Quotes – Mentors, Listening

"As an explanation from a wiser than ourselves may make an intellectual difficulty clear to our mind, though it is our own mind that, thus aided, grasps the solution; as an encouraging word form one purer than ourselves may nerve us to a moral effort that we should have thought beyond our power, though it is our own strength that makes it; so may a loftier Spirit than our own, one more conscious of its Divinity, aid us to put forth our own divine energy, though it is that very putting forth that lifts us to a higher plane."

– Annie Besant

"Surely, I am not acting as your guru, because, first of all, I am not giving you any gratification.  I am not telling you what you should do from moment to moment, or from day to day, but I am just pointing out something to you; you can take it or leave it, depending on you, not on me.  I do not demand a thing from you, neither your worship, nor your flattery, nor your insults, nor your gods.  I say, This is a fact; take it or leave it.  And most of you will leave it, for the obvious reason that you do not find gratification in it."

-J. Krishnamurti

"To communicate with one another, even if we know each other very well, is extremely difficult.  I may use words that may have to you a significance different from mine.  Understanding comes as we, you and I, meet on the same level at the same time.  That happens only when there is real affection between people, between husband and wife, between intimate friends.  That is real communion.  Instantaneous understanding comes when we meet on the same level at the same time.

"It is very difficult to commune with one another easily, effectively  and with definitive action.  I am using words which are simple, which are not technical, because I do not think that any technical type of expression is going to help us solve our difficult problems; so I am not going to sue any technical terms, either of psychology or of science.  I have not read any books on psychology or any religious books, fortunately.  I would like to convey, by the very simple words which we use in our daily life, a deeper significance; but that is very difficult if you do not know how to listen.

"There is an art of listening.  To be able really to listen, one should abandon or put aside wall 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.  Therefor 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.

"If, during this discourse, anything is said which is opposed to your way of thinking and belief, just listen; do not resist.  You may be right, and I may be wrong; but by listening and considering together we are going to find out what is the truth. Truth cannot be given to you by somebody.  You have to discover it; and to discover, there must be a state of mind in which there is direct perception.  There is no direct perception when there is resistance, a safeguard, a protection."

-J. Krishnamurti

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  1. Good Post.

  2. this is a very interesting post. upon reading it, i did some research, not knowing who Krishnamurti was. it was intriguing to me how he was adopted as the golden child of theosophy, only to turn his heels and disavow such a title and the very idea of leadership. thanks for giving me a reason to bone up a little on such a fascinating topic and person. on a rabbit trail, this finds me at a time in my life where i am having some similar thoughts about organized religion and the seemingly endless western pursuit for mentorship and spiritual guidance. also, the idea of what "listening" means… that's a tall order, but good insight. i'll be chewing on this a while.

  3. Yeah, I find him fascinating. I explained it the other day to some friends saying: "Basically, he's Anakin Skywalker. Only instead of leaving the Jedis to join the Sith, he left them to become one with the Force." 🙂

    • Ben
    • February 14th, 2008

    Glad to see that you've add Besant to your quote archive 🙂

  4. I'd add a bunch more, but most of the things I like take like 2 pages to fully say…and I'm lazy. =oP

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