Arquivo para September 1st, 2021

Listen, epoché and meet

01 Sep

In a world that is increasingly closed, polarized and with little exercise in thinking, listening is increasingly a great effort and to know and broaden horizons it is necessary to listen.

Rubem Alves said in his famous text on listening: “I always see public speaking courses advertised. I have never seen a listening course advertised. Everyone wants to learn to speak. Nobody wants to learn to listen. I thought about offering a listening course. But I don’t think anyone will enroll. Listening is complicated and subtle…” and the beautiful text continues.

The poet Alberto Caeiro (pseudonym of Fernando Pessoa) also said something similar: “It is not enough to have ears to hear what is said; there must also be silence within the soul”, hence the difficulty: we can’t stand to hear what the other says without saying something better, without mixing what he says with what we have to say…

Our inability to listen is the most present manifestation due to our little reading and a subtle dose of arrogance and vanity: deep down, we are the wiser, more beautiful and more convinced than others, it is also a denial of otherness, of the relationship with the other.

But wisdom, thought and especially the development of solutions to complex problems and situations of humanity, and we are in one of these moments, demanded of thinkers, statesmen and social activists make a great void to be able to elaborate new thoughts, the Greeks called it “epoché”, suspension of judgment.

For the rationalists, Descartes also elaborated the “cogito”, and for the phenomenologists, the epoché is putting our preconceptions in parentheses in order to hear other perspectives of new horizons and enter a hermeneutic circle that makes up what Hans Georg Gadamer called fusion of horizons.

Those who manage to do these exercises are able to contemplate beauty so much because it needs silence to be “captured”, and knowing how to listen to others means a great capacity for communion, therefore also means an ability to find the deepest part of the Other, and live with greater harmony and joy.