Before we continue the discussion about fear, death and love, we should discuss quite an important subject - the art of listening. Life is really both a challenge and a response, and if we do not know how to respond truly, there will be misery. Similarly, if we do not know how to listen, our mind is so filled with our own thoughts, our own problems, our own conclusions and our own questions, that it is almost impossible to listen to somebody. Is it not possible to listen with an extraordinary alertness, but not with an effort? After all, understanding comes, not through effort but spontaneously when there is an effortless relaxation, a sense of communication with each other. When you love somebody very deeply and really, in that state of real affection, there is a sense of full communication. We do not have to make an effort or to exert ourselves. I think it is important during these discussions to listen with ease but yet with a tension because most of us, when we are at ease, are generally lazy, so relaxed that nothing can penetrate. But, there is a right tension, a psychological tension, not a tension to the breaking point; but, as the string of a violin, it must be tuned just right. Similarly, it is possible for us to listen in such a way that communication is possible instantaneously, at the same time and the same level.
Group Discussion 18th November, 1947