The next day in the morning Buddha said, “You hear the same words, but you interpret them according to your own mind.”
This is not listening.
Listening is when your mind does not interpret, does not interfere, when it stands out of the way and lets the words reach directly to the heart. The heart does not know any interpretation, it simply has one capacity, and that capacity is of recognition. If something is true, it recognizes it as true; if something is wrong, it recognizes it as wrong – without any deliberation, without any thinking.
Just as you open your eyes – if it is light there is no question of deciding; you know, you recognize. If it is dark there is no question of thinking; again you recognize. The heart has an inbuilt capacity to recognize the truth, but the mind comes in between and does not allow things to reach to the heart.
Psychologists say today that whatever you hear is almost eighty percent changed by your mind. It is not a small percentage. And with eighty percent of it changed, the remaining twenty percent is also in a different context. It has lost its old context; its meaning cannot be the same.
Hence, the mystics feel it is easier to talk to the trees or with the animals or with the birds. Saint Francis, one of the most authentic men Christianity has produced, used to talk to the animals. He would come to the bank of a river and he would call to the fishes, “Listen, I’m here…” and the fishes would jump out of the water to greet him – this has been observed by thousands of people. He would go to a tree, hold the tree like a friend holds the hand of another friend, and would talk with the tree.
People used to think that he was a little insane – “This is nonsense talking to the trees.” But now modern research about trees says that trees are more sensitive than you are. Of course, their sensitivity has a different dimension.
If a woodcutter comes with the idea of cutting down a certain tree, that tree goes into a nervous breakdown. And now we have developed machines, something like cardiograms, which are attached to the tree. It has baffled the scientists, because the man has not said that he is going to cut down a certain tree, he has only the idea, but the idea in some mysterious way is transferred to the tree, even without him having spoken. The cardiogram graph which was going very smoothly suddenly becomes disturbed. The tree is freaking out! And if the gardener comes to water the same tree, even before he has reached the tree the cardiogram becomes even smoother, more symmetrical – a friend is coming!