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Chapter 7: I Have Been Fooled!

So I say, rains fall, but sometimes the ground they rain on is stony. It is raining, but seeds will not sprout. And sometimes it rains on ground that is a bit rocky. Seeds sprout, but not so many as could sprout forth. And sometimes it rains on ground that is completely ready, that is fertile and has no rocks - there is a great harvest.

Janak is that type of soil. A hint was enough.

It is worth trying to understand Janak’s state because you will be somewhere among these three. And it depends on you where you insist on placing yourself in these three. You can be just an ordinary person who insists on not listening, who has vowed to fight against the truth; who, listening, hears something else; who interprets as he listens; who, as he listens, goes on projecting other things he has heard onto it - colors it, distorts it, hears whatever he wants.

You do not hear what is being said. You hear what you want to hear.

I have heard that one day Mulla Nasruddin’s wife came home in a rage and said to Mulla, that beggars are big cheats.

“Why, what happened?” Nasruddin asked.

“Listen, a beggar had a sign hung around his neck which said ‘Blind from birth.’ I took pity on him and took ten paise from my purse and dropped it in his begging bowl. When he heard it he said, ‘Oh beautiful woman, may God make you happy.’ Now you tell me: How could he know that I am beautiful?”

Mulla Nasruddin started to laugh and said, “He is really blind and blind since birth.” Then Mulla added, “I am not the only one blind, there is one more blind man. Otherwise, if he did have eyes how could he say that you were beautiful?”

The wife says one thing, Mulla hears something else. Mulla hears what he wants to hear.

Remember, this goes on happening twenty-four hours a day. You go on hearing what you want to hear, never thinking whether what you hear is just yours or was it actually said?

Mulla was working somewhere and the boss told him, “You are not doing good work, Nasruddin. I am forced to hire someone else now.”

Nasruddin said, “You certainly should, boss, there is work here for two men.”

The boss is saying, “I am going to sack you and hire another man.” Mulla is saying, “There is enough work for two, you must hire someone else.”

Step back and think one more time about what you hear: is it what was said? If an individual becomes capable of hearing correctly he becomes the second type of listener; he rises above the third, the lowest type. The third adds his own interpretations to what he hears. The third type only hears himself, hears his own echoes. His vision is not clear, he distorts everything.

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