"All the world is a stage, all men and women merely players, each has his exits and entrances......" truth echoed in the words of author- philosopher William Shakespeare.
All of us are playing our respective roles thus unwinding the tapestry of human life. Born with innate artistic tendencies, the whole life is welcoming us to unlock our inbuilt faculties, prompting us to deliver our monologues,our dialogues and soliloquies, clothing us with our costumes ,guiding us through diverse acts and scenes from prologues to epilogues!
Our first stage,that of a new born baby, untainted by the games of the mind, our art flourishes in full bloom. It is a stage which reflects our true and pure nature, when we can smile, a half moon smile in wrinkles of sleep without any particular reason; a stage when we can listen to the drama around with our whole being , unperturbed by its sounds and furies.Then as a child, still upholding shades of innocence, we plunge on to a deep search, our tiny eyes deciphering every twist and turn, unable to comprehend everything around. We are now transformed into a curious listener, listening with rapt attention to the various stories that unveil the undiscovered and untrodden roads ahead.The gates of adolescence invites us to a maze of mirrors, where we stumble and dash upon our own reflections , confused ,frustrated , puzzled , trying to fix the missing jigsaws. Fully surrendered to the power of the mind, now we are audience to only our own mind drawn conclusions. Surviving the maze now, an adult, a victim of worries and anxieties which wring your neck with spondylitis, a slave of a mind created world. Twilight years, which promised peace and relaxation have left you weak, dragging you back to the immobility of childhood yet unable to smile, the untainted smile of your true self.
The art of listening, an inherent trait in us gets buried and fossilised under the mantle of life. When we listen to someone, we no longer listen to them but only to our own judgements and prejudices which is non stop played in us. We might be physically present, but our thoughts have taken us else where.I remember sitting in my physics class, staring at my teacher but mentally in an Utopian world.
The art of listening also reminds me of an episode in the Indian epic, Mahabaratha. The warrior hero Arjuna is chatting with his pregnant wife Subhadra, speaking to her about certain war strategies he has mastered. Surrounded my enemies from all sides, Arjuna seems to be the only one who could penetrate and successfully exit from the army formation known as
"Chakravyuha". His wife dozes off to sleep, but the unborn baby in her womb is still awake intently listening to his father's interesting stories.When Arjuna finds his wife fast asleep he stops midway and his unborn son, Abhimanyu, is unable to grasp this special technique fully. Abhimanyu turns out to be a great warrior like his father, and in the battle of Kurukshetra,
he is able to enter into this Chakravyuha formation, the result of his listening to his father from his mother's womb. As he was unable to listen to the whole story due to his mother's sleep, he was handicapped in releasing himself successfully from the formation in the battle field and embraces death with honor.
The greatest gift we can give someone is to listen. Let us cultivate this art. When we listen, let us do so with our full being, only then arises true communication. It is not only a gift to others but also a gift to ourselves. I have not yet mastered this art, but I'm sure that it can enhance and enrich the quality of life. So lets practice the art of listening and master the art of living.