Friday, August 26, 2022

LISTEN And SILENT Are Spelled With The Same Letters!

By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam 26 August 2022 Alfred Brendel's very famous anagram that Listen and Silent share exactly the same letters can get one thinking. It's much more than a coincidence. It proves an uncanny synchronicity that exists between the two words. Persian poet Anwari says that one who listens is silent and vice versa. Rumi writes in his Masnavi (Volume no. 1): When I'm completely silent, I can listen to the melody of the universe. Listen to the masterpieces of the great composers like Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Bach, among others, you can feel a pall of celestial silence descend on your whole existence. Listening and silence can transform this chaotic world which's too boisterous. To listen is to think, to think is to ponder and to ponder leads to silence. The problem is that humans are reluctant to listen. Even when we listen, our intention is different. Most people don't listen with the intent to understand. They listen with the intent to reply. This impulsive propensity to reply is the root of all evils. With listening comes wisdom and wisdom makes you sober and silent. Have you ever seen frivolous people act and behave silently? We're all in a tearing hurry to comment and opine and have no time to listen to the voice of reason, sanity and conscience. Persian mystic Jami says, when you develop the habit of listening, you also develop the habit of introspection which's done in a state of silence. Listening teaches us the art of patience and patience is integral to silence. A patient man is always silent, is a famous Iranian adage. To listen is to internalize the viewpoint/s of the other person. When you internalize other man's perspective, you empathise with him and empathy paves the way for universal understanding and compassion. Listening is a silently interactive process. It's not one-way traffic. It's introspective in nature and contemplative in action. To listen is to meditate. To quote Firaq Gorakhpuri, “Aa Ke Ik Nayee Rawayat Ka Karein Aaghaaz/Teri Guftagoo Ho Aur Meri Khamosh Aawaaz “(Let's start a new tradition/ You speak and I listen). In a lighter vein, Firaq's couplet could be a perfect advice to all men, esp. husbands, who must develop the habit of silently listening to their spouses! That brings out the hidden Socrates or Firaq in them as both the legends were not so happy in their marital lives. The bottom-line is: A man has to be unhappy in his marital life to become either a great poet or a philosopher. ----- A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Sumit Paul is a researcher in comparative religions, with special reference to Islam. He has contributed articles to world's premier publications in several languages including Persian. URL: New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim News, Women in Islam, Islamic Feminism, Arab Women, Women In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim Women in West, Islam Women and Feminism

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