A Wise Old Owl Lived In An Oak

“A wise old owl lived in an oak.The more he saw, the less he spoke.The less he spoke, the more he heard.Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?”

Nursery Rhyme

I came across this nursery rhyme and was surprised to find such depth and wisdom.

“The more he saw, the less he spoke”

When one learns to see things the way they are, this identification with right and wrong starts diminishing, along with the need to speak. The need to speak and assert our point of view repeatedly over others comes from the thinking mind that is tied to dualism in the form of right-wrong, good-evil, virtue-vice, moral-immoral, and so on.

The Identifications with dualism become the source of pain and suffering where the ego sees things as black and white. It’s either my way or the highway. The ability to witness things from a non-judgmental perspective brings about a sense of peace.

“The less he spoke, the more he heard”

Speaking does not merely refer to verbal speech. What it means here is the continuous stream of thoughts produced by the thinking mind, involved in analyzing what is being heard. And thus, creating judgments and reactions at every moment.

Such a mind lacks the patience to hear. Instead of hearing what is being actually said, it hears what it wants to hear. When the thinking is rampant, the mind misses or misinterprets what’s being said or indicated in-between the lines.

Therefore, it distorts the original message and presents its own version of the truth. For the wise, the thinking mind is practically non-existent, they listen with undistorted perception and keep the analysis for later. Even in their analysis, they don’t stick to any particular viewpoint. They don’t keep a hard stance toward any concept, idea, or belief, knowing the transient nature of life.

Generally, when we speak, we want to be heard. The “me” within seeks validation either consciously or subconsciously. When others disagree, the “me” becomes restless and aggressive. But what happens when we speak less?

We listen more. Not from the biased perspective of the mind; the listening happens in the light of pure consciousness or unconditional love. Love is not an identification in the mind and does not choose sides. Love is simply the “being” that is our true essence.

Love is the direct perception that allows everything without discrimination. It enables us to open our hearts and connect with our emotional center. When the heart energy activates, there’s a profound realization that behind all appearances is one pure consciousness.

We’ve lost our ability to listen because we remain concerned with speaking. We like to hear only those things that align with our understanding of life.

Pure listening is free from biased and filtered perception, and so the mind remains peaceful irrespective of what happens. There’s an unconditional acceptance of “what is.” It does not allow the mind to move into obsessive thinking.

“Pure knowledge is not imparted by another; it comes unmasked. It is the one that is listening: it is your own true nature.”

Nisargadatta Maharaj

Pure listening is peaceful because there’s no person or individual listening to anything with judgment and identifications. The listening happens in pure awareness.

Now my question to you is, “Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?”