There is an art to listening. To listen really, one should abandon or put aside all prejudices, pre-formulations and daily activities. When you are in a receptive state of mind, things can be easily understood; you are listening when your real attention is given to something. But, unfortunately, most of us listen through a screen of resistance. We are screened with prejudices, whether religious or spiritual, psychological or scientific; or with our daily worries, desires and fears. And with these for a screen, we listen. Therefore, we listen really to our own noise, to our own sound, not to what is being said. It is extremely difficult to put aside our training, our prejudices, our inclination, our resistance, and, reaching beyond the verbal expression, to listen so that we understand instantaneously. That is going to be one of our difficulties.
I am going to explain presently that truth can be understood instantaneously. It is not a matter of time, it is not a matter of growth or of habit. Truth can only be understood directly, immediately, now, in the present, not in the future; and it can be understood, felt, realized, when there is the capability of listening directly, in an open manner and with an open heart. But if our minds are engrossed, if our hearts are tired, then there is no possibility of receiving that which is truth. So our difficulty is to have that instantaneous capacity to perceive directly for ourselves and not wait for the medium of time. Time and life become a process of destruction when we are unable to understand directly; so it is obvious why I suggest that you should listen without any resistance.
Public Talk 18th January, 1948