We spend so much time communicating with each other – with our loved ones, friends, work colleagues, neighbours and the strangers who serve us in shops and offices, pass us on the street, or sit next to us in the bus or train. We are a social species, so communication is critical for our survival.
There are many layers and levels of human communication that we will explore together in future issues; from body language to listening, and from the way our energies resonate with each other to silent heart-to-heart communion.
In this issue, we explore the way we speak. The spoken voice is the transmission of sound from one being to others. It therefore is an expression of our inner being. Here are some tips from three wise men throughout the ages.
470 – 399 BCE
One day an acquaintance met the great philosopher Socrates and said, “Do you know
what I just heard about your friend?”
Socrates said, “Before you talk to me about my friend, take a moment and filter what you’re going to say.
“The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”
“No,” the man said. “Actually I just heard about it.”
“Now, how about the second filter, the filter of goodness? Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?”
“No, on the contrary.”
“So,” Socrates continued, “you want to tell me something bad about him, but you’re not certain it’s true.
There is one filter left: the filter of usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?”
“No, not really.”
“Well,” concluded Socrates, “if it is not necessarily true, not good and not even useful, why tell me at all?”
Between the 6th and 4th centuries Bce
Right speech always consists of five characteristics:
It is spoken at the right time.
It is true.
It is sweet.
It is useful and helpful.
It is kind and compassionate.
If we cannot perform right speech, it is better not to speak. Right speech brings happiness, harmony and wisdom to life.
Speak only those words by which we would not torment ourselves nor harm others.
Speak only pleasant words, which are acceptable to others.
RAM CHANDRA (LALAJI)
Sound is the manifestation of consciousness.
Let the flow of your conversation be a current that is even and in tune with the current of Reality. In this way, you will touch the hearts of those people listening.
Remove all sharpness, so that your speech doesn’t carry any kind of weight, like a current of still air.
It should be soft, cultured, smooth and balanced. A person whose tongue is cultured and polite has a large, pure and noble heart.
Be free of anger and free of emotional outbursts in speech. The heart is so tender that it begins to wilt even with the slightest disturbance.
To develop such softness, create extreme humility in temperament, so that you are filled up with such a feeling of love that you have no inclination to hurt anybody’s heart, and your words will not hurt anybody’s heart.