Communication | General

44 QUESTION: It is so difficult for a woman to talk to a man. Men don’t answer when one tries to get into a conversation touching the emotional understanding. That makes it very, very difficult for the woman.

ANSWER: Here is a great error, my dear. But let us first establish one fact that should be well understood. Woman is by nature more emotionally inclined. Man is by nature more spiritually, or on a lower level, more intellectually inclined. By that I do not mean that he has to be what you call an intellectual. It is simply that usually the reasoning faculty is stronger in men. Because of this the revealing of his emotions is a very difficult step for a man. In this a woman can help him. The man will help the woman in other ways.

The mistake you make is in thinking that revelation and the meeting of souls is brought about by talking. Oh, it may be a temporary crutch, it may be one detail; or rather it may be simply a tool, a means of expressing certain facets. But this is all. It is not in the talking that you find the other soul or that you reveal yourself, though this may be a part of it. It is in the being that this whole and basic attitude is determined.

It is the woman who is stronger emotionally. For her it is usually easier to muster the courage to meet soul to soul and touch the deepest core of longing that is also in man. If she can use her intuition and reach that part of her partner, he will respond provided he has the maturity. He must respond. Whether this response comes occasionally through a conversation or not, is not so important. It is not a question of whether a verbal discussion serves in reaching the other soul.

Certainly, speaking is a part of it, together with all the other faculties. But the ability to speak about things is not the determining factor. First the inner basis has to be established. Then you will be flexible enough to use all the faculties God has given you. To find and meet the other soul means going into the state of inner being; the doing is only an incidental result, a mere detail which is part of the outer manifestation. Is that clear?

QUESTION: Yes, it is clear. And I think it is wonderful. In other words it is the task of the woman to find the other soul?

ANSWER: It may often be that it is easier for the woman to take the first necessary steps after eros is no longer capable of maintaining its own momentum. But both need to have the basic willingness to go on the journey together. As stated before, the woman often finds it easier to reveal herself, to let the emotions come out. The mature woman who is earnestly willing to undertake the adventure of true marriage will have the mature and healthy instinct to find the right partner. The same applies to the man, of course.

Once this willingness exists in both, either one may lead the way. It does not make any difference who starts. It may often be the woman, but it may also be the man at times. Whoever starts it, a time will come when the other one will also lead and help. In a relationship that is alive, healthy and flexible, it must alternate and change constantly. At any given time, whoever is the stronger, the leader, will help in the liberation of the other.

For this soul-revelation is a liberation – liberating the other soul from the prison of loneliness, and liberating the self. This prison may even appear comfortable if you live and stagnate in it long enough. One should not wait for the other to start. Whoever is more mature and courageous at a particular instant will start, and will thus raise the maturity of the other which may then surpass his or her own. Thus the helper becomes the helped; the liberator becomes the liberated.

 

62 QUESTION: A few of us discussed why it is so difficult for men to communicate when there is an emotional problem between two partners. Women try to talk it over and men evade it. Is that the shame of the emotional side?

ANSWER: Yes, that is one reason. It is certainly connected with that. Man shies away from emotions. He is afraid of them, partly due to the rather frequent misconception I mentioned before, namely, that emotions are dangerous and if one cannot avoid them, one must somehow keep them a secret, at least when they produce negative results.

Misunderstandings are negative results, therefore they remind man of his wrong conclusion that emotions must be hidden. They are also due to mass images which claim that it is beneath a man’s dignity to enter into intellectual discussions with a woman who is supposed to be his inferior. He might discuss a neutral topic, but when personal guilts and inadequacies enter into the picture, which is inevitable in disagreements or quarrels, man is afraid he may not be able to cope with the woman and thereby fears he will jeopardize his masculinity.

Since it is woman’s nature to dwell on emotional subjects, on anything personal, she is prepared, conditioned, and often better versed in this respect than the man. Thus, man is afraid of losing. It appears to him that he not only loses the argument, but also a part of his masculine dignity. Just because he has neglected to strengthen his emotional nature, he is afraid and guilty of the weakness he senses in himself.

On the other hand, the woman may suppress and hide her aggression, hostility and resentment for the man behind the facade of a reasonable discussion, the conscious aim of which is supposed to straighten out disagreements. It is very possible that the positive motive exists to a stronger degree than the negative one mentioned here, but the negative one will suffice to affect the corresponding subconscious layer of the man. This makes him react most negatively to something that was meant merely constructively, at least in the conscious mind of the woman.

QUESTION: But since this kind of discussion is almost a hindrance to union, could you perhaps help us as to how we should go about it?

ANSWER: Do not force it. The way you can go about it is not by convincing the other. Development and solution of problems can rarely happen that way, but rather by searching in yourselves for that which attracts a negative response. On this Path you have had such experiences already, even though the obvious wrong was on the other side, even though you never thought it possible that anything could be amiss with yourself, even though your rationalizations were most convincing and true.

The more often you succeed in such recognition, the nearer you are to the solution of all your inner and outer problems. If you find your hidden emotions, you will understand why other people respond negatively to something that you were convinced did not contain any but the purest motives. What I said before about marriage in this respect holds true at all times and for all instances.

QUESTION: Am I to understand that a woman should show signs of weakness so as to make the man strong?

ANSWER: No. Quite the contrary. When you reread this lecture [Lecture #62 Man and Woman], you will see that this was not implied at all. She should show her real strength and not be afraid of it. Then she will be able to use it constructively instead of compulsively seeking to hide it, or using it destructively out of an inner rebellion that is not fully understood. Only in this way can she also help man to unfold his real strength.

If she were to make herself weak out of diplomacy or flattery, it would be an enforced and ungenuine reaction. Nothing ungenuine and manipulative could ever be truly beneficial. It would only affect an unhealthy, superimposed, and equally ungenuine layer of the man in question.

QUESTION: But if a man doesn’t communicate with a woman out of cowardice, what would be the corresponding feature to look for in the woman?

ANSWER: You cannot generalize that. It might be one of so many alternatives. You can never make a general statement of this sort. That could be very dangerous and misleading. It can only be found by individual work. It could perhaps correspond to an overactivity in the woman, a mischanneled activity that was not allowed to develop freely.

It could also correspond to a different kind of cowardice on another level in the woman in question. It could be any of a number of factors. It might not only be one factor, but a combination of many.

 

88 QUESTION: I try to find words to express my inner conflicts. The words seem exaggerated. How can I keep my words level with what I find in my search?

ANSWER: First of all, you will have to understand better the reason for your self-dramatization. Once you understand that, the need will lessen. There will be a more proportionate relationship between your words and your feelings. Again, the remedy is not to use self-discipline to stop this. Even if you should succeed, another, perhaps more harmful, symptom will come forth. Rather, use such manifestations as the useful symptoms they are.

QUESTION: Can I do it in trying to evaluate the words?

ANSWER: Certainly. That would be part of your private work – which words you use and why.

QUESTION: Often it is very easy for one subconscious to communicate with another. But there are times when there is such a strong barrier that one cannot penetrate. The other person asks for the answer yet doesn’t listen, and you fail to convey your message.

ANSWER: Such people want only a qualified answer; that is, an answer compatible with their defenses. They do not want an answer that they find unpleasant. This would cause an inner resistance so strong that they could not hear your call. They cannot absorb what is being said to them. The attitude toward a person in this frame of mind is not to try to force the issue. The more you want to penetrate the resistance, the more frustration and impatience you will feel. And this is bound to affect the other person and increase the resistance even more.

Moreover, it will be extremely useful to analyze the reason for your own frustration and impatience. It may be more than the goodwill to help. In some way your sense of competence may be involved. Or the other’s acceptance of the truth may have an urgency for you that is not realistic.

Whenever such currents exist, a mutually negative effect is established that worsens the inner problems of both parties. But finding what inner hidden role you play will be beneficial, possibly even for both parties. If you had no negative or problematic tendencies, you could easily accept another person’s limitation. You know that. Now, this is a general answer, applying to many.

 

96 QUESTION: Often in our discussions topics are touched that we have great difficulty defining and expressing. So emotions enter, and that may also bring a certain lack of control, because we don’t express them.

ANSWER: Yes, that is very true. The inability to express is due to the difficulty of communication, which in turn is dependent on your coming from your real self. The more you are estranged from your real self, the less you can express yourself, relate and communicate with others. This we know already. But there is also the fact that spiritual experience cannot be conveyed in words. This inability causes pressure and frustration. You cannot find the right words because spiritual experience is no longer a question of words; it functions on a different level.

Do you recall the lecture I gave some time ago on communication and union? [Lecture #80 Cooperation, Communication, Union] Now add to it my most recent lecture on self-alienation [Lecture #95 Self-Alienation and the Way Back to the Real Self], and you will find the following: the more you relate to your real self and identify with it, the more you will be able to communicate to others what you experience.

The words will not matter so much, because in such communication a different level of your being operates. You will be able to convey through being, through your full life-experience, and that will direct itself to the real self of the other person. The words will then become secondary. They will no longer be the exclusive means of communication.

The more alienated you are from yourself, the more you need words as the exclusive means of communication. While the more real you become, the more feeling will quite naturally, and without effort, go to the other person and thus convey what you want. Then words will be just one of the faculties of communication, instead of the only one.

Now you will increasingly understand my insistence on the necessity of letting your emotions come to the surface. If and when, in spite of all your resistance and rationalization, you finally allow repressed emotions to reach your awareness, you will see that the first negative flow has to dissipate itself through understanding your emotions’ origin, before the positive feelings coming from your real self, follow suit.

Here is another link: the connection between the lecture on the necessity of bringing out emotions [Lecture #89 Emotional Growth and Its Function] and self-alienation. When much of the past material is forgotten and thus cannot be linked with the current material, so much understanding is lost.

How can you communicate if your emotions are not functioning? And how can they function if the negative emotions are repressed and you barricade behind a solid wall many of your productive, genuine feelings whose guidance you need in order to fully participate in life? The shallow artificiality of superimposed positive emotions lacks real substance and is therefore untrustworthy. You cannot communicate from within if this process has not been gone through.

 

QA128 QUESTION: In doing these meditations, I find that I seem to be withdrawing from two worlds: one, of my friends, and one, of the world which the person I’m involved with belongs to, who are rather very conventional people. It seems to me that the world of my friends is, I almost feel, a little crazy; the other people also seem irrational in the other extreme. It’s causing me to withdraw to a middle point. The conflict is that I want to bring the two worlds together.

ANSWER: What is wrong here, my friend, is that you wish to prove what you have found to another. This is why it becomes a conflict. If you need not prove your marvelous discovery, there would be no such conflict, I assure you. This is the key. Do you know what I’m talking about? Do you see how much you need to prove and convince others?

QUESTION: Well, it doesn’t mean I couldn’t talk about it.

ANSWER: When there is no receptivity, of course not. There are enough people with whom you can talk about it. You have to accept and permit others to make their own pathway. They may be at a point where they cannot accept this yet.

You do not see and understand why this is so, but there’s a whole spiritual history behind this. Let them be! Perhaps you will be much more convincing if you simply unfold and develop and allow them – as I often say and as some of my friends begin to find out in their own personal work – namely, to give the other person the right to be wrong. Here it is the right to be still ignorant.

That does not mean they are beneath you or less good. They have a blind spot where you do not, and by the same token, you may have a blind spot in another area where they do not. This letting go and relinquishing will have perhaps a much faster effect if this is possible at this point. If not, you do not need it; you do not need to convince everyone.

Things will happen in such a way that the compatible people will be drawn together whenever this is time. Compatibility can even exist if another does not fully understand and share your own discovery. There is enough to build on common ground.

You do not have to share everything with everyone. This is not always possible in every phase of one’s life. There is so much you could share and build up on if you would not constantly strive to convince and to prove.

 

QA150 QUESTION: In trying to relate to one particular person, I imagine slights being directed against me, which I really feel perhaps might not be. I’m extremely oversensitive to these casually-made remarks. Then there is a second wave of hostility which comes to me in relation to this person – almost as a result of these slights but not primarily, I don’t think. {Yes} This person knows of this hostility in me, and I’m in a position to explain to her some of what it’s about, but I’m reluctant to tell her everything I know. How much should I tell her to try to reveal the nature of my hostility?

ANSWER: Well, I would say that it is difficult to consult your intuition, because your intuition is so much overlaid by your fear and your idea of hostility from others against you. Your own hostility is a warding off against that. Now this, of course, blocks real intuition.

So my answer is that even a person who is unfamiliar with the depth of the human personality and who therefore cannot have an understanding of this work – of realizing the layers that are involved here – is able to understand when a person says, “I’m oversensitive. I often believe that things said to me are meant against me, and this creates an anxiety in me and makes it very difficult to relate in a free and easy manner. How did you mean such and such a remark? Am I wrong in assuming you meant something against me?”

This can be easily said and it can be understood by all. And it would have a very wonderful effect on you, because it is the simple way to approach something in which you risk really nothing, in which you explain yourself, and in which you do on your part everything that is possible to remove clouds of vague fear, suspicions, confusion, alienation, misunderstanding and darkness.

Even by the mere fact that the question is asked in such a simple, direct and inoffensive way, something will dissolve of this unhealthy fault – even when the question cannot be answered. Perhaps the other person lacks the self-awareness to even know what he said, why he said it, how it could be meant and how it could be misinterpreted. But the mere fact that this is done has a tremendously healing effect.

That now leads me to the first part of your question, which in theory you know and even in practice you begin to sense occasionally – which is real progress on your part. As progress continues this way – this will not be a mere occasional inkling – you will know more and more and more that the way you interpret things is not necessarily the truth.

As you go on and become more aware of this idea, you will then suddenly – or gradually, but it will seem suddenly – know what is really meant. You will feel into the other person and truly perceive that what seems like a slight is often a defense uttered out of fear or else has often a completely harmless meaning that you, in extreme fear, are ready to interpret in one way only. And as this dawns upon you, your fear will lessen.

As you perceive the problem of the other person or his fears, your own fears must diminish and you will automatically increase your sense of value. You will not feel so lost, so helpless, and so insecure. That is the way.

You go from step to step – from first considering theoretically, as you have done, that you may be mistaken in assuming such and such a remark is a slight, or such and such a behavior is an attitude against you by the other person. As you experience this in a more vital and more emotional way, you will then come to experience the real meaning of what you thought was a slight. And that will set you free. Is that clear?

QUESTION: That’s quite clear. I was thumbing through my notebooks tonight and I noticed that my hostility has many bases, but primarily I think it’s one of being afraid of rejection, which somehow stems from a family condition of my youth. I feel very much trapped in this and that this is very much part of the hostility syndrome.

ANSWER: Yes, that is very true. And you see, as you begin to do what I just said in your everyday little relationship in the more or less unimportant encounters with other people, you will eventually come to the point where it will be possible to question whether it is true that your own family has reacted toward you as you feel they have reacted.

But in order to do that, you will have to become first more aware that you actually do feel an attitude against you which you do not necessarily think they have, but which you feel they have. And that will, step by step, lead you out.

Now you see, often when you feel in a hopeless position – a situation within yourself – I would like to point out how unjustified this is, because one’s self cannot evaluate how one has changed. When you think from the way you were – before you started such a Path – and when you compare this with where you are now, the difference is enormous.

You would not have been able to sit in a circle like this and voice the questions you are voicing now. This indicates an increasing freedom. I might also add, very often the grave fears such as you experience can suddenly change, often faster than the minor disturbances people have, which are often more stubborn to get rid of. So your situation is not in the least unpromising.

QUESTION: You seem to be implying that I should just simply pursue my observations of this whole situation.

ANSWER: Right! Right! As far as you can. First of all, ask yourself again and again, “What do I really feel?” Secondarily, “Why do I feel and believe that this means such and such?” Thirdly, “Is it possible that it could have another meaning?” And fourthly, whenever possible, express to the person, if it is in any way reasonable, this is what you feel; this is what you know may be your problem. Express to the person, “How did you really mean such and such?”

More and more you will develop the ability spontaneously to ask, “What did you really mean by this remark?” That will not burden you; it will not create anxiety, and it will often create clarity – sometimes immediately. Sometimes it will take a little time, because the other person may be taken aback and may not be able to immediately put it together.

 

QA182 GUIDE COMMENT: Life is really a continuous dialogue. I spoke in the last lecture about the dialogue of proper meditation, but the dialogue goes even further than that. The dialogue is a constant exchange between life and you. Whatever you experience, life communicates something to you about your inner being that you may be unwilling to or afraid of seeing.

This fear is always unjustified, because if you drop your defenses, you will not become annihilated as you fear. You will not become humiliated as you fear. But you will truly find the safe and firm ground that knowing yourself, that understanding yourself, that being open about yourself and unconcealed about yourself will give. Nothing else can give you this.

Now, the false fear must be eliminated if you are truly to thrive, if you’re truly to expand and realize all the dormant potentialities. It is nothing but the false fears that keep you from wanting to know, that keep you blind and deaf to what life speaks to you. Life speaks to you in many forms – in the events, in what others say. But are you deaf and blind because you so want to be, or do you make yourself seeing and hearing because that is your choice? All depends on that.

So make yourself seeing and hearing, truly to understand the meaning of your life at this moment – what life says to you. Then you will have to learn a very waiting attitude, a tentative attitude. You will have to desist from forming immediate conclusions, forming opinions, of categorizing, of naming everything; just let it be. Let it form itself, until you truly understand it.

 

219 GUIDE COMMENT: [Message to the Children] Greetings, my dearest young friends. With great joy do I speak to you this evening. I shall try to give you what you need and to make myself understood. This is not easy, for I usually speak in a very different way from the human language you are accustomed to. So words are not easy to formulate.

To explain things is difficult even to adults. But it is particularly difficult when I speak to you. However, I shall try my best. If you do not understand, you can always ask what I mean. And sometimes the understanding will come only much later.

This too happens to grown-ups. Most grown-ups do not immediately understand what I say, my young friends. They cannot always do that because the inner understanding is blocked. But understanding often comes much later. So be patient. Keep it in reserve, so to speak, if you cannot really comprehend what I say.

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