because it is exactly what I am doing here.
“Here, there speaks no prophet..”
All the religions, their priests, their high priests, are against me for the simple reason that I say anybody who has claimed to be a prophet is insane. The future is always unknown. That’s its beauty, that’s the whole adventure of life: to go on continuously into the unknown. The prophet is declaring that, “I know what is going to happen tomorrow. I know what is going to happen twenty-five centuries later.” The prophet is declaring that for him, there is no future; for him there is nothing unknown. He has reduced everything unknown into the known.
Naturally, he does not ask you to listen; he simply wants you to believe. It is not a question of your understanding, it is a question of your surrender, total acceptance, faith. It is not incidentally that all religions are called “faiths.” They are based on faith. And none of the prophets has proved right in all his prophecies.