well not quite. but, i did have some high-level realizations while on my recent 11-hour flight to the land of aloha.
so i started reading this is your brain on music by dr. daniel j. levitin. it’s a treatise on why and how we have both a physical + emotional response to music. in the following expert, levitin begins to lay the groundwork for this by pointing toward the intersection of neuroscience and music. this bit sounds less like science to me, and more like eastern thought.
light waves are characterized by different frequencies of oscillation, and when they impinge on the retina of an observer, they set off a chain of neurochemical events, the end product of which is an internal image we call color.
similarly, sound waves impinge on the eardrums and pinnae (the fleshy parts of your ear), setting off a chain of mechanical and neurochemical events, the end product… we call pitch.
so no… if a tree falls and no one is around to hear it, it does not make a sound. it’s something our brain creates in response to vibrating molecules. it is not pitch until it is heard.
just as a bowl of pudding only has taste when i put it in my mouth - when it is in contact with my tongue. it doesn’t have taste or flavor sitting in my fridge, only the potential.
…only the potential. worth repeating. only the potential. it got me thinking. why should we be any different?
i am nothing. you are nothing. we are pure potential. perhaps proof that when we organize our lives with intention we can be anything we want to be.
i am not love. i am not hate. i am not joy. i am not passion. i am not pleasure. i am not anger. i am not beauty. i am the potential for all of those things. the rate + strength to which they manifest is dependent on how much i give to them. and perhaps dependent on the degree of openness, the state and the perception of the receiver.
in that sense we too are vibrating molecules. in every exchange we become the energy of potential.
for example, take the concept of anger. your lover said those words in a specific tone, with a certain look on his/her face. you, the receiver, felt hot + flushed, boiling belly + face. we call this exchange an angry one. but, if we are pure potential then perhaps this is no different than how we perceive color or pitch - our brains interpreting this as an angry exchange in response to vibrating molecules.
so just like the tree, just like the pudding, this was a moment full of potential.
the potential to grow - to evolve ourselves and our meanings of the world.