|About the Book|
This book, the oldest and first of several publications by Peter Wilberg on the ontological dimension of listening in both psychotherapy and somatic medicine, is dedicated to the fulfilment of Martin Heideggers hope that his thinking wouldMoreThis book, the oldest and first of several publications by Peter Wilberg on the ontological dimension of listening in both psychotherapy and somatic medicine, is dedicated to the fulfilment of Martin Heideggers hope that his thinking would ...escape the confines of the philosophers study and become of benefit to wider circles, in particular to a large number of suffering human beings. The German word for listening (zuhoren) belongs to a family of words including to hear (horen), to belong (gehoren) and belonging together (Zugehorigkeit). The essential unity or belonging together of Being and Listening was nowhere more strikingly affirmed than in a saying of the German thinker Martin Heidegger: We hear, not the ear. This saying indicates that it is not bodies or ears but beings that hear. It also hints at a dimension of belonging together or we-ness in the activity of hearing and of listening. For how a human being addresses us, what they say to us - and the manner in which they say it - is itself and already a response to the way in which we are or are not listening to and hearing them - the wavelength of our listening attunement to them. Conversely, as Heidegger goes on to say: ...if we hear, something is not merely added to what the ear picks up- rather, what the ear perceives and how it perceives will already be attuned (gestimmt) and determined (bestimmt) by what we hear... Such a Heideggerian language of listening, which speaks in a German vocabulary, may be unfamiliar to those whose approach to counselling is shaped by terminologies derived from Freud, Rogers or new cognitive therapies. Yet it has a power to radically deepen our experience of what we call listening- allowing us to understand it merely as a prelude to some form of therapeutic response - nor as a one among other counselling skills or techniques - but rather as our most primordial way of being with and bearing with another human being in pregnant silence. It through this capacity to patiently be and bear with another persons suffering that they in turn can come to be with and bear it in a more patient way - thus granting it time to bear forth or give birth, not just to newly felt questions and insights, but to a whole inner bearing towards their life world and relationships, i.e. to a new way of being - one itself rooted in a new way of listening.