Knowledge is liberating

Ignorance feels like having your limbs in shackles,

Knowledge is liberating

Sound of silence

English: Boat entering Ventura Harbor in Ventu...

English: Boat entering Ventura Harbor in Ventura, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is silence a sound or the absence of sound? When a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, is there a sound or not? Philosophy, but let’s be practical.

In our modern society, we are constantly assailed by sounds. As I type this at my son’s home in Ventura with the sliding doors open, I can hear the six lanes of traffic including buses and trucks just beyond the concrete block wall that separates his backyard from a busy thoroughfare. He sleeps with earplugs so that he can sleep. In Utah, we live in a blessedly quiet neighborhood next to a vacant lot that children sometimes use for play and adults use as a base for climbing a nearby rock formation. We can sometimes hear shooting from a nearby shooting range when the wind is right (or wrong), and we can hear the distant roar of jets passing overhead and hum of traffic from Interstate 15 a mile away.

The most relaxing sound I know is the sound of ordinary surf, not the surf of a storm. Sitting near the shore and listening to the ebb and flow, I can feel the tension draining from my mind and body. As I sit there, I can imagine the surf pulling the tension from my body with every receding wave. There is no sound so relaxing.

Favorite videos from Yanni, Live at the Acropolis and Enya at the Vatican

I attended a performance like this by Yanni and company at the Universal Amphitheatre (now the Gibson Amphitheatre) in Hollywood in May, 1994. I bought the ticket when most seats were gone. I was seated on the extreme right aisle where it was difficult to see the entire stage, but I was seated within 100 feet of Yanni. He and Enya are my favorite new-age musicians.