Chapter 1: The Tradition of the Upanishads and the Secrets of Meditation
One is: how to listen, because there are different dimensions of listening. You can listen with your intellect, with your reason, mm? - that is one way of listening to a thing: the most common, the most ordinary and the most shallow, because with reason you are always either in defense or in attack. You are always fighting with reason, so whenever someone tries to understand something through reason he is fighting with the thing. At the most a very rudimentary understanding is possible, just an acquaintance is possible. The deeper meaning is bound to be missed because the deeper meaning needs a very sympathetic listening.
Reason can never listen with sympathy. It listens with a very argumentative background. It can never listen with love; that is impossible. So listening with reason is good if you are trying to understand mathematics, if you are trying to understand logic, if you are trying to understand any system which is totally rational.
If you listen to poetry with reason, then you will be blind. It is as if one is trying to see with one’s ears or to hear with one’s eyes. You cannot understand poetry through reason. So there is a deeper understanding - the second type of understanding - which is not through reason but through love, through feeling, through emotion, through heart.
Reason is always in conflict; reason will not allow anything to pass in easily. It must be defeated; only then can something penetrate. It is an armor around the mind; it is a defense method, a defense measure. It is alert every moment that nothing should pass it unawares, and that nothing should be allowed in - unless reason is defeated. And even when reason is defeated the thing is not going into your heart, because in defeat you cannot feel sympathetic.
The second dimension of listening is through heart, through feeling. Someone is listening to music; then no analysis is needed. Of course if you are a critic, then you will not be able to understand music. You may be able to understand the mathematics, the meter, the language, everything about music - but never the music itself, because music cannot be analyzed. It is a whole. It is a totality. If you wait for a single second to analyze it you have missed much. It is a flowing totality. Of course paper music can be analyzed, but never real music when it is playing. So you cannot stand aloof, you cannot be an observer; you have to be a participant. If you participate, only then do you understand.
So through feeling.the way of understanding is through participation. You cannot be an observer, you cannot stand outside. You cannot make music an object. You have to flow with it, you have to be deeply in love with it. There will be moments when you will not be and only music will be there. Those will be the peaks; those moments will be the moments of music. Then something penetrates to your deeper being. This is a deeper way to listen, but it is still not the deepest.
The first way is through reason - rational; the second is through feeling - emotional; and the third is through being - existential. When you listen through your reason, you are listening through one part of your being. Again, when you listen through your feeling, you are listening through one part of your being. The third, the deepest, the most authentic dimension of listening, is through your totality - body, mind, spirit - as a whole, as a oneness. If you understand this third way, only then will you be able to penetrate the mystery of the Upanishad.