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What is symbolic listening?

Have you ever felt that someone was hearing what you were saying, but not really listening? Are you yourself sometimes distracted when someone is talking to you? Are you really, truly present? Or is there a part of you that tries to speed up, control or escape the conversation? Have you ever wondered how some people do it, to have that attentive listening that makes it seem as if nothing else exists around them, just for the time of that exchange... Who are fully present? It is symbolic listening, the listening with symbols... That makes us understand the hidden realities, and allows us to connect deeply with the other...

The symbols

The definition and meaning of symbols - what we call symbolic language - is one of the cornerstones of understanding the functioning of human consciousness. This language is essentially revealed through dreams, which we patiently learn to decode, in order to understand the messages that are delivered to us to guide us in our projects, our choices, our decisions, our actions, our words...

The UCM Teaching and Research Center has published the Dictionary The Source Code, a fascinating, essential and fundamental reference, through which it becomes possible to learn and understand, in an autonomous way, the signals of our unconscious, the keys of our memories...

Thus, it becomes "easy" - more and more with time - to shed light on our dark and hidden zones, the regions buried within us that can only be discovered if we truly decide to walk towards them.

But in the deep desire to know oneself spiritually, there is sometimes a widespread tendency to "just see the invisible", i.e. to be interested only in what happens in the inner world, with the logical consequence of moving away from the concrete presence of daily life, to become weary of the surrounding reality, even to reject it. We fly away. One goes away. Finally, we get lost. Because it is possible to lose oneself in the abstract... Because one only listens to oneself. We are sometimes only interested in ourselves and our "evolution". And one can forget the others.


One of the explanations for this is that we have lost the ability to listen. Listening attentively to every moment of our lives. Listening consciously. Just as there is symbolic language, there is also the symbolic listening, alive in every interaction, every exchange, every gesture. In every silence even...

Here is a particularly vivid example from a teacher's testimony: during a class assembly, a student suddenly complained of severe discomfort during a health class.

   - Sir, I don't want to go to this class anymore, it disgusts me, and the lady doesn't understand anything, she doesn't listen to me. Everything disgusts me, it makes me want to vomit!

Strong words, a raw language, almost brutal; a tense face, drawn, scornful, grimacing...

   - What did you talk about, José?

   - It was that sex education, that disgusting thing, the male apparatus. It disgusts me!

When we learn that José does not eat at the same table as his father, even to the point of going without meals, that they do not speak to each other, that he does not receive pocket money, that he is one of many children born to several mothers, we begin to understand why the male reproductive system disgusts him and why he no longer wants to attend sex education classes.

In this first stage of accompaniment of a young person in disarray, struggling with life, symbolic listening is of primary importance. It is a matter of detecting the memories at stake, finding the roots of the malaise, understanding through the heart what kind of destiny has been activated...

We certainly have a particularly evocative example here, almost "obvious", and yet... If we reflect well, with honesty, on our day yesterday, our past week, our days as a whole - are we listening well?

They are all around us

You don't need to analyze a case of abuse to find symbols; they are everywhere... Like images that help us understand what others experience in their inner world:

  • "Ah, winter has begun, the weather is really bad..."
  • "I hurt my back yesterday, but well, you know I have to keep on taking care of everything here, otherwise nothing will progress..."
  • "My phone is down; I didn't see your message!"
  • "All these wars in the world; it's bad..."

But this can be positive too, of course:

  • "I am thrilled with my last music class with my friends!"
  • "How nice of you to give me these beautiful flowers."
  • "I slept really well last night..."

When you practice symbolic listening, it's like opening your eyes to a new world. Everything takes on a meaning that we may never have suspected. And thanks to its friend the law of resonance, they form a top-level guidance duo capable of teaching us as much about others as about ourselves.

This is what symbolic listening is all about: hearing that behind a disgust, there is suffering... that behind the winter cold, there may be the beginning of a depression... behind the flowers, there are feelings that are perhaps never said, or received...

Et vous, êtes-vous bien à l’écoute de la vie ? 🙂