Listening is truly a skill in where it takes plenty of practice and discipline. One must learn to how to listen, and from reading Rudolph Steiner’s book, it is something that isn’t what we think it is. Real listening is when we (the person) listen attentively to the speaker without judgement, without any criticism, or feelings of any sort. We must be silent in our thoughts. Real listening is when we can listen without feeling displeasure, denial or discomfort in any way. And essentially what is happening is that we are bringing none of our “ego” self to a conversation. There is no right. There is no wrong. There is only conversation between two people where one is talking and the other is listening, just listening. And for some, this may be completely something that they think is unfathomable. How can one do this? And it is quite a challenge but it is something that can be achieved.
I know a gentleman who appears to do exactly this. He is a very wise man. He will rarely engage in any feelings that you bring to the conversation. If you are upset, you will find that you would be the only person upset between the two of you. It is like he “owns” all of his own emotions and he does not let them escape him at any time. He trusts everything around him to work itself out, no matter how difficult the situation. And it’s amazing to be in his energy because it’s so peaceful and calm all the time. You can’t help yourself when he stands next to you, it just automatically happens. And when you speak to him, he does not judge what you say. He does not try to tell you of someone else who’s had a “similar experience.” He does not tell you even how to deal with your problems. All he will do is speak of his knowledge and his understanding. And sometimes he will throw in a story about his experience to demonstrate how things worked for him. Now it isn’t that he is being egotistical in any sense, he just will not engage in making you feel more of what you already feel. And when he does this, he rather saves you from your own self that is already judgemental or confused because he understands this. So, to me, he has acquired the skills of listening. He is a man who knows and has practiced the art of listening. And there are not many people in the world who know how to do this because it takes great patience to learn. It is a patience that you must grown into as you learn about what ever it is you are trying to master.