Some of us friends are trying to build a community near Bhopal. At a place called Barkheda Bazyafat. And there is this classic conflict of .. Lets not talk, lets take action. Action speaks louder than words. And all that jazz. Any ‘idea’ which is held on to .. becomes stale and is always incomplete.
The truth of any idea can be grasped only by embracing the paradox. eg. Unless we end the separation between words and actions, between thought and intuition, between doing and being.. the conflict will thrive.
This is an interesting conversation that we had around that. The piece by Rajesh Dalal captures the essence and some aspects that Shantanu and I have mentioned also add texture. And flavor to this heady-hearty mix of words that hopefully will take us beyond words.
Shantanu (Bazyafat) :
I cannot agree more that words are not enough to capture the essence of what transpired. Words almost always do not communicate completely and very often mis-communicate. In the note and also in the meeting, both seem to have happened. Aptly stated: ‘Jo bhi main kehna chahoon, barbaad kare alfaaz mere’.
Also, at one instance during the day, it was stated that talking is necessary and that I have also come to the meeting because I have a need to talk. I felt it would be inappropriate to counter this notion at that time, but I feel it is important to clarify that I truly do not have the need to talk when there is no action or decision to be taken. Personally, I prefer to communicate through my actions and decisions. I’ve found them sufficient so far. I would attempt to stick to them as far as possible in future.
The purpose of my attending this meeting or even initiating one outside Barkheda did not get met because too many people decided to give it a pass. The venue was suggested because it was more convenient to attend. A different purpose did get achieved though.
It was a pleasure getting introduced to Rajesh Dalal. Lots to learn.
Kiran (Pune) :
One of the things that is clear to me is that the notion or idea that there is no need to talk- unless there is no action and decision required- is very different from the actuality of it. Anything made into a concept comes in the way of building community. We must always connect to the truth which is in the spirit of what is spoken.
And hence it is generally a good idea to see the limitation of an idea. For example, I find communication without too much agenda/decision/action- has a place in our life and work- to simply relate as human beings. Like we saw.. Life comes alive in Relationship. Simply connecting as friends.. discovering what matters to each other.
And a great example is that like you say, “A different purpose did get achieved though.” So making space to simply meet and share and explore together has a place in our human life.. And it is intricately interwoven with purposive action.
And certainly relating cannot be reduced merely to action or decision, is it not?
I feel that any kind of separation between action and talk, decision and communication etc.. breeds a ground for conflict. Lets recognise the beauty and the limitation of action and talk.
Healthy action requires healthy talk and vice versa.
This division that we often create is artificial.
And I am willing to listen to see if I have missed something.
Much love, Kiran
Rajesh Dalal (Talegaon) :
This conversation may have value.
I agree – words are limited in their power to communicate. Silent action/behaviour speaks so much more than words. Words can and generally do deceive, unless they come from silence, care, beyond thought. The word is not the thing!
But how deeply, do we see this. Don’t most of our decisions and actions spring from knowledge, thought and it’s categorisations, gross or subtle? Often our speech, even listening is affected by thought. Thought has mostly distorted and limited life and deeper relationships.
However, words that draw attention to this ‘fact’ have great relevance. No? Moreover, talking freely and listening to our/others’ thoughts, haven’t you observed, is one important way humans, esp children, learn about themselves and the world?
So I suggest, we do not dismiss words. Let us explore whether we over or under emphasize words – what their intelligent place is, in our actual living. This exploration essentially is silent, though we may discuss. Also what other instruments of learning are available?
I don’t know if the above is simple and true, for you the reader. If yes, lovely. If not, reread with care, or ask for clarification or just forget it.
Whatever you do, your oral or written feedback will be of value. Rest assured, it will be read with a silent, non judgmental, learning quality.
You surely have a gift of communication, even with words. I understand and completely agree with the conversation in your mail.
Words surely have a utility and I will, in times to come, try and use them only as much – not more. I have a belief that it is possible to communicate just by being and would like to experiment.
Kiran (Pune) :
When you see the wisdom of words in the way that RajeshD has described. And then you also say that
“I have a belief that it is possible to communicate just by being and would like to experiment.”
I see the truth in what you say that often words are cheap and we can keep talking and not take action. I also see the hesitation and caution with words. Possibly you feel that words are different /inferior to being. Or dilute being.
I sense that we are beginning to see something together. And this is also related to a few chats I/we have all had amongst us when we met. In which there has been an understandable ‘allergy’ to the spoken word and a preference for a certain kind of action.
Till such time there is a hesitation to use words or a need to use words, both can come in the way of simply flowing with what is required in the moment.
A shift from ‘believing’ to seeing something as a fact or not -is the invitation. We need to believe something only when we don’t see it totally. Eg. We dont need to ‘believe’ that we have 2 hands and 2 legs.
I find it useful to simply notice both an attraction to words and also any allergy to words that some of us – including I – may have. Talking has a place which we discover when we are simply mindful.
Words And actions which seem to have a separation in our mind –
Both can be born from being/congruence or from a fragmented sense of better/worse. I hope you see that what i am saying is not ‘opposed’ to what you are saying but am attempting to share something that can help us see and learn something together.
I don’t feel (and have not felt earlier too) that what you’re saying is opposed to what I am. My communication was specific to my impressions & perceptions, which I thought were relevant to share. I don’t have an allergy to words or talking. I am in completely in agreement with what you’ve said about the place of words. They are not inferior, but overuse can be toxic.
What I sense behind the words in your mail is a deep concern for my learning. I feel grateful and assure you that I will be conscious not to let my beliefs and perceptions cloud my learning. You know that I’m learning a lot through these experiments of mine and interactions, whether I pen them or not. I am yet to fully understand the ‘together’ aspect of learning. I can comprehend the aspect of learning from one another, I can also comprehend that two people realise the same fact/truth at the same time, but I don’t know if there’s anything more to learning together.
Rajinder (while visiting from Barkheda) :
I am loving the conversation and I feel as if I am physically there with Kiran and Shantanu……while sipping tea made on my biogas chula in the tower room while it is raining outside…..thank you guys
Rajinder.. thoda cup pass karo yaar.. I am getting the fragrance already.
Shantanu.. there is something about your being which is very endearing..
the simple raw contact with reality perhaps.
And willingness to take deep dives and learn..
Yes, overuse of words can be toxic- agreed.
Even I don’t know what learning together means. Because when that happens it seems that I am not quite there. Nor is the other.. its all part of a flow. Which I sense we have all seen and felt. Now and then.