Relationships

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Relationships

Post by Scamp on Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:00 am

Just listened to an interesting talk about various things including genuine relationships and what is described as truly attentive listening. Here's a part of the transcript:

Alan Saunders: Well, I mean... There are various things in his early life which point towards the later man. One is that he obviously didn't get from his parents, and certainly not from his mother, what he thought was most important in relationships. So you can see his later philosophy in a way as compensating for a lack in his own early life.

Paul Mendes-Flohr: Indeed, that's the way he presented it. He understood the fragility of relationships, the profound, existential and emotional need that we have for genuine relationships. But he also learned along the way the, I would say the dynamic of establishing relationship, and the difficulty of establishing a genuine relationship. One particular story he told is that when he was already a famous man, writing extensively on mysticism, not only Jewish mysticism, he was visited by a soldier during the First World War, distraught... came unannounced to his home in Germany, where he was living at the time. And despite the fact that it was not the custom to receive guests unannounced, Buber did receive this young man, and allowed him a half-hour early in the morning to present his questions. And Buber says he was very polite and cordial, and he responded to all the questions posed, and after a half-hour he indicated that unfortunately he doesn't have that much more time. And then he learned the following day that this man took his life.

And Buber drew from that the lesson that it's not sufficient to respond to questions that are verbalised, but also to questions that are etched on a person's forehead, and a person's eyes, the visceral questions. And that requires another type of listening than simply academic or even cordial listening. So the first point of departure towards this philosophy of dialogue was this type of listening: a truly attentive listening, which is not necessarily communicated by words, or facilitated by words. And in time he developed the notion that he calls the 'I-Thou' relationship - I'll explain that momentarily - or dialogue.

Here's a link to the audio and transcript: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/philosopherszone/jewish-philosophy-martin-buber/4187690

Anybody care to comment?
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Scamp

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Re: Relationships

Post by Fluffy_Ducks on Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:35 am

hearing the words is often completely different to listening to the message.
true listening requires that you aren't thinking about your response while you're hearing the person talk, you're 'reading' them, hearing the message behind the words - which can be similar to the words, or contradictory to the words.

there is an element of intuition, gut instinct, but mostly its absolute respect for that person. that they have something to say that they themselves is worth saying, if only to be heard.

people can often talk and talk and talk and feel that they are seriously misunderstood. its only because they haven't articulated their message in such a way that there can be NO confusion (probably because they aren't clear themselves) to someone that isn't able to hear the message.

it's a useful skill to develop - but sometimes a lonely one, when you realise that your friends and family around you haven't grasped it yet. :s

also - you have to be in the right 'head space' to be able to truly listen.
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Re: Relationships

Post by nicolejohn on Thu May 30, 2013 5:37 am

I agree with you scamp.

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Re: Relationships

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