We are working to allow the other person, as well as the universe, to exist.
This should be easy, since they already do exist. Yet it is tough going at times. It requires attention: that “rarest and purest form of generosity,” according to Weil.
Strange thing about attention. When the attention is weak, we notice the quality of attention and say, “Wow, a lot of distractions.” When the attention is strong, we don’t notice it at all during its exercise. We notice, rather, more depth, variety and reality in the thing or being attended to. Attention appears in its weakness; it disappears in its strength.
In this way, attention is the light, which appears as a ray or beam of light only when impeded (e.g. by dust particles) but when it is strong and pure becomes invisible and only gives us the object on which it falls.
“Above all our thought should be empty, waiting, not seeking anything, but ready to receive in its naked truth the object that is to penetrate it.
All wrong translations, all absurdities in geometry problems, all clumsiness of style, and all faulty connection of ideas in compositions and essays, all such things are due to the fact that thought has seized upon some idea too hastily, and being thus prematurely blocked, is not open to the truth.” -- Weil
This almost sounds like Keats’ “negative capability,” when a thinker is “capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”
To the degree that we heed Zen Master Seung Sahn’s dictum, “ONLY DON’T KNOW!” we keep our knowing open. More and more can arise for us precisely because we stopped any grasping after certainty and completion.
That’s how it is in contemplation of the other person. We think we know them because their outer form is relatively stable. Or because their emotional or mental reactions are relatively stable and even predictable. Just that, however, is underknowing them, rather than fruitfully not knowing them. We need to go ahead and notice what we notice about them, about what they are saying for instance, but not hold to it or clamp down on it as the last knowledge.
If we really want to meet the other person, or the so-called physical object even, they will reveal themselves to us in their infinite fullness just in the measure that we refrain from any knowledge.
All blessings to all,