I did the post originally about the art of conversation from a spiritual point of view. But then, after a couple of hours of having posted it, I realized that in writing this post, I had discovered something new about love-hate relationships which I had been thinking about for the last many years but never really figured out the true basis of love-hate relationships.
So, then, I amended the post and made it about, both, love-hate relationships and the art of conversing spiritually.
Most of us love meeting people, talking to them, exchanging ideas, etc. And, psychologically, all of us desperately need to connect. Otherwise, we become sad and depressed. There is this deep hunger to connect. And I believe it is a spiritual need. Just like searching for God or nirvana or moksha or the Creator, call it whatever, or like searching for our own source, identity or purpose, the desire to meet people and talk to them and be listened to by them is a deep spiritual need. And I believe it is connected to the search for God. We are always trying to make sense of life. And all this search and all questions we keep trying to answer are part of that one big question, what’s going on here, in this world? What is it all about?
That is the question we are trying to answer. And I also believe that deep down, in the heart of our hearts and deep in our subconscious, we all know that we are one, like the fingers on our hands and like waves in an ocean and like the leaves on a tree, we are one. But, then, in the physical world, the world that we think is real, we perceive everyone as separate individuals. There is this conflict between the innate knowledge of oneness and the outer perception of separateness.
This very conflict is the root cause of the love-hate relationships that we have. And almost every relationship that we have is a love hate relationship. I never figured out fully before today why we have love and hate in all of our relationships. Here’s what i think now: love comes from the innate knowledge of oneness that we have; hate comes from the interactions of the different egos. And, unless you realize the world of ego that you are living in and move beyond it, you cannot do anything about it. This is how things are and they will be if you don’t move beyond the world of ego. And no relationship will be spared this love-hate combination. Its not just the husband-wife / spousal relationships that suffer this or brothers or father-son relationships. It is every relationship we are ever going to have. In different degrees, but love and hate will always be there. The only way out is meditation or, as I call it, utter silence and stillness.
Now, lets zoom into this conflict… this conflict between the innate oneness and the world of ego not only creates the love-hate combo, it also creates a curiosity, a need to know more about others and also a need to share our own life with others. The ultimate subconscious desire is to confirm our innate oneness, to become one with others. We are already one, but there is this perception of separateness coming from the ego which we are unknowingly trying to overcome.
What an amazing intersection of innate knowledge, On the one hand, and our needs and feelings coming from the ego, on the other hand. And just think about it, every relationship we have has to pass through this tricky, dicey, dodgy intersection! No wonder our relationships are such a pain to keep and maintain!
So, now, lets move on to our interactions and conversations… what happens when we get together? That is the most unfortunate part. We try to come together seeking to become one, but as soon as we come into contact, the egos take over. When I meet you, it’s one ego, one personality, one ‘I’, meeting another ego, another personality, another ‘I’. And the ego knows nothing but conflict and self-interest. That’s the ego’s way of dealing with things. If the others are useful, befriend them, if they are harmful, destroy them and if they are neither, then ignore them, don’t waste time on them and find someone or something more useful. For most of us, if we examine our lives and day to day activities, we will find some version of this strategy in place.
This post is suggesting that (i) we recognize our innate oneness and our subconscious desire to become one with others, (ii) we reject the negativity of the ego and (iii) we connect with others in a very spiritual way, so that we can realize and manifest in our lives what our subconscious is already telling us, i.e., that we are all one. And I believe that the best way to start doing that is by devising a way of connecting with others that demolishes the perception of being separate individuals.
How do we do that? Here are a few suggestions:
– Remember the innate divinity of everyone: I need to remember that everyone is me; the perception of ‘you’ or the ‘other’ is a myth. We are all one and we all have the divine presence in us. When you meet someone or see someone in the car next to yours or wherever, remember that you are looking at the divine. Respect the divine. And actually you don’t even need to respect it. I can guarantee that when you can see the divine in everyone, love and respect and humility will come on their own. It will be effortless.
– Listen to the divine: if you can start seeing the divine in everything and everyone, then you can also start listening more to people. Be ready to listen to and to learn from the divine. Once you are connected to the divine, it will send you the most amazing messages about life from the most mundane things. A brilliant learning process will start. Just open yourself to it.
– Avoid negativity: avoid humor and sarcasm and aggression and conflict. These are poisons coming from the ego. We use them frequently without realizing how damaging they are to our subconscious desire to connect with others. Especially humor and sarcasm, since they come couched in smiles and laughter. Comedy is one of the most popular forms of entertainment, yet it is the most violent form of it. Avoid comedy, whether in movies, TV or real life. Much better than trying to make people laugh is to listen to them and understand them.
– Be yourself: avoid trying to create an impression on others. No one is important enough for you to change yourself to get their attention. We often do try to change ourselves to suit others… whether because we are in ‘love’ with someone or because we want desperately to be someone’s friend or fit into a particular group of people and be accepted by them or whatever. Nothing could be more damaging than to change yourself to make others happy or to make them accept you. Even if you’re successful and people start loving you or accepting you as your friend or whatever, its a fake you and sooner or later this fake you and the real you are going to be fighting over control of you, your time and your other resources. A part of you will want to be the real you and another of you will want to be the fake you. And this fight will never end, it will go on forever. And as long as it goes on you will never have peace in your life.
And as long as this fight, this conflict is there, all your conversations will be negative, because they are coming from a conflicted, negative mind.
Secondly, be truthful. Nothing can create more understanding in relationships than being truthful and straightforward. Say things as they are and life will be simpler. There will be more peace and contentment in life.
– Silence is golden: speak as little as possible. So many times, we desperately try to convey reality or truth using a lot of words. But remember, actual truth is normally far away from the words we use. Words have a lot of BS, a lot of useless baggage, around them. So, the less words you use, the better. Try using silence as a means of communication and you will see that many times, it is a much better tool to convey reality or to convey your feelings than words are. Words, at best, are an approximation of what’s actually going on. At many times, they represent just the tip of the iceberg which can only be felt and not described. So use your words as consciously and as sparingly as possible.
Finally, as always, I know, things are easier said then done… and one step at a time can eventually take us a very long way!