It is important
to understand what is written non-verbally. Therefore,
rather than simply going through what is written verbally
(which means only understanding the meaning of the words),
you should try to look at what is being said, which means
have a direct perception of it. There is a difference between
the two. Verbal comprehension, which is intellectual comprehension,
Now, first of all
do please bear in mind that the description is not the described,
so don't be caught by the description, by the words. The word, the
description, is merely a means of communicating. But if you are
held by the word you cannot go very far. One has to be aware not
only of the meaning of the word, but also one has to realize that
the word is not actually the thing. The Word, which is a label given
to a thing - objective or subjective, is meant for communication.
But the word is not the thing it refers to. The word “apple”, A-P-P-L-E
is not the actual apple. This must be understood very clearly. This
is not something abstract or theoretical but a fact, which one can
observe oneself, if one goes into it a little deeply.
I have observed that
most of us do not listen. If we don't listen, then we won't understand.
Its a simple fact. Therefore, for understanding, listening is the
first requisite. I wonder if you've noticed, when something is being
said by someone, when we read an email, an article, a book, we are
too quick to respond, like machines. We are too ready to form opinions,
judgments, conclusions and identify what is being said with what
we already know. We never simply listen without conclusions, opinions,
evaluations or identification of any kind. As long as you listen
with evaluation, conclusions, identification, you are not actually
We never simply listen, without trying to do something with what
we are hearing or seeing. We are too quick to react, to form an
opinion, rather than waiting to be completely aware of what is being
said and paying complete attention. We want to form an opinion quickly,
explain the thing away and move on to something else. We are always
in a hurry, mentally. We want to make an opinion, come to a conclusion,
justify it , explain the thing to ourselves; or we simply wish to
show the other person how clever we are - and how quick thinking
people we are and start thinking of clever responses.
have to ask this question - do we actually listen? and What
does it mean to actually listen?
Listening itself is a complete act; the very act of listening
brings its own understanding. When you actually listen, it
mean you are listening not only with your ears, but with your
mind, heart, with all your being. Listening is not free when
it is blocked by the imposition of the environment or your
ideas. Words confuse; they are only the outward means of communication.
What is important is to go beyond the words and understand
the significance, the inward content of what is being communicated.
To listen to something
demands that your mind be quiet. Only out of quietness, can listening
and perception take place. I am telling you something, and to listen
to me you have to be quiet, not have all kinds of ideas buzzing
in your mind. It is only when you listen without the idea, without
thought, that you are directly in contact; and being in contact,
you will understand whether what I or anybody else is saying is
true or false. Then you do not have to discuss it.
So, do I listen, actually? Or do I think that I listen? There
is a difference between the two.
How to do it
? When you ask "how"
, then automatically you are destroying all chances of ever understanding
that thing (except in case of something technical or operational).
The question of `how', the manner of achieving a certain state,
becomes still another problem. You wish to follow a system, a method,
like in all the books these days, but that prevents understanding
by giving psychological comfort. You can only learn to listen by
understanding what listening is, without any effort, by being aware
of your "not listening". Awareness of inattention itself
It is not something theoretical, or something you need to cultivate
or put an effort into, because effort in itself will bring distraction.
Simply being aware of it will
About J. Krishnamurti:
JIDDU KRISHNAMURTI was born May 12, 1895, in Madanapalle, south
India. From 1929 until his death in 1986 he traveled all over the
world speaking spontaneously to large audiences. He engaged in dialogues
with religious leaders, scientists, professors, authors, psychologists,
computer experts, and people from many different backgrounds deeply
questioning their daily life. His talks and dialogues have been
compiled and published in more than fifty books and translated into
as many different languages. His books include Think on These Things,
Education and the Significance of Life, The Awakening of Intelligence,
and The First and Last Freedom.
Krishnamurti’s works can be read online at: http://jiddu-krishnamurti.net/index.php
Writer: Ashutosh Ghildiyal is a salaried professional
based in Mumbai, India. He was born in Lucknow in 1984, where he
completed his schooling. He completed his graduate studies in New
Delhi and his post-graduate education in Mumbai. He is the author
of To Think or Not to Think and Other stories (Book), various blogs,
articles and short stories. Email: [email protected]