Although the audios and transcriptions are listed alongside each other, please consider that they are substantially different forms of verbal communication and should be treated separately. Not only are listening and reading processed differently by the brain, but to some degree transcriptions are translations from one language—oral, which perfectly represents what was said—into another (written), where the words and their order are the same but careful consideration is also given to the structure and punctuation of sentences in order to accurately portray how the content is organized and emphasized, never a perfect representation but perhaps better suited for digesting the details and logical order.
Please consider the following.
When I listen to Mr. Nyland I try to be as open as possible not only to the words as they flow but absorb the emotions connected with them. Whether answering a question or presenting a topic, Mr. Nyland’s tone and cadence are often filled with a quality of Being and life that communicates a higher emotional and mental purity and simplicity. When I am receptive to this, this evokes in me a desire to listen in the moment with all of my Being so that I can continue to receive with all of myself. Frequently I don’t understand fully what he is saying but am affected deeply nevertheless, this helps me to comprehend more than I would otherwise and wish to go in that direction.
For me, reading transcriptions is much the same as the advice Gurdjieff gives in the beginning of All and Everything where he counsels the reader to: “Read each of my written expositions thrice: Firstly–at least as you have already become mechanized to read all your contemporary books and newspaper. Secondly–as if you were reading aloud to another person. And only thirdly–try and fathom the gist of my writings.” Although I can read a transcription like I would a newspaper, in order to understand it I need to reread certain phrases or paragraphs and ponder them within the framework of my own, individual tempo. I pause and reflect and give myself space to bring my experience to the surface as I try to digest what is written.
It is true that Mr. Nyland’s native language was Dutch and that his English pronunciation was heavily accented, therefore in some cases when listening it might help to skim transcriptions to help one get used to how he speaks. Keep in mind, however, that when Mr. Nyland was alive (and for some twenty-five years afterwards) hundreds of people had no problem getting used to his accent without the use of transcriptions, and listened to recordings on a regular basis.
Listening and Reading at the same time:
This is an individual issue. When I listen and also read alongside, I cannot help but stop on things that catch my attention (e.g., a key word or concept, the punctuation, something missed or wrong) and lose track of the thread as I momentarily dwell on one thing or another, then jump over what comes next so I can catch up and reconnect. For me, it is far better to do one or the other; either yield to the meaning of the words conveyed through his voice, or reflect on them as well as I can in written form. When I listen to a recording I may then wish to read the transcription to gain more or vice versa—read the transcription and then listen to the recording to gain more—but when my attention is divided into doing both of these activities at the same time, I don’t do either of them fully.