Friday, March 17, 2017

Sound extinction. Man is gaining ground.

This morning I walked a long time with my dog through the woods. More and more he knows the way and he goes where he wants to go. I follow. Do I walk with my dog or does my dog walk with me? No matter what, we stay vital together walking several times on a daily base.

On a quiet forest trail he as well as I felt attracted by the sound of a singing beautiful big bird. Actually, we stopped together at the same time to listen quietly to the harmony of all the sounds in that place.
Maybe it's because I'm learning and practicing more and more with sounds the last months that I am even earlier alert of this phenomena. I am more and more aware and sensitive of the wonderful sounds of nature surrounding us.

When you become more and more aware of harmonics as a phenomenon of sound, you entire way of listening becomes altered. You may hear harmonics in the dripping of a tap or overtones in the wind as it rushes past your window.  As you become aware of harmonics, your listening patterns change and, as this occurs, so does your consciousness.

Listening takes about 70% of our sense energy. Listening is one of the great active experiences in which we can easily learn to partake. It is one that we are quite naturally born to do, although unfortunately it is an ability that many of us lose as we grow older. There are other important things to focus on.

Science shows that one of the basic functions of our ears are to provide, through natural sound, both a charging of the cortex of the brain and 90 – 95% of the body’s total charge.

Every morning I start my day in the forest and my first class in one of the Sala’s here at the resort. Carlien, my daughter calls it the ‘bird disco’. It is a fantastic experience to be able to know and "read" the time by the soundscape around you. Being aware of the ongoing changing combination of sense impulses during the day liberated me of using a watch and a clock. A great experience.

On that spot in the forest, actively listening together to the harmonics, in the distance we heard some new sounds arriving. The sound of a motorbike. And.. another one and another one. It appeared to be three motocross motorcycles, like idiots, tearing across the walking trails. Large clouds of dust and a deafening noise. Just in time I could attach my dog on the leash to avoid a collision with the first rider, who was not aware that there was still someone ‘silent’ listening. All three on a wild way passed. I felt left coughing in the dust and with a not amused dog. We both kept silent for a while beaten down to the dust. The sound was different. The silence, the experience of the presence of all, had become "dead". That everything there was ... suddenly was no more. Extinguished, destroyed by the sudden disturbance. One man's pleasure, the other should just swallow dust as a thank you.

It reminded me of a very short movie impression which was sent to me recently about the work of the to the musician and naturalist Bernie Krause. He is one of the world's leading experts in natural sound. Krause has been recording "soundscapes" - the wind in the trees, the chirping of birds, the songs of humpback whales - for over forty years and has amassed the largest archive in the world. In doing so, Krause can chart how wildlife sounds have changed over the course partly because of climate and partly because of habitat changes actually all forced by humans. If you want to listen for yourself click here. The silence speaks volumes. 

It seems like we cannot live without extra noise anymore. The radio or music in the car turned on, music during fitness, sports or running, music at home and during studying. Additional sound everywhere. And with all that extra noise we extinct more and more the natural sounds that were available for us to serve, get a peaceful feeling, to make curious, to heal, or even to stand still (like I did in the forest).

Is there a way to re-open the idea of listening in the world and to connect in a better way? At least better listening would be. By listening better tot the sound of life, rather than shutting it out, we are led to search for a harmonizing force appearing in the hollow din of our situation. That will be a second listening and there are many more layers. They come from silence. There are levels of listening and one leads upward towards the next. Serving you to connect, enjoy and discover (yourself) more.

Man is gaining ground. The world around us calls it growth. Growth is change and we need to connect with change. Nothing wrong with that idea. We want and need ‘more’. It’s all about ‘I’  and ‘me’. And the world around us just only need to accept that behavior. Dust and extra noise or not. I, MY, pleasure. MY deliberately destroying. Climate change and habitat change does not bother us. WE live NOW so what about next generations. They can and will solve the problems we arrange with technical solutions. Let’s ‘trust’ that idea…

I hope my bird disco still holds for a long period although, after seeing and hearing the short movie of Bernie Krause, I am not sure about a long term guarantee. Natural silence, being open and willing to experience the awareness of everything... On a daily base and as long as it still is possible for me here I go on opening up for receiving the healing harmonics of my early morning bird disco. 

Frans Captijn

Host / Catalyst / Talenteer at Captijn Insight

Captijn Insight“Catalyst in your process to new sustainable flow in life and work. Whether you are an individual, couple, team or an organization.”

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