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Out on the Limb

Pooh's Tao

Monday, December 31, 2007

Pooh's Tao
Originally uploaded by sand dragon
I've been reading "The Tao of Pooh" which I recently took with me to the coffee shop. My friend, who has a PoohBear-like appearance, exclaimed in his usual jubilant manner, "I have that book, too!"

This friend is an excellent guitar player. He enjoys describing various chords and such to me as he is playing, although he knows I am musically illiterate. I get the feeling he is simply talking out loud without actually trying to teach me to be musical.

After a few minutes of listening to him play and talk gibberish this morning, I asked him: "Since you are so involved and knowledgeable about sound, I wonder what your thoughts are on the old question of whether a falling tree makes a sound in the forest if no-one is there."

Without hesitation, and without looking up from his chubby fingers stroking the guitar, he said "There is no forest."

And so, now I am wondering.... what would Pooh say?
What do you think? And do all my questions make me an owl?
posted by Deb, 1:39 PM


Does a falling tree make a sound in the forest if no-one is there?

Well, first we need to define a few things:

1) What is meant by no-one? No human beings? Or nothing at all?

A living tree could not exist in absolute isolation. The tree itself will be home to insects and other biological life forms. And certainly some of those creatures perceive sound.

Well anyways, in this abstract scenario I suppose if the tree is completely alone, no people, no forest, no animals, no insects, no nothing, I suppose the only way the sound could be detected is if the tree were consciously self-aware. If not, well than, no body would hear it right? But...

2) The second thing we need to define is, what is sound? Sound is essentially A vibration of energy, and besides being heard sounds can also be felt, and with certain instruments they can even been seen. But sound is merely one aspect of energy, so that sound is just one quality of a phenomenon, when you hear something there is more occurring than just the sound.

So whether or not any one else is present to experience these vibrations, the vibrations are released are they not?

Here's another example: instead of a falling tree, let's say you are completely alone. You are a consciously self-aware being, right? So as long as you have the ability to hear, if you make a sound, you are going to hear the sound, right? It doesn't matter that no body else is there with you.

So, consciousness is certainly an important factor here.

There are a lot of things occurring that are outside of our ordinary range of sensory perception. We've discovered some of them, that we've been able to observe through the use of tools: like radar, and micro-organisms.

Without the microscope the microscopic dimension was not observable, but just because we didn't see it didn't negate its existence. It was there all along, but we just didn't see it. So definitely consciousness is the important factor in this equation.

Does color exist for the person born blind? Or touch to the person born paralyzed? Or sound for the person born deaf?

Your senses of: Sight. Sound. Taste. Smell. Touch. are tools which enable the perception of energy in one or more of its aspects. Not The Complete Picture. A rather limited view is observed through the five senses.

So these senses are not comprehensive. There are aspects or forms of energy that exist beyond the threshold of sensory awareness. Just because we don't see or hear something doesn't negate its existence. Right? This is why I personally don't discount the possibility of supernatural phenomenon.

Oh and in a way I think your friend is right. If no-one means nothing, there couldn't be a forest. Because if there were a forest there most certainly would be something present capable of hearing the sound.

P.S. I've been lost for awhile too. Deleted my blog again, but I'm back. My new motto is, "No Expectations."
commented by Blogger Cym, 5:19 PM  
Cym! I've been thinking of you....
So glad you stopped by.

I agree about the benefits of having no expectations; but am personally having trouble balancing that with survival...

Best wishes to you (and us all)
commented by Anonymous deb, 8:28 PM  

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