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Knowing How to Listen

In the world there exist many orators and writers who amaze others with their eloquence; however, to know how to listen to the word is something extremely difficult since indeed, few are they who know how to listen to the word.

The audience might be attentively following the words of the speaker or the readers might be attentively following the words of the writer. They might be listening and focused; however, within their psychological depth there exists a secretary who translates the words of the speaker or of the writer.  That secretary is the “I,” the myself, the ego. That secretary usually misinterprets or mistranslates the articulated or written words. 

The “I” translates the word according to its prejudgments, pre-conceptions, fears, pride, anxieties, ideas, etc.

The readers of a book or the people in an auditorium are certainly not listening to the words of the author, instead they are listening to themselves. They are listening to their own ego; they hear their beloved Machiavellic ego, which is incapable of understanding the real, the true, the essential.

Only in a state of alert novelty, with a spontaneous mind, without the weight of the past, in a state of complete receptiveness can we really listen to the words without the intervention of that bad secretary called the “I,” the myself, the ego.

A mind that is conditioned by the memory only repeats what it has stored. A mind, conditioned by the experiences of so many yesterdays, can only see the present through the dirty glasses of the past.

Therefore, if we want to learn how to listen to the word in order to discover the new, then it is urgent to learn how to live from moment to moment without the preoccupations of the past and without the projections of the future. We must live accordingly with the philosophy of momentariness.

The truth is the unknowable from moment to moment. If we want to be completely receptive our minds must be attentive always, in complete attention, without prejudgments and preconceptions. 

It is necessary to learn how to live wisely, to refine our senses, to refine our behavior, thoughts and feelings.

Of what use is to have a great academic culture if indeed we do not know how to listen to the word, if we are not capable of discovering the new from moment to moment.

Rough, rude, deteriorated and degenerated minds can never know how to discover the new. These types of minds only mistakenly recognize the absurd translations of that secretary called “I,” the ego, the myself.

Fanatics of Marxism-Leninism do not accept the new; they do not admit the fourth characteristic of everything, that is, the Fourth Coordinate because of their self-esteem, because they love themselves too much, because they are confined to their own absurd theories.  Thus, when we place them upon the field of concrete facts, when we demonstrate to them how absurd their sophisms are then they raise their left arm, look at their watch, excuse themselves and leave.

So, degenerated minds, decrepit minds do not know how to listen to the word. They do not know how to discover the new; they do not accept reality because they are bottled up within their self-esteem. They are people who love themselves too much; they do not know anything about cultural refinements because rough and rude minds only listen to their beloved ego. 

First of all it is necessary to learn how to listen to the word. Indeed, those who know how to read the written word are very rare. Normally, when somebody is reading, in reality, he is not listening to the word because his “I,” his ego is translating what he reads into his own language, into his own particular idiosyncrasy, into his own criterion. 

First of all, we must awaken our consciousness in order to learn how to listen to the word. How could somebody whose consciousness is asleep be capable of listening psychologically?

In order to know how to listen psychologically, it is necessary to be present, so I ask you:  In this moment are you sure that you are not mentally wandering somewhere else, perhaps in a workshop, or in the countryside or in some other place? 

When people read a Gnostic book or when they are seated listening to a lecture, they seem to be listening to the word; however, if they are not psychologically present, if they are not consciously in their home (physical body), how are they able to listen to the word?

Normally, when one teaches Gnosis, people seem to be listening but in fact they are not listening; they are escaping, they are mentally walking from here to there, from there to here; they are traveling within their own inner psychological city.  

Let us remember that within each one of us there exists a psychological country.  One thing is the physical city where we live and another thing is the psychological city within which we are psychologically situated.

Where are you psychologically situated at this moment? You might say ‘here’ but that might or might not be right. The truth is that it is difficult to know how to listen to the word. Normally the person who is listening escapes, travels within his own psychological country and runs away in different directions. So, if the person’s consciousness is not at home (his physical body), if his psyche is not at home, who is listening then? The human personality?  Indeed, the human personality does not know how to listen.  Perhaps the physical body is listening?  But the physical body is a mere instrument! 

When one speaks to other people, one thinks that they are alert; however, they are only apparently listening because they are not at home psychologically. 

They are so full of themselves that they do not want to listen to the word. Within themselves they do not have an empty place, a small corner for the word; they are full of vanity, pride, full of their own theories, etc.  How could the word enter within them if they are so full of themselves?

Let us remember Jesus and his birth (in the time of Herod) when his parents went to be taxed and there was no room for them in the inn. So, within the inn (our interior), there was no empty space for the word.  Our inn is always full; our psychological inn is always full.  How serious this is indeed! 

The Buddha under the Bodhi Tree

The Buddha sits by the Bodhi Tree with his bowl facing upwards.

We have to have Buddha’s small bowl always facing up in order to receive the word; however, instead, people do the contrary; they put their bowl turned down.  It is necessary to recognize our own inner misery in order to have a place for the word within our small bowl, within our mind.

But if we are so full of ourselves, how could the word enter within us? In other words, how could we learn how to listen from a psychological point of view?  Because to know how to physically listen is something relatively easy, but to listen psychologically is indeed difficult!

It is necessary to be in a receptive attitude, in the Buddhist style, that is, with the bowl facing up, waiting for psychological nourishment; but if the bowl is turned down, how could the psychological nourishment enter within us?  How could we receive it?

Those who are full of pride, of self-sufficiency, those who are full of theories, are they perhaps in the correct psychological state to receive the word?  First of all, we have to recognize our own misery and inner poverty before receiving the nourishment of the word; however, it is not possible to receive that nourishment if we do not know how to listen to the word.

It so happens that we have read or listened to the word thousands or even millions of times; therefore, we believe that we know it, that we have listened to it or comprehended it; but as a matter of fact, we have not listened to the word at all.  On any given day, we listen to the word again and we feel that there is something new.  Why do we feel that there is something new?  Because we always read or listened with our consciousness asleep, and on the other day we had the luck of listening while in a state of awakened consciousness.  

Understand how difficult it is to know how to listen.  First of all, it is necessary to be self-cognizant if we want to know how to listen. 

Let us remember the temptation of Jesus when the devil said to him: "All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." 

Let us understand the temptation: Jesus Christ was asked to put his bowl facing down, in order to listen to external things, in order to listen to the world only with the external senses; he was not asked to put his bowl facing up, which is the way to receive the inner word that comes from the heights.

So, why did Jesus not fall? Because he was always alert and vigilant as the watchman in times of war; he had his small bowl (mind) facing up. However, if he would have fallen into temptation, that is, if he would have put his small bowl, his mind facing down, he would have listened to the external words, the things that come from outside, the things of the world; he would not have been able to listen psychologically.

So dear reader, we have to become more receptive to the written words; we have to learn to listen psychologically. I repeat, how could it be possible to listen if we are outside of our house?  Who are they that are outside of their house?  They are all of the unconscious ones!

Are you sure that you are listening now? Can you affirm it? Can you be assured that you are totally attentive? Or, are you  wandering in other places? The crude reality of the facts is that when people listen, they do not know how to listen because they are always in other places; they are never at home. 

People do not remember their past existences.  How could it be possible for them to remember past existences if they are not at home? How could someone remember something that they have not yet experienced? 

Do you know what it means to be at home?  Psychologically, we understand that ‘“home” is the human person.  Normally, one’s Real Being is out of his house; then, how could we remember our past existences if we are out of our house all of the time?

In our Gnostic studies there are two primary things: first, to remember ourselves, that is, to remember our Real Being and second, the relaxation of the physical body. To remember the Self and to relax the body is something that we have to constantly do. Remember that the body, the nerves, the muscles are always in tension. It is imperative to learn how to remember the Self and to relax the body. I do it everyday, continuously, while in my bed or anywhere. To do these two primary things is something indispensable.

As a matter of fact, people make many mistakes; they have elaborated upon many complicated theories because they have forgotten their Real Being. For example, if Laplace, the great French astronomer and mathematician would not have forgotten himself, his own Real Being, he would not have conceived of his theory in his mind (the famous theory of Laplace). The theory of Laplace is false and absurd. When Laplace presented his theory to Napoleon Bonaparte, and explained to him how from a nebula, a planet or a solar system comes forth, Napoleon asked him: “And in which place did you put God in your theory?” Then Laplace answered cynically to Napoleon: “No sir, I did not need God to elaborate upon my theory;” observe Laplace’s self-sufficiency.

Nonetheless, it is precisely because he forgot his Inner Being that he could create such a false theory. Presently, not a single astronomer from the planet Earth has seen with his own eyes a planet coming forth or emerging from a nebula.  But incongruently, Laplace’s theory is admitted as dogma by the minds of many fools.  If Laplace would not have forgotten his Real Self, he would not have constructed such an absurd theory.

A fool put some drops of oil in a cup of water and with a small stick he swirled the drops of oil; the swirling produced rings that were rotating around the central drop. “Oh!” He exclaimed, “This is how the universe was formed!”  Then he was asked: “And God?” He then answered: “No, God was not necessary; you can see in my theory how it was formed.”  Indeed, he was really a fool; he did not realize that when performing his theory with the drops of oil in a cup of water, he was playing the role of God; that as a God he was making the oil whirl.

Nevertheless, he was such a fool that he could not realize that somebody was needed in order to produce the movements of the oil with the stick, because the drop of oil by itself could not rotate or would not have spread and formed the rings.  So, a hand was necessary and an intelligent impulse; so the cynic, the fool, was playing the role of God; however, he denied God.  So, this is how torpid people are when they forget their Real Selves.

I do not forget my Real Self, that is, my Real Being; therefore, I state that Laplace’s nebular theory is false. I will go further in this matter. I understand Sabaoth, and Svabhava. What is Svabhava? It is the directive intelligence formed by Sabaoth, by the Army of the Voice. 

How did the universe emerge?  Did it come from a nebula? No! That theory is not true. The universe came forth from Sabaoth, from the mother-substance, from the Chaos, from that which the Hindustanis call Mulaprakriti.  


Vajrasattva, a Tantric Tibetan Buddhist symbol representing the creative power of divine beings

Tantric philosophy teaches the truth. It is stated that some Tantric rites were celebrated at the dawn of the Mahamanvantara (Cosmic Day). The Elohim which in their conjunction form Sabaoth, the Army of the Voice, unfolded themselves in the form of divine androgynous beings. Subsequently, when they took the form of male and female principles, they were ready to fecundate the chaotic matter. In this manner, Isis and her masculine principle Osiris, that is, Sabaoth, had a kind of chemical and metaphysical copulation in order to fecundate the chaotic matter.

This is how (within the chaos) they separated the superior waters from the inferior waters. The superior waters were fecundated by the fire (the masculine principle) and the cosmic fire ascended through the spinal column of Isis (Mulaprakriti); later that fire returned into the Chaos.  So, this is how the Chaos was fecundated and this is how life appeared.  This is how the bed seed of all that exists surged forth. The cause was, has been and always will be the electric whirlwind that generates life everywhere.  Afterwards, the germs of existence, the elemental atoms, the planets with plenty of life, sprang forth.  All of this thanks to Elohim; thanks to the divine androgynous or host of Elohim; not from a nebula!

The first form that came into existence was a Mental universe. Much later it crystallized into Astral matter, then after that into Ethereal matter and finally into physical matter.  There was no nebula as Laplace had stated.  The universe was the creation of the Verb, the Word.

If Laplace would not have forgotten his Real Self, if instead of creating that foolish theory he would have worked deeply on meditation, then it is obvious that he would have one day seen (with the Dangma Eye) the real origins of the universe, a reality that is far away from his foolish theory.  This is the crude reality of the facts!

So, when one forgets one’s Real Self, one makes frightful mistakes. Therefore, what is fundamental is not to forget one’s Real Self.

The fire is what counts in any creation; however, we are not referring to the fire in this physical world, but to the fire within the Chaos. Obviously, in the Chaos the fire is an electric potency with possibilities of awakening in order to create.

In my book The Pistis Sophia Unveiled, I state that Pistis Sophia is definitive within the Chaos.  Indeed, Sophia is the wisdom of the fire that shines within the Chaos; this is why it is stated that “light comes forth from darkness” and that “the cosmos comes forth from the chaos.”  Pistis Sophia as fire shines within the Chaos in order to create and to create anew.  The divine wisdom is within the Chaos and from the Chaos it comes forth in order to arrive to the “13th Aeon,” to the “13th Serpent,” to the “13th Numeral Seven.”

So dear readers, we have to reflect more and more upon these psychological matters. Great truths are understood when one does not forget his Real Being, when one profoundly remembers the Self.

Therefore we recommend that you, our reader, remember your Self on a daily basis and relax your physical body completely on a sofa, just for a moment (whether it be for five or ten minutes, or for half an hour). Thus, one day you will be able to experience the reality within your consciousness. This practice brings the superior emotional center together with the motor center into activity; thus, when in complete relaxation, our consciousness experiences the Being, feeling Him, experiencing Him.

So, it is fundamental to become receptive to our Being. Our personality has to become more and more passive and receptive to the Word that comes from the heights; that word comes through the superior centers of the Being; this is how the Word arrives. However, if we are not receptive, if we do not learn how to relax our bodies, if we forget our Selves, how could we receive the messages that come forth through the superior centers of our Being?

Our readers have to comprehend that we have to become receptive; that it is necessary to learn to receive the word and to capture its profound meaning.  We have to relax and remember ourselves, our own Being daily; in this way we will successfully advance.

Is it not useless for a student to ask a Master for counsel when the student is not in self-remembrance, since he will be unable to listen?

Well, to ask for counsel is necessary but to know how to listen is indispensable. So, it is not absurd to ask for counsel; what is absurd is to not know how to listen to the word. 

Is it possible to learn how to listen through the education of the word?  One thing is to speak it or write it and another thing is to listen to the word. If we do not know how to listen to the word, we will not grasp the true knowledge. 

In order to know how to listen, it is necessary to stay psychologically alert and on guard, to be cognizant. The existence of a total balance between knowledge and comprehension or between knowledge and the Being is also necessary. However, one thing is to listen to the word and another thing is to speak the word. To educate the uttered word is convenient but to know how to listen to the word is indispensable.

When one is in front of an illuminated Master there is a lethargy of the mind; one is unable to absorb all of the words of the Master, the transcendental knowledge. One feels perplexed and stunned before the wisdom of the Master; so it is indeed hard to listen to an illuminated Master.  So, what could we do in order to learn how to listen to a Venerable Master?

Undoubtedly, it is necessary to know how to listen to the word; it is necessary to be in the state of alert-perception, alert-novelty if one wants to grasp the true knowledge. However, I repeat, how could one know how to listen if one is not at home? Normally, the people that form the audience or who read a book escape, because they have multiple inhuman psychic aggregates that go and come everywhere. So, in an auditorium many people might be listening, but generally they are not remembering themselves; thus they are not listening; they do not listen because they are outside of their house. If one wants to know how to listen to the word, one needs to be integral, one needs to be complete, as a whole in front of the lecturer.  The three brains: the Intellectual, the Emotional and the Motor have to be united, integrated, but if those three brains are disassociated, for example: the Intellectual is in one direction, the Emotional in another and the Motor in yet another, then, one is hearing but not listening to the word.

Seven Centers, Three Brains

The seven centers of the human machine. The three brains are the intellectual, emotional, and motor-instinctual-sexual.

So, to know how to read is to know how to listen to the word; it is something very difficult but fundamental, because if one learns it, then one can receive complete information about the Gnostic esoteric work.

Let us take into account that practical life has many faces. A life lived in an unconscious state has terrible faces.  It seems that life as humanity lives it, that is, in an unconscious state has more power than the Gnostic esoteric knowledge has. Nevertheless, what happens is that they cannot receive the information given to them through the written or articulated word because people are so full of themselves; they are full of false knowledge that impedes them to receive the complete information; that is, they do not know how to listen.

If one is listening, if one learns how to listen in a state of alert-perception and alert-novelty, then through the word one can recognize that he or she is receiving knowledge because one is nobody. Then, there is an empty place within which the word can enter; but if one feels filled with knowledge, vain and satisfied with all of those know-it-all egos, how could one receive the word?

So, we have to put our urn, our small bowl facing up, open, waiting for the word, for the nourishment that will feed and orientate us. But if one turns the bowl down, how can he receive the knowledge?  So to receive, it is necessary to put it facing up; to have a place in our minds in order to receive a drop, a drop of knowledge.

False education, false morality, is also an obstacle in order to learn how to listen. Certainly, false education produces a lot of damage. We state that the education that one receives in kindergarten, in elementary school, in high school and in university is false because it is not related with any of the autonomous and self-cognizant parts of the Being.  It is false; therefore it distorts the five centers of the human machine and nourishes many inhuman psychic aggregates.

A person with a robust false personality is a person that is not disposed to listen to the word, because he does not know how to listen. A person with a robust false personality always listens to the subjective, infraconscious, infrahuman voices of the five centers of his organic machine. The only voices that he knows how to listen to are the voices of his false personality. He is always full of false knowledge and does not have an empty place wherein the instructor could deposit the word on high. So, false education produces a frightful narrow-mindedness.  

Regarding false morals, it is good to know what kind of morals we are speaking about, because if these morals are attached to the old, to traditions, they are useless.  

It is better if we speak about revolutionary ethics, because people’s morals are slaves of their customs, places and epochs. What is moral in a country is immoral in another; what in one epoch was moral in another was immoral; what in one moment in time is moral is immoral in another.

Let us refer to an actual case. In China, up until not too long ago, to kill one’s father because he was very old was looked upon as moral. Also, the exchange of little girls by catholic missionaries for (mail) stamps was seen as moral. There was a priest that bought hundreds, thousands of little girls that he acquired with mere stamps. It was also moral to throw a newborn girl into the street just because she was a female; but they felt happy when the newborn baby was a boy. So, what is morality? Morality is the slave of traditions. We could quote thousands of cases, some of them very painful and others even shameful when talking about the much boasted morality.

So, morality is the slave of customs, of times, of the prejudgments of humanity. Therefore, people’s morality is not practical for the one who wants to walk on the path of the realization of the inner Being. One has to liberate himself from this type of morality in order to walk on the path of the great rebellion. 

Let us talk about revolutionary ethics; that sounds better. One needs to do a psychological inventory of oneself in order to know what it is that one has in excess and what it is that one needs and also to learn how to handle virtues.

If a virtue is out of place (even if it is very holy) it produces damage. There have been many saints that have harmed humanity with their virtues; this is the crude reality of the facts.  If one does not know how to use virtues, no matter how precious they might be, it is obvious that one generates damage with them. So, let us not talk about morality, instead let us talk about revolutionary ethics. Morality is useless; it damages our psychological development. 

It is necessary to know how to listen and for that, one needs to be at home. But, what about our bad psychological secretary, the ego?

The egos of the people in the audience have already formed their own personal concepts according to their psychological idiosyncrasies even before the speaker has finished his lecture or before finishing a book. The ego forms false concepts because the latter are based on his prejudgments, fears, false theories, false education, etc., and many other “weeds.” The ego is a bad secretary that produces a lot of damage. It is for this reason that it is necessary to be psychologically alert and vigilant if we want to be disposed to receive the word, always paying attention, always in rebellion against our ego, always in the present.  Because, if we are absent, if we are not listening accordingly with the philosophy of momentariness, how could we receive the doctrine of the Being, that is, the doctrine of the great rebellion? 

Inverential peace!  

Samael Aun Weor