They don't "listen" because no one taught them to understand

“Most people don’t listen with an intent to understand; they listen with intent to reply.”
    – STEPHEN R. COVEY, author and educator

“Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil… He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language… Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me!”
    – John 8:43-45

Do you know what is truth? Like, not what is true, but what it means for something to be true? 'Cause if you cannot answer this quesions, then – I’m sorry to break it like that, but – there is no truth in you. You would not listen to me, to Jesus, or anyone else because you’d think they are just as full of it as you are – because that is the only way you ever knew how to human.

You don’t realize it because understanding is not your thing. You don’t know what it means to understand – instead, simply pretend that you do.

And, yet, even though you might realize none of it about yourself, it is pretty easy to tell someone who actually understands from someone who only pretends do. What betrays the “pretenders” is not what they say; it is what they do not – what the could not – say.

Socrates once remarked that wisdom begins with wonder. What he meant is that no experience would teach you nothing, until you start asking those all-important “why’s” – “Explain to me why you think so? Help me see what you see!”

Asking the “why’s” is the key to understanding, because that is how we we ask for the puzzle pieces we are missing or for the instructions of how to piece together those that we have. And unless we’re talking weather, there will always be some missing pieces – that is why it take a dialog for us to understand each other – one of us trying to describe the picture they “see”, the other trying to reconstruct the same picture in their mind and requesting the missing parts by asking “why’s…”

Yet, the “pretenders” who, like most people, have never been taught to understand, never ask for explanations… commenting, instead, on your delivery or on the substance; telling you how smart or how dumb, how original or how weird you are; asking you where you are from or where did you learn all those things – their replies can be as witty and flattering or as obtuse and insulting as they get… But they won’t ever ask you to help them understand you – they simply don’t know how


So, you’re OK?

What are you seeking with this post?

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I was seeking many things. One of them was to see if I get any response and what kind — to see if my message is working.

And I always on the look for like-minded people who would ask me the “why’s”, who would try and understand me, and help me with my mission.

I’m a huge Stephen King fan, particularly his earlier short stories. King shows us that the real monsters are human. The supernatural forces are often just a foil to show the true evil that resides in so many.

In any case, I bring this up because your post brings to mind one of my very favorite favorites, “Quitters Inc.” which describes the quest of one man to quit smoking using a non-conventional method of which he was not initially made aware. The counselor shares this bit of wisdom, which seems applicable:

“When a romantic tries to do a good thing and fails, they give him a medal. When a pragmatist succeeds, they wish him in Hell.”

It’s all about perspective, isn’t it.


So is your mission to piece together the cosmic puzzle, or something far more difficult, like understanding the intricacies of the human soul?

That’s what’s science is about, asking those why’s, testing the hypotheses, if the results from testing are consistent we have theories which are consistent with the results of those tests, all in the pursuit of answering the why’s. A method for putting the puzzle together that gets the same results no matter who the puzzler is.
But I don’t think that’s what you’re talking about.


Why not?.. That is exactly what I am talking about!

Yes on both accounts — because it has to be both.

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Your phrasing was in the same vein as that which I’ve seen from “spiritual” people who see themselves as having a special understanding of the truth, an understanding they see as superior to that of more pragmatic people who they consider to be blind to The Truth.


“Worldly wisdom teaches that it is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”

    — John Maynard Keynes, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money”

You might say that. Or, you might say that it’s all about false beliefs and unhealthy coping patterns we develop during our trauma laden childhoods.

When growing up surrounded by love and encouragement, we learn to care about each other, and that’s only possible if we learn to understand others, to look at things from their perspectives. Once we have learned that, however, we would never disagree, much less have conflicts, compete for power, etc.

“Insofar as men live according to the guidance of reason, they must do only those things that are good for human nature, and hence, for each man, i.e., those things that agree with the nature of each man. Hence, insofar as men live according to the guidance of reason, they must always agree among themselves.”

    — Baruch Spinoza

There’s a twist to it, however — it only works if we learn to love your enemies as we love ourselves… because — duh! — we, ourselves, are our worst enemy!

That’s probably true — but not because I believe in supernatural. Rather, it’s because if you are a scientist, and you are prepared to pursue the evidence wherever it takes you, then, sooner or later, you will discover God.


Somehow I don’t think we’d do very well working together on a committee to address homelessness.

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touché lol… i do struggle with rent, i’m not gonna lie

But to my defence, the past two years were hell of a ride.

“He who went through the curriculum of misfortune offered by possibility [of God], lost absolutely everything in a way that no one has lost it in reality.
If, in this situation, he did not behave falsely towards that possibility, if he did not attempt to talk around the dread which would save him, then he received everything back again, as in reality no one ever did even if he received everything tenfold — for the pupil of that possibility received infinity.”

    — Søren Kierkegaard

“I just know, before this is over, I’m gonna need a whole lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitchin’.

    – Donkey, “Shrek”

(BTW I’m seriously considering deleting this reply because, despite it’s entertaining potential, this is really really not about me)

I would urge you to take some psycadelic drugs - start with magic mushrooms - or just go full anarchy with cocaine, alcohol and whores. Take meth only when you’re flagging.

it’s not that life isn’t fair, it’s just very… asymmetric

Of course life is asymmetric. Wallow in it properly is what I’m advising.

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Right… Thing is, I might have misplaced my copy of “How to wallow: for idiots”. Any chance you have one handy?

Besides, I’m not wallowing, I’m just trying to have a little fun along the way, but it’s like walking on eggshells. And I don’t even know if it’s a real thing I’m worrying about, or I’m just projecting.