Silence is golden, we often say. Versus silver, which is talking. In that case listening, which is more than silence, is perhaps platinum?
I have always been fascinated with the listening process, the Yin side if you will. But I realize more and more how hard it can be to really receive, really be attentive to what goes on, to what is said.
Listening to music is relatively easy (even if quite hard for many who have the habit of mixing up music with thoughts).
Listening to each other is harder. Sure, if I ask you what time it is there will be no problems for me to hear the answer. But if emotional factors enter, personality traits that want to control, direct and decide things, listening becomes much more difficult (in effect, much less interesting).
I begin to see that another factor should be added to my list: wanting to help.
The impulse and intention to help can also make us, at least me, half-deaf. A strange insight, this. When I scratch its surface I see that “helping” can be a way to build pride, even arrogance.
“I am such a helpful person, so full of good-will, common sense and wisdom. Oh, how lucky those that are in need when I´m around. Form a queue, folks! It will soon be your turn to receive the blessings of the philanthropist (me).”
So, silver talk is easy, golden silence is harder, but the hardest is platinum listening, which I suspect is the base for being able to REALLY help. Helping others, and yourself, by doing and not-doing (just allowing).
This might be the Yin way to membership in the Platinum Club.