There are enough people I know who have gotten really tired of all the misinformation about sound and sound healing that has manifested on the Internet. In the interest of trying to remedy this situation, I would like to initiate an ongoing column focusing on some aspects of the science of sound and sound healing.
I think in order to begin to approach this immense topic, it’s important to define science. Why? Because a lot of the people writing a lot of the misinformation about sound are claiming to be scientists. In fact, they are not only claiming to be—many of them are scientists. But the question is: are they scientists of sound?
There’s a lot of different definitions of the word “scientist “The British Dictionary” which states that a scientist is: an expert in Science, especially one of the physical or natural sciences” or “a person who studies or practises any of the sciences or who uses scientific methods”. The “Oxford Dictionary” explains that a scientist is: “a person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences.” “Merriam-Webster Dictionary tells us that a scientist is: “a person who is trained in a science and whose job involves doing scientific research or solving scientific problems.
Next, of course, we have to ask: what the heck is science. Webster’s tells us that science is: “The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” Okay. Enough already. It’s obvious that a person who practices science is a scientist. And that includes anyone studying aspects of the world that they have observed. Great! On one level, we are all scientists.
But as noted in the early part of this writing, there are a lot of people who are scientists—even professional doctors, dentists, astronomers, micro-biologists and all sorts of assorted and sundry types. However, I would like you to contemplate that while doctors, for example, may spend many years at college, post graduate and medical school, as well as interning in hospitals, etc., just because they may have extraordinary training in treating the body or specific parts of the body, this does not mean that they know any more than the average person about sound. They may not be familiar with sound waves, the study of binaural beat frequencies, the work of Alfred Tomatis, M.D. or that of Hans Jenny, M.D., (creator of Cymatics).
I mention these last two, because both were medical doctors who made extraordinary in roads in the field of sound. And with Dr. Jenny, his remarkable discoveries with Cymatics (showing how sound effects matter) were done in his spare study, almost as a hobby and unrelated to his work as a physician. Thus, while both Tomatis and Jenny were MDs, they are the rarity and not the model for those who know and work with sound. I’d like to suggest that just because someone has a number of initials after their name does not necessarily make them an expert in the field of sound nor sound therapy.
With regard to science, I just synchronistically found a quote in a news weekly magazine by Nobel Prize (1965) winning Physicist Richard Feynman, who (double synchronicity) was a great advocate of Tuva, home of “Hoomi” or throat singing, a type of vocal harmonics which happens to be one of the subject of my first book HEALING SOUNDS. While Feynman apparently never actually made it to Tuva (he first spoke of it in 1964—a time when Tuva was virtually unknown—truly), he was one of the first people to bring awareness of “Hoomi” to the West. Here is the quote from Feynman, a man who was called “the Best Mind since Einstein”, about science: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts.”
When I read this, I laughed out loud. It does suggest that just because one studies science doesn’t mean too much. If you’re interested in a truly intriguing man, google Richard Feynman. He was the type of individual who received his answers first and then had to spend time getting the math (or whatever) to prove it. Seems a bit like Nikola Tesla, the father of many modern inventions, including the radio (yes—Marconi was told how to build it by Tesla) and the man responsible for AC (alternating current). Apparently Tesla would often see or receive the vision of the completed product he needed to create and then found it necessary to figure out how to produce it.
Regardless, we have the greatest respect for people of science. And we also have the greatest respect for people of spirituality. And most of all, we have the greatest of respect for sound. Thus, in the columns following this one, we will be focusing on aspects of sound that seem to either have been forgotten or somehow have become distorted. Rather than go into any of this material now, I’ll just suggest that we’ll be examining some of the “nuts and bolts” of sound—everything from sound waves to why certain scales and different keynotes developed.
From my perspective, fluidity is one of the most important aspects of evolution. And as we evolve and develop, we must not hold too heavily to certain beliefs—otherwise we won’t be able to disprove them if it’s possible or necessary. And we indeed will be manifesting the “ignorance of the experts”. At the same time, it’s important for us to also realize that here in our 3 dimensional world, there are certain things that are mandatory to acknowledge. Like gravity. No doubt, someday, we’ll all be levitating and floating around. But, if I may paraphrase the words of comedian Bill Hicks: “If you think you can fly—be like a duck and try to take off from the ground. Don’t jump off the building in order to prove it.” Thus, we’re going to be taking off from the ground with this column, working with some very fundamental and important principles that many may have forgotten. Things that are important to remember!