Chapter 7: Temple Fire
He made a really subtle distinction. He said, “Hearing is okay, I am hearing you; but listening is the problem” - because listening is more than hearing; listening is hearing with full awareness. Just hearing is okay, sounds are all around you - you hear, but you are not listening. You have to hear, because the sounds will go on knocking at your eardrum; you have to hear. But you are not there to listen, because listening means a deep attention, a rapport - not a constant commentary inside, not saying yes or no, not agreeing, disagreeing, because if you agree and disagree, in that moment how can you listen to me?
When you agree, what I said is already past; when you disagree, it is already gone. And in the moment you nod your head inside, say no or yes, you are missing - and this is a constant thing inside you.
You cannot listen. And the more knowledge you have the more difficult listening becomes. Listening means innocent attention - you simply listen. There is no need to be in agreement or disagreement. I am not in search of your agreement or disagreement. I am not asking for your vote, I am not seeking your following, I am not in any way trying to convince you.
What do you do when a parrot starts screeching in a tree? Do you comment? Yes, then too you say, “Disturbing.” You cannot listen even to a parrot. When the wind is blowing through the trees and there’s the rustling noise, do you listen to it? Sometimes, maybe; it catches you unawares. But then too you comment, “Yes, beautiful!”
Now watch: whenever you comment, you fall asleep. The mind has come in, and with the mind the past and future enter. The vertical line is lost - and you become horizontal. The moment mind enters you become horizontal. You miss eternity.
Simply listen. There is no need to say yes or no. There is no need to be convinced or not convinced. Simply listen, and the truth will be revealed to you - or the untruth! If somebody is talking nonsense, if you simply listen the nonsense will be revealed to you - without any commentary from the mind. If somebody is speaking the truth, it will be revealed to you. Truth or untruth is not an agreement or a disagreement of your mind, it is a feeling. When you are in total rapport, you feel, and you simply feel that it is true or it is untrue - and the thing is finished! No worrying about it, no thinking about it! What can thinking do?
If you have been brought up in a certain way, if you are a Christian, or a Hindu, or a Mohammedan, and I am saying something which happens to agree with your upbringing, you will say yes. If it doesn’t happen so, you will say no. Are you here or is only the upbringing here? And upbringing is just accidental.
The mind cannot find what is true, the mind cannot find what is untrue. The mind can reason about it, but all reasoning is based on conditioning. If you are a Hindu you reason in one way, if you are a Mohammedan you reason in a different way. And every type of conditioning rationalizes. It is not really reasoning: you rationalize.
Mulla Nasruddin became very aged; he attained one hundred years. A reporter came to see him, because he was the oldest citizen around those parts. The reporter said, “Nasruddin, there are a few questions I would like to ask. One is, do you think you will be able to live a hundred years more?”