Why We ‘Hear’ Some Silent GIFs

This is super cool, originally sent to us by @johnferrari

Who else can hear the sounds of these silent GIFs?

As the Night Club GIF gate-keeper, I find this of particular interest :slight_smile:

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I am in my music studio right now wearing high quality headphones. I have to report that I heard nothing.

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Ditto, even with hearing aids.

weird… on the one with the powerlines, I do hear a low thumping sound. but it‘s more like „feeling“ it instead of hearing. The rope skipping gif is silent. „We will rock you“ is also feelible.
@Steve_Gleason @_Barry guys, try loosening your focus on your ear consciousness and imagine you would be in liminal state experiencing those gifs as dream images while viewing them

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I can “feel” or imagine the sound but that’s not the same as hearing it because if I close my eyes, there is only the sound of my tinnitus. The mind is really the master sense organ and without it there would be no vision, taste, touch, smell or sound. I think the .gif phenomenon illustrates how much we project ourselves onto the world, using sight as the primary sense above all else.

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@_Barry Want to try one more thing? Call to mind a well-known song, e.g. California Dreaming… Now enjoy and allow your memory of it to come up… „All the leaves are brown, and the sky is grey…
Can you hear the Mamas and the Papas singing?
Yes?

  • Was this internal music overlayed with tinnitus?
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Yes, but a great song in any case. I have the same sense limitation with vision, in that I have 20-40 vision after cataract surgery, no longer needing glasses after a correction from 20-700 approximately in both eyes. I get around, (great song) almost always without glasses, and see less sharply than 20-20, but still appreciate what I “see.” I only wear glasses when I drive or go outside for a walk. The mind propels the senses, but is also limited by the channels, only if I get caught up in them, which I am consciously trying not to do with pratices of open awareness. The mind is great at what was described as splinter skills in college, making up where the senses fall short in other ways.

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Thanks for sharing, that interaction of physical senses and sense consciousness is super interesting. But let me ask you, are your dream visions less sharp and is your dream hearing impaired or are they clear in dreams?

Regarding the point that for you the tinnitus does seem to overlay the internal sound (i.e. the song experiment): I wonder what would happen when you would focus more single-pointedly… Similarly as in shamata practice where at first you only focus on one aspect of the breath, such as the movement of the lower stomach, instead of the breath-induced sensations in the whole body…
Wondering if when you focus like that, if you would still hear the tinnitus if you selected the „internal sound“ domain only, and not be as wide with your attention focus to allow also the attention to include physical hearing sense… of course, if you would then „check“ your physical hearing, you would hear the tinnitus, because you would automatically open up the physical sense field… would be an interesting experiment of shamata practice.
During my shamata practice, at rare times I have the impression that I go blind, with my eyes open. I read a while ago, that this can happen, when the sight sense consciousness shuts down, since attention is withdrawn.

When you dream, do you hear the tinnitus?

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Interesting.

I do not.

Interesting.

I do not.

:sunglasses:

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When I dream I don’t hear tinnitus. I understand the idea of the internal sound and indeed there are times when I can access that. Sometimes consciously and other times, it just happens.

This conversation got me thinking about Goethe, the great German poet, scientist and philosopher. He and Kant were contemporaries and each had a great impact on western thinking. I remember reading once that Goethe hated eyeglasses and eschewed telescopes and other inventions that modified human senses. I wore glasses most of my life and couldn’t have done much without them, and I wondered what Goethe had against them? Would he have also boycotted my hearing aids too? So I did some research and found a paper that explored Goethe’s antipathy toward sensory enhancement.

Why Did Goethe Hate Glasses? Two Puzzling Passages in the “Wahlverw and tschaften” and the “Wanderjahre” Author(s): D. Pieter Strauss. The Journal of English and Germanic Philology , Apr., 1981, Vol. 80, No. 2 (Apr., 1981), pp. 176-187

His conclusion reads as follows: “If the two tasks of man are to attain wisdom and to live morally, it is clear that, as Goethe understands the situation, any distortion of the relationship of the senses to the external world will hinder the attainment of wisdom and disrupt the relationship of the individual to the moral law which is to guide his choices in acting in the world. Today, a century and a half later, it is possible to argue that rapid technological progress, in the form of the telescope, telephone, radio, and television, which extend individual human senses without increasing man’s ability to assimilate the increased information they provide, has been a major factor in the spiritual malaise of twentieth century man. We cannot make such a clear argument for eyeglasses themselves, but, noting that the improved vision provided by eye glasses is not equivalent to normal healthy vision, we may suspect that the subtle sensory distortion inherent in wearing eyeglasses may be found to have some significant effect on the individual’s mental well being, and that here, too, Goethe’s vision will be seen to have been anything but kurzsichtig (near sighted).”

I guess we can add computers, the internet, iPhone and other modern innovations to that conclusion.

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Yeah, agreed. That was the most powerful one for me too. I don’t really “hear” anything. I experience the thumping somewhat viscerally and the longer I rest with it, the more the “thumping” evokes a sound-like resonance in my mind.

The longer I stay with it - the more uncomfortable I become, actually.

Yeah, well said.

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yes, the Beach Boys :surfing_man:

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It feels to me that the „sounds“ induced by the GIFs are in - or close to - the domain of internal sound, which is strongly appearant during dreams or liminal states, but also accessible and consciously selectable during waking state.

Yes, Goethe - one of my favorite poets and a great humanist philosopher.
Following your link, I found some further interpretation of his aversion to glasses, which offers additional explanation; this is a exerpt of Goethe speaking to his biographer Eckermann on the subject:

„ Es macht mir immer den Eindruck des Desobligeanten, ungefähr so, als wollte ein Fremder mir bei der ersten Begrüssung sogleich eine Grobheit sagen. Ich empfinde dies noch stärker, nachdem ich seit Jahren es habe drucken lassen, wie fatal mir die Brillen sind. Kommt nun ein Fremder mit der Brille, so denke ich gleich: er hat deine neuesten Gedichte nicht gelesen - und das ist schon ein wenig zu seinem Nachteil; oder: er hat sie gelesen, er kennt deine Eigenheit und setzt sich darüber hinaus - und das ist noch schlimmer. Es kommt mir immer so vor, als sollte ich den Fremden zum Gegenstand genauer Untersuchung dienen und als wolten sie durch ihre gewaffneten Blicke in mein geheimstes Innere dringen und jedes Fältchen meines alten Gesichtes erspähen."

meaning, „… It always makes me the impression of the desobligeant, about as if a stranger wanted to tell me immediately a rudeness at the first greeting. I feel this even more strongly after I have had it printed for years how fatal glasses are to me. If a stranger comes with glasses, I immediately think: he has not read your latest poems - and that is already a little to his disadvantage; or: he has read them, he knows your peculiarity and puts himself beyond it - and that is even worse. It always seems to me as if I should serve the strangers as an object of close scrutiny, and as if they wanted to penetrate my innermost secrets with their armed looks and spy out every wrinkle of my old face.“

Goethe reportedly had one short-sighted and one far-sighted eye, he had the so called „Goethe Blick“ meaning that he he could view his environment only with one eye only, depending on whether he viewed objects near or far.
The article postulates that he had a discomfortable notion of being examined by others by means of glasses. The glasses-wearing observer seems to represent either „Grobheit“ (rudeness), or is associated with the idea that the observer, who knows of Goethe‘s issue but still engages him wearing this optical aid (which allows the observer to view physically better than Goethe) with the supposed aim to dissect his innermost.

interestingly, although Goethe‘s theory on colors („Goethe‘s Farbenlehre“) was widely not accepted by the scientific community, he held onto it, even though Newton‘s theory was obviously correct and yielded reproduceable experimental results.
In the light of this, perhaps he projected onto glasses and people who wore glasses, the pain of a genius who was being refuted - also by means of modern tools of technology (represented by glasses) - and told to stay in his original fields of brilliancy.
Perhaps it was a pain for him to observe a development of society relying more and more on technology and tools to supposedly reveal the innermost secrets of the world (physics), while not having to rely as much on the brilliancy of minds (as brilliant as his). As an emotional poet, this development could have appeared to him as cold and sterile, and even „cheap“. Who knows, would have loved to meet the guy!

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yes, isn‘t that weird?

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