Listening may lead to glorious life

Philosophy in a time of tribulation

Listening may lead to glorious life

Listening is the most neglected language skill, I wrote a few months ago [1].  There were many reactions. Isn’t it strange that listening is so poorly practiced en masse? Every relationship between people starts with listening [2], [3], [4] An encounter only gains power when we listen to each other with an open heart. While listening, you consider for a moment to put yourself in the shoes of the other person, to record what he or she has to say. There is a lot to learn during that moment of self-forgetfulness, and your insights can change. That often makes listening richer for me than speaking.

Whoever speaks is repeating what he already knows. In these times of tribulation, this only seems to increase and people are even starting to outnumber each other en masse. Those who follow the ‘conversations’ on social media can only conclude that people have the unstoppable urge to profile themselves with their own ‘research’ and to trump others with their own undoubted ‘truth’. This phenomenon may also reflect the shattering values of Aquarius at this juncture when all that is hidden is being revealed. In Biblical terms:

For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. [5]

Lifting tiles it’s called [6].

Listening to the other person and doubting your own correctness are sometimes  interpreted as weaknesses in social interaction. Remarkable, because it is precisely by listening that you can change your mind and growth can occur. It’s refreshing to experience that. I can recommend it to you.

Why is it that humans make only limited use of their talents for listening?

From the moment I could talk, I was ordered to listen,

British singer Cat Stevens sings in the beautiful song Father and Son [7] in which the son sings to his father on his farewell to the parental environment. Listening seems to be associated with obeying from childhood, with hours of boring listening. But almost at the same time, Stevens sings about an ‘other’ listening, a second listening:

I listen to the wind upon my soul.

Here his listening seems to have transcended into the spheres of the soul.

This is what the Bible word of Luke indicates:

Therefore consider carefully how you listen. [8]

The word “how” is important here. It’s not just about listening, but how you listen. If you listen with the earthly natural sensory consciousness and mind, it only helps you to get to know this world more as a child of this earth. But you have also acquired an ear for the inner messages of your true, essential core. You can also listen to those messages to further develop the insights that come to you from the world of the spirit.

Thus you can listen to the word of the Unnamable with the earthly or with the spiritual consciousness. It would be a shame if the spiritual consciousness were to dwindle and become permanently enslaved by the “normal” mind. That is why every person is invited to further develop that spiritual consciousness in connectedness, to listen to it and to make it more and more powerful, also and especially in times of tribulation [9]. It makes for a glorious life.


A poetic example of listening

The poet Pé Hawinkels  from Nijmegen possessed unprecedented energy and in his intense life of thirty-five years, he wrote, edited and translated the most diverse texts. Intimates say he was so glued to his typewriter that he often typed with band-aids on his sore fingers.

In addition to poetry and prose, Hawinkels’ many publications also include translations of Bible books (Ezekiel and Ecclesiastes) and works by Friedrich Nietzsche, Theodor Fontane, Herman Hesse and Thomas Mann, among others. He also wrote numerous articles on jazz and pop music and wrote song lyrics for Herman Brood (a Dutch musician, painter, actor and poet).

In his poem ‘Every time a word sounds’, the poet manages to convey a penetrating message about listening:


The light gets bogged down, the hope stranded,

we feed on ashes.

Death banishes, suffering burns,

and nothing is what it used to be.


But every time there is again a word

in which a new future shines;

give that to someone who hears,

who does not kill his chances out of fear,

but listens.


The cross will bloom like a rose,

and no one gets lost in the night.

And whoever chose life with open ears,

he gives the word a new power

and listens.


Pé Hawinkels (1942-1977) [10]



[1] Dick van Niekerk, Born by the ear of Mary

[2] Pierau V., Leiderschap in luisteren [Leadership in Listening] (Makkum NL 2019, 302 p.)

[3] Tomatis  A., Het bewuste oor [The conscious ear] (Katwijk 2006)

[4] Constas, Nicholas, “The ear of the virginal Body”: The poetics of Sound in the School of Proclus, chapter five, in:  Proclus of Constantinople and the Cult of the Virgin in Late Antiquity, (Leiden Boston 2003), 273-313

[5] Luke 8:17

[6] Henk Hofland,Tegels lichten of Ware verhalen over de autoriteiten in het land van de voldongen feiten [Tiling tiles or True stories about the authorities in the land of fait accompli], Contact 1972

[7] Cat Stevens, Father and Son, 1970 Cat Stevens Father & Son 1971 – YouTube

[8] Luke 8:18

[9] This article appeared in the Dutch printed LOGON 2022-3 as ‘Philosophy in a time of tribulation – Part  8

[10] Pé Hawinkels, Drie Gezangen voor de Veertigdagentijd in: Verzamelde Gedichten [Three Hymns for Lent, in: Collected Poems], De Stiel, Nijmegen 1988


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Share this article

Article info

Date: October 8, 2022
Author: Dick van Niekerk (Netherlands)
Photo: Giselaatje on Pixabay CCO

Featured image: