Well? Does it make a sound or not?

You’ve heard it right? The very zen question, “does a falling tree make a sound when there is no one around to hear it?”

I did some research around this question and it appears that the conversation was first recorded, with different words, in the 1800s. 

So, let’s go back to the question at hand and make it a bit more personal. What is “sound”? Is it the vibrations, waves and frequencies that originate in the forest when the tree falls? Or is it the interpretation of those inputs when they are perceived in our senses and interpreted by our minds? 

And here is what I find interesting about this question. Is reality something external to us, or is it how we feel, think, experience, and interpret it?

My brother is colorblind. When we were little, I realized that there were certain colors he could not tell apart. I didn’t understand this at first, I mean who doesn’t know the difference between red and green? They are so very different!

And then I decided to look at the world through his eyes and saw a very, very different world to the one I could see.

This brought up many questions for me at the time and so I started investigating with other people after that. I would “borrow” their interpretation of viewpoint to see what they were seeing, perceiving, feeling and such. Often this can be done with simple conversations.

I remember my mom seemed very noisy in the head. There were so many dialogues happening in that mind that she barely saw the physical universe. I was astonished.

So, the answer I can give to that very zen question is the following:

The tree falling creates a lot of changes and movements in the physical environment. These changes and movements are expressed as waves, matter changing form (breaks in the tree and the trees around it), changes of the environment (looks different and animals’ habitat change), etc. But, these movements and changes in the environment are not necessarily perceived as sounds unless at least one animal has ears that interpret these changes in waves as sounds.

Boom!

Let me know what you think about my conclusions in my telegram channel.

Inelia Benz

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IneliaBenz.com

PS. This is a relevant class for this topic “Rules of Engagement” and here are more articles you can read:

PPS: Here is the lasted podcast episode where we discuss this article: Well? Does it make a sound or not?