Thursday, November 8, 2012

On Sight, Sound, and Self-Control

We are conceived by Sight & Sound. Birth is that space during which an existence primarily of sound approaches an existence that is capable of being comprised equally so of sight (as well as the other senses that I will not address here). I refer to an individual's "nine month" gestation period, through to "birth"; their coming into some seemingly subsequent stage of a human's being.

The relationship is established between sight and sound at what seems an early stage in human development, although the term "established" can be misleading. A relationship isn't so much established as that a 'genesis of differentiation' has just occured, or some new awareness has just been arrived at. A human being transitions from some state of aural incorporative immersion out in to an isolating and "dissected" state of visual differentiation, where what was once an indistinguishable event seems like two factions of reality competing for some newly exhibited intellectual understanding; one reality that acts as two interpretive hubs (i.e. Sight & Sound) for the expression of life experience.

It is possible that sight & sound have always existed, in some undifferentiated state, however, it is here that some distinction is drawn; as Walter J. Ong puts it, "Sight isolates, sound incorporates." What precedes the undifferentiated state? What consciousness first observed and coaxed such an 'idea'—that is, the state—in to being? At what point in time did consciousness arrive at sight and sound? And still, what, if anything, precedes such consciousness? What is it that has no name, but was first named by its creation(s)?

A human being may only see what they know to be; this is experience through understanding, where understanding is a human convention. Its application is intellectual in nature, and as such is unnatural relative to what really is. And, by 'what really is' I mean to say 'existence' without human interpretation—the source from which all else stems; the coalescence and indistinguishability of sense (e.g. sight, sound, touch, taste, smell, et cetera). This is not to suggest, for example, that a human being's lack of understanding "rock" or "ocean" prevents their ability to experience either as they are, nevermind that both are truly as one; only that they will have experienced  the presence of the two minus a commonality of identification & expression; a commonality amongst those that have been taught to similarly understand the sight & sound relationship.  

A human being can not see what is not known to them. They must be impressed upon in some manner in order for them to then make sense of the impression, either for themself or as they've been instructed to do according to some curriculum.
'Understanding' is an interpretive tool devised out some desire to intellectually express & address the 'what is' of The Experience. It is simply a desire to communicate The Experience from a perspective. Ong, on Ramism, writes that "Nothing is accessible for "use," that is, for active intussusception by the human being, until it has first been put through the curriculum," where for the purpose of what I convey, curriculum refers to a "course of deeds and experience" through which human beings grow.

If some part of you has had an image, audio or visual in nature, impressed upon you (which we all have), then you have experienced a curriculum, and that idea will remain with you indefinitely, like the grooves of a record; where the grooves, the sounds they contain (i.e. ideas), and the record are 'the record' itself, and where the record is unable to distinguish itself from all that is etched upon its being. The degree to which the impression is felt and/or utilized throughout one's human experience is governed by a combination of the impression's persistence and its recipient's acceptance/resistance to or resilience/vulnerability towards it. The being's tendencies towards the impression are what will determine the impression's effect on its host and the host's general life experience, as influenced either consciously or subconsciously or heavily or lightly, by said impression(s) or any combination of impression(s) through time.

We enter consciousness at some point; a realm of sight & sound, where being exists. There are associations created that, where the manipulation of sound matter together with sight matter, bring in to existence and perpetuate 'meaning.' In order to catalog the combinations and usages of sounds, one would first have to experience and familiarize themself with all that are possible. Each sound or combination of sound are assigned, and thus inherit some meaning for themself. The variations of 'meaning' are incalculable, as each & every one may differ from human being to human being. However subtle, each sight-sound-meaning relationship will differ, as no human being is exactly identical in their understanding or interpretation of these relationships. And presumably, where no human being may lay claim to their origin. Insofar as the relationships can be broadly understood in some similar fashion, then some general understanding can be arrived at, amongst the human beings that implement these sight-sound-meaning relationships toward an understanding of each other's shared interpretations of The Experience. As such, a value system may be implemented and more easily sustained.

Sounds may be conjured and specifically associated with visual cues to devise meaning. For those human beings that are entirely engrossed in their sensory experience, but unaware of its intricacies and applications, the practice is an efficient tool for the dissemination of some desired human curriculum, for their automated consumption. It is the development of an 'Understanding' that has been tailored for unconscious consumers according to its conjurer's methods of intellectual conveyence and ambition to socially orchestrate

You watch a television set on mute and see only images. Without having developed an understanding of the meanings associated with the images present on the television screen, a human being would be left to interpret the visual display for themself. The human being would have an opportunity to exercise self understanding; to then develop a meaning of the events according to their personal frame-of-reference. They would be limited, in their ability to express what is being experienced, to only those things previously experienced themself, that they can comparatively reference. Again, this is experience through 'Understanding'—a human convention. There is also experience without 'Understanding', but 'human being' seems to necessitate an understanding, where even a person's dismissal of any need for understanding merely echoes some previous impression or sentiment and understanding before it. Assuming that all human 'Understanding' has been influenced, from when or where than does meaning find its origin? If not with each being, than which?

Be Well, Loved Ones...



  1. This is absolutely fascinating. I can't read it just once, or quickly. It's something I'll just have to let sink in . . . The first thing that occurs to me is in thought-response to your words:

    "A human being can not see what is not known to them. They must be impressed upon in some manner in order for them to then make sense of the impression, either for themself or as they've been instructed to do according to some curriculum."

    Likewise (thank you for inspiring this parallel thought), I think, a human being cannot hear (in a totally comprehending way, that is), what is not known to him. For instance:

    Despite study, I've not yet ever been able to "pick up" the speaking of another language by "immersion." My brain being completely dead to the meaning of the syllables I discern by ear (when I'm able to discern them at all by the sound-separation of consonants, which I can't always do), I've found the "immersion" technique of spoken-language acquisition to be impossible. For me, it's utterly devoid of meaning -- the meaning one would normally derive when one's mother speaks the language -- so many forms of meaning emanate from a mother's voice, eyes, and touch . . .

    For this reason, not having been raised, from birth, in a second language, I cannot extrapolate anything whatsoever from the hearing of miscellaneous syllables in random combinations . . . no matter how long or how often I listen to them.

    I truly believe that the learning of language must be accompanied by that "curriculum" you wrote of -- human interaction of meaning and . . . of love. I think that, for me, some kind of expression of connection -- something, if not love, moving toward some form of human love (maternal-like, fraternal-like, etc.) -- is an absolute necessity for me to learn another language from those who speak it.

    If such a "curriculum" of meaning, to my way of thinking (at least in regard to myself), is required for the learning of a language . . . what other implications does that hold for the sight-and-sound awakenings of birth about which you've so intricately written?

    I do not know. My mind cannot yet extend that far to hold so much thought in one piece. I look forward to pondering this wonderful post in regard to birth memory . . . such a big thing that I can't even approach it at this time (!), being simply happy that you've written this to spur on such reflections . . . Thank you!

    1. Thank you, Rain, for your thoughtful comment. It's always nice getting visitors, especially when you don't expect them. I am glad there was a takeaway for you. It's a pleasure to have contributed something that is considered meaningful to someone else. The last time I read this was back in 2012.