The Interpreter

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Who wants to read this, hear this, I was thinking.  Then again, does it matter?  I need to write these thoughts or they will remain undigested in my mind and slowly poison it.

I’ve noticed over the last few years that when I sit with another person, or a few people, as they speak and as I listen, my eyes wander off, their line of sight moving deliberately away from the speaker.  They will lock onto some object and hold it.  I know it’s not the object they are observing but rather desperately trying to see that which is within, or behind, the object: that which is invisible, yet very much there.  This focusing effect is so powerful that often I notice everybody else turned and staring in the same direction I am.  “Nothing, nothing, I’m just listening,” I’ll say, because they seem convinced I am looking at something they all should be able to see.  If I told them I was looking at a chair leg shadow, or an upside-down book spine on a shelf, they’d think I was simply bored with the conversation. 

What is it that attracts the eyes thus?  I think I know now, and I have a new “name” or description for that invisible visitor: the Interpreter. 

When people speak, they speak of their lives; of events within their world; of information they have garnered, usually very recently, from the news media, or social media and supplying their personal interpretations of such.  Of course they are not speaking just words as if one were reading a book, or listening to a lecture.  They are telling a story that exposes who they really are.  Do they want to be heard on such a deep level?  Usually not.

Much of what takes place here is subconscious.  Usually we only listen to the sounds the speaker makes: her words.  Either we do not want to, or we do not know how, to listen to the real story.  Perhaps, we are afraid of entering into a space that will demand some personal commitment when we move past the hearing part to the listening.  Or we are afraid of the power to “read minds” as some call it, of intrusion, and we think, what if I’m wrong?

That’s where the Interpreter comes in.  

I don’t know if everyone is accompanied by an Interpreter or whether it comes only to those who seek to interact with their world compassionately.  I suspect the latter.  I suspect that most conversations remain on the purely physical level, with hearers focusing on the speaker, her tone of voice, her facial expressions, the movement of her hands, or entire body.  And of course there is often the sexual aspect coming into it, as the speaker morphs into a sex object to some.  Though usually vehemently denied, especially by women, that is often one of the effects the speaker wishes to achieve.  That’s the physically-centered Earthian species and no Interpreter needed on this level.

The Interpreter which the eyes desperately desire to bring into focus so it can be made a part of the usual façade cannot be so tricked.  If a hearer truly seeks to become a Listener, the Interpreter will take her into a sort of trance where the speaker’s true motives for speaking are exposed.  The speaker’s story is then heard on two levels: the shallow, normal word level, and the speaker’s life level. 

To listen this way is socially risky and one needs to learn to remain quiet as this very personal information is digested.  You can’t respond to the deep “stuff” directly, so you learn to respond to the surface expressions, keeping the deeper awareness for a later time… or for never, using it only for your own edification. 

That too, I file into the expanding realm of self-empowerment.  Unless it can be knowingly used for healing, or comforting, no one needs to hear what I learned of a speaker from the Interpreter.  It can remain on the observer level. 


22 thoughts on “The Interpreter

  1. Phil Huston

    The Muse is a task master. The rainbow of depth the cosmic radio brings to what is heard is akin to a speaker’s words hitting a prism and exploding into their component parts. Nicely done.

  2. Woebegone but Hopeful

    That’s another thought provoking concept; moving way out beyond our usual Three-Dimensional Perception.
    “There are more things in Heaven and Earth Horatio”
    Thanks for the insight.

  3. Lily Von Valley

    how very interesting the concept of an ‘interpretor’s’ presence, and the power of the gaze in a ‘compassionate’ listener, by which the speaker becomes exposed to a deeper state of transparency: ‘ the shallow, normal word level, and the speaker’s life level.” There is no getting away or hiding sometimes! (hello Sha’Tara:-)

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Hello to you too, Lily, and thanks for your comment. This interpreter business, I have found, requires much self-discipline as the deeper listening means keeping one’s mouth shut a whole lot more than in a normal conversation. Also it means listening on both levels at the same time so that when asked one’s opinion, or thoughts, one doesn’t have to say, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t get that last part…” But once the deeper aspect of the speaker is grasp (to a point) it becomes possible to give a “good” or compassionate response, rather than some off-the-cuff remark that may satisfy, but may also cut. Thus the introspection goes both ways, and I’ve found that I learn a lot more about myself in such encounters, usually stuff I’ve kept buried in the subconscious because… well… honestly I don’t like what it reveals about me.

      1. Lily Von Valley

        yes, and deep listening involves a lot of patience, time and practice. I often fail miserably, at times, but aware of its importance. Oh…i can’t imagine revelations in the subconscious of an empathic compassionate being might turn out unlikable (to your goodself, or else)….xx 🙂

      2. Sha'Tara Post author

        Empathy, compassion: very deep subjects. But you know, if we really want to become compassionate, we need to change our own basic nature because deep down, it’s no different than anyone else’s. I am not better than anyone else, I just choose to act in a compassionate and giving way rather than the opposite. Why? I find what it does to me, the changes I sense happening, to be exciting. I find the concept of selflessness not only challenging, but a bringer of great inner peace, hence conducive to physical health also. Though it seems a contradiction, a compassionate person is self-empowered and selfless. She is not afraid to take full credit, within herself, for what she knows she is accomplishing, nor afraid to confront herself when she discovers that she can do much more than she is doing. And… she goes on to do more. It’s a from of “extreme” living.

      3. Lily Von Valley

        great qualities, if only possessed by majority people would make a great difference to their (and our) condition. Yes, not an easy feat, selflessness!

  4. bethanyk

    I want to read what you write in answer to your first few lines!
    I love to deeply listen. I also have to set up a boundary so I don’t go in so far that I become and feel exactly what they do. It is too much pain feeling my own life and someone elses. So I only go a little way.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      I think I know what you are saying. Some of us would love to be pure empaths; to feel it all, but such a thing on a world like this one would, I think, destroy us. As you say, too much pain. I have learned to some degree how to transmute the pain I feel into “sorrow” which is a more general way to absorb pain. Long way to go…

  5. underswansea

    Fuck the intellectual part of getting along. Your eyes wonder because you can’t stand another drop of bullshit, no matter how it is dressed up. At the end of the day we try to swallow. It is hard to go down. That’s because it don’t taste good no matter what they say.

    1. Sha'Tara Post author

      Thanks for the comment. Yes, I can “get” what you’re saying, even if I was looking at it from a different angle.

  6. Lisa R. Palmer

    Hmm… Somehow I missed this post. My commentary involves a lot of head nodding, but since you can’t see me, I’m writing it down here…

    “Yep… mm-huh… Definitely!…”

    You get the idea… 😉


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