I want to begin with saying what the sense of hearing is not! It is not the perception of words or ideas.  Hearing is just the perception of sound waves, acoustic events.  In this message I want to share with you four distinctions I find through my hearing sense. If I confused hearing with the perception of words or the perception of thoughts, I would miss the great wisdom that lives in hearing.
Right now I am hearing a clock ticktock and water play with water in a stream outside my window, neither of which are words or ideas. The first I experience as a mildly unpleasant mechanical noise and the second is a sweet sound of nature. A noise is something I don’t want to hear and wish I could shut off or shut out. A sound is something that is natural and not distorted. I react to hearing a noise or a sound with pleasure or displeasure and that tells me about me.

From the reality of my soul, what does my hearing hear?

My soul’s hearing can awaken listening.  I want to listen to something that offers a communication or a message.  I listen for a voice. If my soul experiences a voice, my listening tells me something about the source of the voice, not about me.  Voices offer all kinds of information. Some evenings I hear the voice of an owl.  I recognize the sound. Voice also tells me the mood of its source.  The dog’s bark tells me if it is excited, alarmed, attacking, or just wants to come in or go out.  A friend’s voice tells  about their energy and their emotion. A violin’s voice tells me about the music, it’s sound tells me about the instrument.

In a voice I listen for a tone and this asks my soul to hear and vibrate from it’s deepest core.  With the tone of a voice I begin to resonate with the truth or falsity, the beauty or distortion, and goodness or illness of the source of the voice. When I hear tone, I find imagination, inspiration and intuition about the source.

In my counseling practice, much of which is over the phone, I listen to my client’s voice and listen for his/her tone. Through my hearing of voice and tone, I learn how to percieve their words and ideas, their questions and their longings, I hear the vibrations of the wounds of the past and the possibilities of the future  I am resonating to something far deeper in their souls, to their living nature.

In the reality of my soul, my hearing moves from mere perception of an acoustic event to a vibrational knowing of deep intimacy.   And all this is before the experience of words or ideas.

With the sense of warmth, you begin to experience what lives in another.  With hearing your whole soul vibrates with what is living in another, the noise, the sound, the voice and the tone living in the world around you.  Listen well everyday to everything.

At the end of the day, reflect on what you have heard. With practice you will be able to know when you are hearing the harmonies of the cosmos.

Back to a mundane and practical sense, reading includes a sense of hearing living in a different part of consciousness than the words and ideas. In reading email or a novel and particularly in a poem,  your soul hears through the silence all the noise, sound, voice or tone present in the soul of the writer.