Listening vs. Hearing and Discernment vs. Judgment.
When we talk about these things in a spiritual context, the subtle differences noted can become grace.
We are bombarded with constant noise and yet, to some extent we are used to this. So in order to keep our sanity, we have learned to weed out disturbing tones, various annoyances, and lose them in the background of our mind.
We, (in essence) can be hearing impaired. But, when you listen to a vibration with love that connects you deeply (be it conversation or the beat of the blood moving through your veins) it is a game changer.
And when you listen well, it is artistry. This “art” is one that has to be fine tuned, practiced in sincerity and fully engaged. It is giving all the attention to the word, and it is a true investment in the conversation and to what is being presented.
The meanings that align, resonate and inspire us through sound, can call us to respond in passion. They create a “listening” that can stay in our heart forever. (Discipline in the art of hearing creates beautiful impressions.) Unfortunately though, the minute there is a distraction our listening is lost, and so is the memory of the words.
So when we listen to learn (not listen to respond), we gain knowledge and perhaps even a glimpse of the emotion behind the expression. But most important, it evolves into learning how to hear a brighter, more vibrant sound. Knowing how to differentiate these things on a spiritual level is where discernment comes in.
We make decisions using our judgment all day long; It is what we do (i.e., estimations, guesses, value, time, etc.). And to make spiritual decisions seeped in judgment or laced in fear, comparison or negativity is an echo that typically has less than desirable consequences.
So as we take life in, it is our discernment that should lead, based in the trust we hold for our intention (how it feels and what it looks like).
It is wise to understand the energy and how it is used to make choices, and the effects the choices will have for others, and us as well.
An agreement to commune based in love is one that has had careful consideration (just like our listening), impartial to religion, race, creed, gender and is using a higher source with discernment. (Notice I didn’t say “of” or “out of” discernment), I said, “with.” In order to unite us all, it is good to bind integrity to all our choices.
As you know, there are all kinds of ways to hear and speak with our eyes, see and feel with our heart, but, before that is done, a pause is an optimal thing. Just stop for a moment and ask: Is it true? Will it be mutual? And, is it out of love?
When you heed to that question, listening is clear and discernment is always clean.
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Editor: Travis May
Photo: Sue Clark at Flickr
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