#7 — Perceive what you have heard (Ακουσας νοει)

Like the last maxim “Know what you have learned” this is an ACTIVE not a passive maxim. Unless we are deaf, we hear things all day long – from the snores of our family to the ticking of the clock and clicking of computer keys. The question is do they register in our minds as important? Do we LISTEN?

Hearing and listening are as different as viewing and seeing. In each pair one requires active participation and the other does not. Why is this distinction important? If one does not ACTIVELY listen and instead PASSIVELY hears then there is a larger chance of missing nuance and thus missing meaning. One of the things that separates humanity from most of the other creatures on this planet is the flexibility of our communication especially in the way we use words to convey meaning. (This spills over into the recorded or written word as that is speech made permanent).

Perception is the doorway by which the Universe has effect on us and our minds and this maxim could be alternatively translated as “be mindful of what you have heard” as the word νοει (pronounced no-ee) is related to the word Nous (Mind). We must be MINDFUL of what we have PERCEIVED in order to fully understand and relate to this maxim. And it is this very state of mindfulness that is the key that unlocks the door of our perception to allow knowledge and wisdom to enter in

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