'Listening rationality,' on the other hand, functions in the context of 'silence.' It quiets our mind, takes away our (illusory) sense of security & control, and opens us to the untidiness, contradictions, & richness of being which cannot be bound by conceptual ordering. It invites us to the openness of not knowing and the 'risk' of growth. Silence can be 'a very fertile way of relating, (as it) might indicate a healthy desire to set aside certain automatic defenses that are only intended to fill emotional vacuums' and 'a desire to abandon automatic verbal sequences that fill our games (of social interactions). The highest function of silence,' therefore, 'is revealed in the creation of a co-existential space which permits dialogue to come along'. Listening in the context of silence involves 'the renunciation of a predominantly molding & ordering activity' and represents 'the readiness to tear away ideologizing modes of reflection which define & constrict the ways of coexistence'. It can be 'a support to the hermeneutic effort whereby we seek to establish a relationship between our world and a different "world," between our own attitude and a different attitude'.
Listening is also 'the attitude which can unblock the creative resources immobilized by the rigidity of traditional "logical" education'. It requires considerable 'dialogic patience' to give space to the 'inexpressible,' so that 'the inner experience which is less suited to being "spoken" can be expressed in some way'. In 'listening rationality,' the person who knows is someone who transforms him/herself in order to know, rather than objectifies the world in order to recognize her/himself in his/her cognitive conceptual immobility. To reach the 'highest function of listening silence' for coexistence to be possible, therefore, it is important that we are not confined by the conceptual mind and dominant discourses which categorize, normalize, & exclude. bell hooks proposes education as 'the practice of freedom.' I suggest that is also what critical social work education is about: the practice of freedom from the predominant order of things, that is, 'to transgress' the mode of 'discursive rationality' which privileges the mind and has been governing our production of knowledge & our relations to the world."
Wong Y-L.R. "Knowing Through Discomfort: A Mindfulness-based Critical Social Work Pedagogy." Critical Social Work 2004; 5:(1) http://www1.uwindsor.ca/criticalsocialwork/knowing-through-discomfort-a-mindfulness-based-critical-social-work-pedagogy