Communication Skills 103
“Each Watching brings its own watcher. – Pete S.”
So much truth in a simple statement, yet it’s easy to overlook. I think that in these few words it shows why it is so difficult to have an essential communication with another person. Being human we have the unique capability to reflect about what we have observed with our minds and the result is that this capability itself is keeping us trapped in our own reflection. I see that what is very difficult for us to give up, is our being totally convinced that how we see things is in fact ‘the only reality’. We come together in conversation, but hardly ever is there the acknowledgement that neither of us can voice the absolute truth. We each, at most, can only express our individual viewpoint, which is totally dependent upon our history and our level of awareness. By being convinced that how we see things is in fact the only possibility of how things might be, we don’t allow space for another viewpoint to enter into our perception.
We might realize by observing our voiced opinions or the reactions of others to our expression, when we are clinging to our static viewpoints, when we notice we are repeating them. I think we cling to our past interpretations because feeling we know something primarily serves to give us value as a ‘living individual entity’. We, as egos, don’t want to know that ‘our precious viewpoints’ that we express is coming from the vast pool of consciousness expressing itself through us in its unique way. It is amazing to see how much energy most of us spend holding onto, asserting and trying to get validation from others of how our way of seeing things is in fact the only truth.
I think if we could see more clear how our self-expression is only like a wave in the big ocean – it is born and it dies – it is ephemeral in nature, then we might start to loosen our clinging and insistence upon our precious way of seeing things and just allow it and let it go. I think we can only drop our formulated opinions and judgments about people when we realize that how we see others has mostly to do with our past. By repeating our precious judgments about others, the result is that we create violence to the person, reducing a living being into the pigeon holed box of our conceptual mind. By doing this, how can it ever be possible to have an essential communication if all that anybody is interested in doing is convincing the other of their own truth at the expense of the other? (We can’t both be right…) Pretty clear, the way beyond this dilemma is to drop our projections, images and judgments of other people and to see them without the facility of our preformed conclusions. Can one have a dialog and truly listen to the other, set oneself aside and respond out of one’s spontaneity to the moment that’s presenting? Or is it more likely that what happens that instead the ego will arise and assert itself with its need to prove itself to be the one that has the truth?
This topic comes to mind from a conversation I had yesterday. In the exchange it became obvious that the person I was talking with was holding static images about me that they had been holding for many months. I was disappointed to hear these words come from the other because of late I had felt that there might be happening a change. But when I heard the same vengeful accusations regarding my own character coming from them then I realized what I was up against. As long as the other was holding this mostly negative image of myself, it would be impossible for them to ever see me in a different light. (We see what we want to see and this primarily has to do with our opinions, judgments and beliefs that we are holding.) I wish I could change my reactions to make others drop the image they are holding of me, but I don’t see that this is impossible, as I am not the one holding them.
I had asked a question and then I was told that I was entirely at fault for repetitively causing reactions of other people. Even we know that we cause our own reaction, it is not the fault of the other. The other can only be blamed in so far as to be the ‘trigger of causation’ that started us to create our own ‘defensive’ reaction. I was also told that if I wanted to ‘make things better’ then I was the one that had to change. The words grew stronger going to the extreme to tell me that everything I express is a reaction and I am constantly attacking. Then it got even more personal to tell me that my big problem was thinking that I know everything better than everyone else.
To accept all these heavy negative views of myself, then I would have to believe that I am the worst scum of the earth with nothing of merit or value to offer anybody. I am not looking for confirmation that I have any great value, I have no need for this, and it is like dust in my hands. But I have to at least feel good enough about myself that I have something to offer, even if it is only my limited viewpoint coming from my limited personality. I clearly see my limitation and can whole-heartedly admit that ‘at times’ I cling to my viewpoint, I do make judgments, and I do react out of how I am seeing things. I don’t see myself as perfect, I have never claimed to be ‘beyond error’ and I truly don’t feel that I know better than someone else, and I have never claimed to ‘be beyond my personality’ and I don’t give the fault for my reactions to the other person. Knowing this there is always room for me to improve… Daily I look at my reactions in happenings, questioning my part in them and seeking to learn about my own causation and my own need to assert my view as the only one. I truly am seeking to go beyond my limited views, to continuously clean them out and let them go. I do see my part in conflict and I do reflect about it and many times I wish I could be more loving and more aware ‘on the spot’.
Lastly, I was told that other people’s reactions would change if I changed my reactions. While this is true and I entirely agree with it, there was another aspect that was obviously overlooked…. While I can change my behavior and then give space to the other to react in a different way, thus changing everyone’s world, the converse is also true. The responsibility to do this is in everyone’s hands and giving fault to one person that they are ‘the bad guy’ allows one to stay in one’s role as a victim, never taking responsibility for one’s own causation and using one’s own power to change oneself.