Speaking and Being Silent
Some days ago, I met some friends. I knew that some of them like to talk extensively, and I asked myself how I wanted to deal with it. I remembered Sri Kumar once telling how Master EK in such situations withdrew inside and kept a mental cut-off until the discoursing was over.
I decided to use the situation for learning and to observe my reactions on the impact of these friends. At least up to a certain degree, and then maybe silently slip away.
In the past, I was impressed and often carried away by articulate persons with a strong mental impregnated with a lot of wisdom concepts and I felt some inferiority. I knew it was a weak point of myself, and with the time I noticed that such eloquence is like a hot air blower. The concepts presented in quick sequences leave no impact; they feel like straw without grains.
The friends were well versed in theosophical thoughts, with a love for power politics and conspiracy theories. As expected, the dialogues were intense. At the beginning, I followed the content. Inwardly, I had to smile noticing that in the presence of someone who is a very strong talker, the less strong ones got silenced, at least for a while. The less talkative persons don’t step in at all.
At the beginning, I followed the content; with the time I became more and more an observer. At some occasions, I slipped away to help the lady of the house in the kitchen.
I noticed that monologic discoursing gets carried away by a gush of ideas. They don’t notice whether their talk is of interest for the others or what they think and particularly, what is being unsaid.
I tried to observe when the talk was saturated by own experiences, and what is “voicing opinions” or “teaching one’s beliefs”. The experience part is much more vivid and impressive. However, I found that a fuelling energy in most sequences was the indignation about manipulations of the power mongers, of big money and pharma, about the machinations against alternative innovative inventors… In a way, the fire is encircling the attention but leaves an empty feeling and disorientation, and it sucks your energy – you get depleted.
Under the surface of such talks, I noticed hidden wounds of the individual biographies which shone forth through small remarks. The fight against “the darkness” is nourished by unresolved business inside. Caroline Myss speaks of “woundology”. The urge to focus on and fight against the outer shadows is resulting from your inner wounds and dark spots. I have intensely experienced it the last years and only come out of it through prolonged meditative and therapeutic work with myself.
One’s own shadows are difficult to notice and understand. My friends are decennies on the spiritual path but the fascination for the “projection play” was still intense. I had experienced myself that it needed profound crises and pain to change the habit of projecting the problems out into the world. Fighting against darkness increases fighting; only increasing the inner light creates a lighted sphere.
I later spoke with my wife how one could help others understand their projections. She said, “The pressure of suffering needs to be high enough. Suffering is easier than learning. Mostly, they don’t want to wake up.” Even many people doing spiritual practices or studying wisdom teachings seem to have great difficulties to realize their own part and predisposition while criticising what they perceive as wrong in others or the society. The yearning for salvation towards a guru, a theology or cosmic interventions is also mostly nourished by a longing that one’s own pain might end.
Sometimes, mindful listening to the other might help and, where possible, guiding the conversation from “talking about the world” to “what does it do to you?”, and recognizing the hidden pain. It is a slow process and best without expectations. When the wounds are cleared, healing can come from the inner.