A Beckoning Towards a New Health Perspective:
As Well as Other Phenomenon Clustered About:
Tinnitus, Therapy, NDE, Meditation, Intuitive Perception, Curiosity, and the Nature of Meaning and Value.
Starting out this written musing about sound, leads to memories of a fine old song, from the time of America’s great struggle with so many issues that permeated much of the decade; that some of us just know as the Sixties. You are invited to take, first a visual reading ride, and then an audible journey, back to that time and place, as felt and perhaps even remembered, within the time organ that is one piece of popular music of that era.
“I think it’s time we stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking’ their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind
It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?
What a field day for the heat
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly saying, “hooray for our side”
It’s time we stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?
Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you’re always afraid
Step out of line, the men come and take you away
We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?
We better stop
Hey, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?
We better stop
Now, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?
We better stop
Children, what’s that sound?
Everybody look – what’s going down?”
Listen to song from source link below:
Turning back the wheels, gears, and gyres of time much further; ponder the musings of another writer, poet and imagist: John Donne and his words from Meditation XVII, 1624, “Devotions upon Emergent Occasions”. After reading a small quote, you might click back to the entire Meditation XVII, and perhaps even to the entire work.
“The bell doth toll for him that thinks it doth; and though it intermit again, yet from that minute that this occasion wrought upon him, he is united to God. Who casts not up his eye to the sun when it rises? But who takes off his eye from a comet when that breaks out? Who bends not his ear to any bell which upon any occasion rings? But who can remove it from that bell which is passing a piece of himself out of this world? “
See source link of previous passage to full passage:
Most know of the modern adaptation of this quote, as it introduces in title, one of E. Hemingway’s great works: “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. Published in 1940 it brings us, or returns us to a closer time; and the theme of Sound begins to focus, like a wave that propagates through the very medium of time and space that we live, struggle and eventually depart from. Clearer and clearer; we come to war, rivalry, death, and disease, and loss. And, it’s ever-present companion: the struggle to approach a healing of some sort; of body, heart, mind, or soul; as envisioned and experienced in a person, a culture, or by a nation.
Returning now, to the present time, culture, and aspirational ecology; a new paradigm is being debated and explored, seeking and moving, questioning and arguing for positions of truth and notions of reality. Bias, and viewpoint or perspective, is becoming ever more a part of our definition of, “Hey,,,, ‘Hey, What’s That Sound?’ ”
“Tinnitus is hearing ringing, buzzing, or other sounds without an external cause. Patients may experience tinnitus in one or both ears or in the head.”
For a more complete description of the phenomenon open the link below. The link is at first a definitional one. It also describes the phenomenon, and refers the reader to more expanded discussions and references. cf. link:
Tinnitus is a medically classified disorder that describes the hearing of sounds that are not associated with any external source of auditory stimulus, in its subjective variety. There are many, many identified causes for this group of symptoms. They vary from the benign and tolerable, to the most alarming, devastating, and destroying.
Clearly, without question, anyone experiencing these signs and symptoms needs to search out the potential causes and possible disease processes that can be associated with this complaint. This can best be accomplished, beginning with the assistance of medical professionals. They will explore with the experiencer, the type of symptoms, the level of severity, the level of pain, if present; and any other disturbances experienced within the presenting complaints of distress. Determination of cause is an important process, in order to obtain assistance and potential treatment for the underlying, or precipitating causation. An excellent start would be to search information links, that will give a wide ranging definitional description and connection to areas of concern, that may be of particular interest to the reader who is experiencing tinnitus symptoms. For an extensive collection of writings about the broad topic of tinnitus, an excellent start is located within Wikipedia under the section: Tinnitus. This particular emergent form of information dissemination, though biased in its own form of compilation by its variety of self-appointed writers, is worthy of search to obtain the beginning basis of information in our time. For readers needing a more research-oriented resource, there are technical journals. cf. link:
As one may realize, while reading about tinnitus from a medical point of view, it has many possible causes, and is a very confusing and multifaceted set of phenomenological features. Mild complaints of the ringing sound may be associated with injury from the trauma of hearing loud machine noise, or other sound traumas from external environmental situations. Musicians and users of heavily amplified sound apparatus, can over time develop hearing loss of profound extent. Blockage of the ear canals by wax, debris, or swelling from disease process; this needs to be assessed. Many medications cause tinnitus as a side effect and that needs to be assessed. Other more severe disorders of the audible system and/or other areas of the brain can be indicated, or pointed to as problematic, and vital to address. Importantly, the initial complaints best be approached from a medical side first, to rule out medical disease, distress, or disorder. Audiologists can be helpful, to examine the physical ear system and test with tonal sound producing devices. Sound masking devices can be an option, among other interventions to provide relief.
Often the next step is to consult with a psychiatrist, and stress relieving drugs may be prescribed, in an effort to allow relief for the experiencer.
Yet many wish to move forward on this search for relief, without a medical, or mechanical intervention if possible. Many begin exploring the more psychological therapies that involve talking about difficulties, in an effort to be understood, and to understand oneself. So after the medical, and psychiatric process of evaluation, then the alternative or holistic side of health care exploration would be appropriate. This alternative adjunct is called complementary and alternative medicine or CAM, and is a natural bridge from psychiatry. cf. link:
Thus begins the exploration for relief of the tinnitus complaint, in the psychological arena, where there are a variety of therapies that potentially can help one to develop coping skills to deal with the disturbance of the ringing sound. This arena of treatment in the CAM protocol, is treatment of the affective or emotional experience of the experiencer. Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, (CBT), is an important option in this regard.
In addition, H. Benson”s research and writing discusses what he calls the “Relaxation Response” and this work demonstrates how it is possible to reduce and mediate stress. His theory and praxis for stress reduction centers upon understanding the importance of the fight or flight system, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and the rest and digest system, the parasympathetic system (PNS). cf. link:
Great strides have since been made in a variety of therapeutic interventions, as scientific research has shown proven bodily changes associated with what is essentially a Westernized approach to an understanding of the foundation of meditation techniques. These age-old techniques have been utilized for millennium; as developed in philosophical and religious systems through the world (“The Relaxation Response”, 1976; “Beyond the Relaxation Response”, 1985, “The Wellness Book”, 1993). cf. link:
His early work with traditionally trained and active practitioners of a form of Buddhist meditation, has laid the ground work for the development of a host of effective stress reduction protocols. Exercise, diet, and a wide variety of awareness-creating techniques have been developed and researched, and are showing effectiveness in the symptom relief of stress. This has led to many varieties of health inducing protocols, spanning athletics training and bodywork, the growing attention placed on dietary education and advantages for nutrition enthusiasts, and creating and fostering overall health of body, emotion and mental well-being. Several links below are included to connect to, and introduce these general areas of interest.
The first link connects to the life and work of a world-class athlete, a three time winner of the Triple Iron Man competition. His wisdom has been gathered by systematically, and scientifically approaching the discipline of body work, and its effect on the manner in which the brain becomes healthy and thrives under consciously developed exercise and activity conditions, as seen and envisioned in brainwave research studies. cf. link:
The second group of links (three), brings the reader to the world of food, diet and its effect on healthy overall growth, development and body/mind maintenance, by understanding and practicing a diet rich in vegetable-based nutrition. T. Colin Campbell, is a nutrition researcher at Cornell. Allen Campbell, is a chef and diet advisor for the New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady. cf. 3 links:
The next link introduces a well-developed program of training, education and research emerging from the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has created a program that is called “mindfulness-based stress reduction”, which is available through many institutions in the USA and world -wide. cf. link:
New research evidence is showing that psychodynamic therapy, is rendering help in affective distress, though it is not well researched, if it is effective for tinnitus specifically, at this time. Measurement of fMRI brain wave changes occurring during psychodynamic therapy is being documented at this time. Of particular interest to the researchers at Austin Riggs Center, is the Freudian concept and dynamic of transference. That mechanism conceptualizes the emotive energy which may be projected onto another person, for some variety of purpose, perhaps unknown and connected to past events in the person’s history, and brought to the present day person (patient/client), in their own situation or environment.
‘This is exactly the project that Gerber and Peterson have undertaken. For the last decade, they have been working together to combine psychoanalysis with brain research, in an effort to understand where mental functions so comprehensively described by psychoanalytic theory — unconscious memory processes, for instance, or the way we regulate emotions and impulses — might be playing out in the brain. They are trying to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (f.M.R.I.), which employs a scanner to observe neural activity, to map the process of transference in the brain. For Peterson, the integration of brain science is an inevitable and natural step forward for the century-old discipline of psychoanalysis.’ cf. link:
As Casey Schwartz writes in the article, “Tell it About Your Mother”, referred to above in the NY Times article; we learn again, that brain wave studies are turning up new knowledge, by the development of new theories that are tested out, and discarded or confirmed during actual scientific research experiments.This is happening all around us, in the continuum of medical, physiological, psychiatric, psychological, philosophical, and meditational disciplines; and this compresses the old body/mind divide that has so preoccupied humankind; for so, so long.
‘As with so much f.M.R.I. research, the precise implications for science (let alone for treatment) aren’t entirely clear. But Gerber, who was recently appointed medical director of Austen Riggs, a psychiatric inpatient hospital and residential treatment program in Stockbridge, Mass., thinks the study is pushing a larger philosophical project. ‘‘You should have a way, in the culture of every field, to challenge ideas, to come up with new ideas, to test them,’’ he told me. ‘‘Many major advances in science have coincided with technology that let us see a kind of signature.’’ He points, for instance, to microscopes that let scientists see bacteria, and to the special staining technique that allowed neurologists at the end of the 19th century to make out the outlines of individual neurons for the first time.’
Cathexis is a psychodynamic label for the wound, or trauma imprint, from the past. Catharsis, or symptom relief at some level, can occur in therapy and in other healing type interactions; it is a potential change point, a place that would be hoped for if change is to occur. The cathexis wound can pop up as a recapitulation complex, that goes on and on; and/or it could potentially be energized or activated into an accomplished experience, or a cathartic release. This can be simply called, a healing moment in the psychodynamic therapy process.
But to be effective in causing the change to occur, and not just go through the repetition complex, the change is best sought after, or intended to happen; in this manner the potential for change can be elicited via a more healthy, more positive energy flow; however that occurs. Some researchers suggest this occurs within the nervous system, and the “change” process or even “the moment of change”, can be identified during fMRI sessions, that measure correlation to thought, and to problem solving. This is commonly called the “AhHa” moment of insight recognition. And, that this moment is accompanied with “gamma bursts” in brain activity.
Gamma Wave Discussion: Only a Start
“Tallon-Baudryet al. (1996) conducted an ingenious experiment to investigate the interplay between induced gamma activity and perceptual binding. They speculated that if gamma activity plays an important role in perceptual binding then coherence stimuli should induce stronger gamma activity than incoherent stimuli. They operationalized their assumption by presenting participants with either an illusory triangle (Kanizsa, 1976 (Fig. 1)) or a ‘no-triangle’ stimulus under the condition that basic visual features were as similar as possible in both conditions.
They found that only in the coherent triangle condition a strong burst of gamma activity (30-60 Hz) was found after 280ms. In a second condition participants were presented with ‘real’ triangles that elicited a signature fairly similar to that in the coherent triangle condition. In a control condition they found no significant increase in the gamma activity. This finding provides evidence that gamma activity reflects the neural correlate of the feature binding process in humans. Of course, one has to be careful with directly mapping the cognitive term ‘coherence’ onto a neural mechanism like the synchronous firing of neural cell assemblies ”, (page 73, The Neural Correlates of Thinking. Chapter: EEG and Thinking , Michael Ollinger. Parmenides Foundation.) cf. link:
Introduction to Behavioral Science and Neuroscience
Research in the area of behavioral science has recently been compiled into an amazing encyclopedia. Rooted in the carefully designed and observant study of animal response to controlled stimulus, the direction of this discipline has been challenged by a scientist named Jaak Panksepp.
He may be retired now, and the link to his name may best be in Google.
In his forward to this collection of a large list of methodical scientific researchers and their studies, “Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience”, Panksepp has written an elegant and impassioned plea for forward thinking and research in the area of affective study, as the discipline of behavioral science moves beyond the reductionist, to a more inclusive interaction with what used to be termed metaphysics, and philosophy; particularly of the Western type of that discourse. The link to this compendium, is included below. My comments, upon reading his “Foreword: Perspectives on Passages toward an Affective Neurobiology of Mind?”, are interspersed in quoted passages from his gem of a forward to that tome. cf. link:
See Foreword: Perspectives on Passages toward an Affective Neurobiology of Mind? (pages xli- xlvii). A bit of scrolling in this reference, is necessary to get to the Foreword, as written by Jaak Panksepp:
“I will not only glance backward to the philosophical-conceptual roots of our discipline, but also peer ‘forward’ toward futuristic possibilities. Perhaps our field is finally well positioned to return, scientifically, to ‘some’ of the subtle mental processes that we have skirted for the better part of our history- the nature of entities such as emotions, feelings, and consciousness”,,,,, (during the era of Freud,,,,,, my note) “the emerging philosophical view was that most mental processes were not capable of being directly observed, and hence were deemed outside the realm of a materialistic science.”,,,
Panksepp writes further down in his preface that in order to provide a present day nomenclature for these affective studies to be framed in, he proposes categories expressed in upper case letters, as
“designations for brain networks that concurrently elaborated behavioral, autonomic, and affective characteristics. By this criterion, we have at least seven primary-process (evolutionarily engraved, but experientially refined), unconditional, emotional-affective systems in the brain: SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC, and probably PLAY.”
And as there are now,
‘remarkable techniques to study neurodynamics of brain networks well as their chemical intermediaries.,,,,,at the level of neural analysis, studies of emotional action networks and their associated rewards and punishments inform us about affects better than human words.’
His, is a plea for the behavioral science to move beyond a more historically based study of behaviors, (presumably of almost entirely animals only, due perhaps, in the past, to a more pure, and thought to be more precise understanding of the animals intention,,,which, may be a seriously debatable assumption), and potentially
‘become the most evolutionarily robust mind-science in town.,,, This encyclopedia summarizes the abundant knowledge that has been harvested that allows this discourse to be more empirically disciplined than ever before’.
This brief glimpse into the foreword, and into this remarkable assemblage, entitled the “Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience”, presents a brilliant call to arms, by this eminent and curious/seeking member of the scientific community.
His elegant plea to the scientific community as a whole, is to unite to a common purpose, to unify gathered information and to essentially argue the merits of the matter of the body-mind conundrum. And, not to perpetuate the dualistic polarity of our present bias-based and territorial battles for definition of the ecology that we call: Consciousness. In this process he specifically advocates, that at,
‘the very least, the conversation needs to be reinitiated.’
This conversation is one that will potentially reconnect, in the overall study of science; the behavioral study of the body realm, the affective realm, the mind realm. This effort, it seems, has previously been discarded. This community of research, abandoned and shunned meta-physical discourse and the study of consciousness in humankind, as not scientific.
Yet, is this not an integral part of the study of the creation at large? cf. (Foreword: Perspectives on Passages toward an Affective Neurobiology of Mind? pages xli- xlvii).
In the above passage, we see the direction of Susan Pockett, has taken within her own research, and she has made a considered argument for a more comprehensive understanding of the energy that is inherent in life forms, and its substratum of biology, chemistry, and physics. cf. link:
Back to a topic first discussed in the Introduction and its Summary, we approach Again:
Bias, Questioning and Curiosity
The questioning of what we have thought to be the real, final and bounding truth in science, may in actuality be a binding truth in science, as well as in individual life and in community interactions between people from all times, and stations. We are seeing more and more, in most all human activities of knowledge and perspective searching, that from this dilemma, comes the bias that is hard to move within and beyond. This is an important notion of what is the human condition, and the question of bias, is written about by many thinkers and researchers. A very interesting approach to this issue of bias, is explored by J. Haidt, in his works, “The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom”, 2006; and particularly in his work, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion”, 2012).
Haidt is writing partially about a model of moral psychology called, social intuitionism, which builds beyond the notion of morality written about by L. Kohlberg; which itself centers on the apparently “rational” aspect of conscious choice in the personal development of character and its concomitant notion of morality and ethics. This scale of moral development of Kohlberg’s, has intrigued this writer for decades since I first read about his stages of ethical maturity development.
Yet, it always seemed to me, to center upon an external learning process, one assisted by societal rules and interventions by authorities, experts, or moral educators. Presumably, these rules, laws and precepts, are either able to, or not able to assist and guide ethics and morality formation. Though this process occurs inside an individual, it has been thought to be instilled or modeled from an environmental, societal, or outer growth process. A sort of mixture of nurturing and/or correcting process. However, it must be realized, and considered, for that matter, that this acculturation process may have a “relativity”, that places its formation in a specific cultural context. For a personal documentary and report of a life experienced with the results of culturally embedded influence, read the powerful tome, “Hillbilly Elegy”, by J. D. Vance.
With our biological and chemical disciplines increasingly showing that there is an internal process of growth that happens within all living organisms, the role of nature as experienced “inside” ones self, has gained importance.
Herein, lies the important study of the concepts and results of: drive, intention, risk/pleasure seeking, etc., that Panksepp lists above. Accordingly, the two dual aspects of nature and nurture, are being understood more completely, as interdependent. Not as either or, but both and. Struggling with this dual thinking; right or wrong, good or evil, etc., is a major part of the theoretical and practical therapeutic work of C. G. Jung, and his followers. An attempt is made at solving intuitively, if and when possible, with great effort and experience in the personal evaluation/non-evaluation of positive and negative behavioral outcomes. This puzzle of the opposites, for the experiencer of life, can open up a higher awareness or better understanding of ones individual place in life, in community, in society as a larger context, and most importantly, within ones own self. This search for the “tertium ground”, leads down a pathway he called enantiodromia, and it has a sort of mystical quality imbedded in, or revealed in it. cf. link:
Those with a Christian background may recognize in the above discussion, a likeness to the proverb written in: Luke 4:23. “Physician, Heal yourself”, is to many, an urging and an admonishment to look to one’s own self, to not be critical of others.
William Perry has echoed this position of moving beyond dualistic thinking, in his work describing important stages for students to move through during their study. This work describes a model for development of knowledge acquisition and accretion. I look at it as a process of bias definition, bias identification, bias confrontation, and bias assimilation. All wrapped up in a developing sense of personal meaning and value.
William G. Perry, Jr., and his “Perry’s Schema”
- Dualism – knowledge is received, not questioned; students feel there is a correct answer to be learned.
- Multiplicity – there may be more than one solution to a problem, or there maybe no solution; students recognize that their opinions matter.
- Relativism – knowledge is seen as contextual; students evaluate viewpoints based on source and evidence, and even experts are subject to scrutiny.
- Commitment within relativism – integration of knowledge from other sources with personal experience and reflection; students make commitment to values that matter to them and learn to take responsibility for committed beliefs. There is recognition that the acquisition of knowledge is ongoing activity.” cf. link:
Perry’s Scheme – Understanding the Intellectual Development of College-Age Students | The Innovative Instructor
As a suggestion, coining this struggle, as “Bias Wrestling” (BW), might help serve as a good colloquial acronym. This term, is more usually encountered in an allusion to the nose, which can smell, as a detector and identifier of a bad smell; hence that common acronym (BS). Further facial terms, to use the visual component, explore in context for the experiencer, whether an event or utterance can pass the “Straight Face Test”. Further, to finish this Triquetra, (Irish Trinity Symbol), and to use it as a model of Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic (VAK) sensation inputs, (which will be discussed in the next section), consider this next thought.
One needs to hear what is happening and to “Cut through the Noise”, to arrive at a place of some clarity and quiet internal personal awareness, in all situations. These instincts, as associated in descriptive terms with our bodies, are helpful, and needed for personal development of meaning and value.
Returning to our topic of audible phenomenon, or “Hey,,,, ‘Hey, What’s That Sound?’ ”, there is a curious similarity that appears in attitudes towards proper learning modalities. Reading, and understanding, and following written words, and their instructions, to achieve learning in the correct, best, and preferable manner has been increasingly questioned as a biased manner of defining the “better or best” learning modes and modalities. Some may take this manner of learning for rationality itself, as a highest good and goal, with other learning modes as inferior, uneducated or naive, and even subjective or suspect.
Yet, allowing the learning process to be accomplished and fostered by more expanded techniques, theories and practices for different learners and their often different needed modes of learning, has yielded increasing richness to individuals’ lives, and to the life of our societies and history of ideas and inventions. The questioning, of this dominant perspective of reading and writing as the only learning method of consequence, has been explored and richly written about by T. G. West, in his important works on the importance of the visual aspect of learning.
West is a champion of the visual manner of processing sensation and its perceptual awareness, and information building. (“In the Mind’s Eye: Creative Visual Thinkers, Gifted Dyslexics, and the Rise of Visual Technologies”, 1997, 2009). For those who have that as a primary mode of recognizing and effectively receiving sensation, the visual mode of processing and working with these perceptions is the best way to take in, learn and build awareness and consciousness. West has recently released his most recent book, “Seeing What Others Cannot See: The HiddenAdvantages of Visual Thinkers and Differently Wired Brains”, 2017. These works are important milestones in describing, validating, and suggesting to those of different modes and modalities of learning, that there are other effective ways of gaining awareness, and learning and communicating.
The study of Neurolinguistics by its researchers has formulated a comprehensive discipline based on the three modes of seeing, hearing, and feeling the world around us, and within us. cf. link:
Although the process, and theoretical discipline of neurolinguistic programming (NLP), has been challenged by its detractors, the paradigm has grown and expanded its reach, and has validity in fostering an understanding of perceptual input and effects on awareness.
Is there a process, for “Hearing What Others Cannot Hear”, to paraphrase the words of T. G. West? Well, yes! It is studied, written about, and is expanding its research arena and practical implications in the field of Music. The hearing of sounds, without external source, is coined by Edwin Gordon, as “Audiation”.
This area of research has much to offer to the question asked; “Hey ,,,, ‘Hey, What’s That Sound?’ ?”. cf. links:
The above references are primarily discussing the vitality and importance of “inner hearing” as a skill for musicians to develop during their musical experience, formal education, as well as during their career and musical development in all phases of life. Preferably, it is noted, as early as possible. Even, before learning the structure or formality of Music.
A careful reading of Kate Covington’s article states that this study is not merely of interest to musicians alone.The area of study has attracted neuroscientists to study the areas of the brain that are involved in the developing progress of “inner hearing”. Much to the point, reading Darren Wicks, we see that the process of audiation is more than a mental process.
“In my own musical education, I learned scales, intervals, harmony and even melody-writing from Music Theory workbooks, without having the skills to hear what I was writing and usually without any musical reference. Even though I really enjoyed what I was doing and was quite good at it, my learning did not represent best practice in music education! What I was doing was formulaic or mathematical, but more importantly, it was unmusical because audiation was not being developed alongside my theoretical understanding.”,,,
‘A musician who can audiate is able to bring musical meaning to notation. A musician who cannot audiate can only take theoretical meaning from notation” (Gordon,1997: 8).’ ” cf. link:
There is evidence, in these references, that the process of audiation can be learned, augmented and combined with theoretical learning. Further, I suggest herein, that it is akin to a sensation-based learning process, better described as a form of synesthesia, and/or concomitantly, ideasthesia. These areas of study are unusual, detailed, and ongoing. This conjoining of multi-sense experience is an aspect of awareness that is encountered in many awareness study disciplines. It is intended to approach this later in a discussion of meditational awareness.
To step back, into the multi-sensing learning styles, as West has done, and to expand into the learning mode of the neurolinguistic model, cf. link:
I will follow this lead and suggest that learning is not entirely a linguistic process. We, as humans and as cultures, have developed a series of signs and symbols, that have evolved into complex syntactical structure and that use these visual/auditory symbols and/or word patterns to convey and understand information. We have learned how to identify and share affective states through these means; verbal, written, and also visual and auditory and by body language. A prominent proponent of the importance of the visual aspect of learning and expression, is Rudolph Arnheim. His seminal works are of great importance to the psychology of visual thinking. See source link to one of his works:
Those who follow the visual pathway of learning and expression, develop means of communication and apprehension; much as musicians and auditory learners do with their own sound and syntax building process.
Visual, Auditory, Reading and Writing, Kinesthetic (VARK), and Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic (VAK), as theoretical systems, describe manners of receiving input, and in processing understanding according to an individuals preferred and most effective manner, mode, or innate proclivity.
As a personal, though to some, a rather benign example, of past learning style “adjustments” made in education; one need only to remember, if experienced, the plight and challenge that left-handers have endured in times past, when that form of handedness was considered to be incorrect, improper or clumsy at best; sinister, and of the Devil within worse bias and judgement. Of course, much worse impediments to learning have occurred in educational history. The reader can explore their own personal challenges encountered, and their own coping mechanisms tried and adopted, to learn as well as possible.
This castigating and casting out of “lefties”, and the eventual reorientation or reevaluation of this error, is not only a metaphor for learning style growth in institutions. It also illustrates how bias is a culturally embedded phenomenon, and needs study and effective questioning by right-minded people! Positively; pun intended, for sure!
For an extensive reading, and discussion of learning styles. cf. link;
In addition, there are those who learn best, express best, and operate with effectiveness best, using their own bodily, psychomotor function. They are always attempting to find the best flow, of their activity. It is that motion, that signals to them, and those around them that they are in “the zone”. Working to enter that special location where the most can occur! cf. link:
“Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s famous investigations of “optimal experience” have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow. During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life. In this new edition of his groundbreaking classic work, Csikszentmihalyi demonstrates the ways this positive state can be controlled, not just left to chance.” cf. link:
Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic formats of learning, are most direct providers of information. That is, they are experiential. Words spoken or read, are not knowledge per say. They are only purveyors of an already coded or learned information system. To some, words are secondary sources. We best experience knowledge ourselves internally, by processing it through our bodies, and into our minds, as a part of a whole, as perceived and recognized visually, auditorially, and within our spatial sense as a body. There is no substitute for experience of a holistic nature. Reading or talking about it, is not the experience itself.
“Dr Naomi Goulder and Dr David Mitchell look at the ways of knowing, thinking about the nature of each of the eight methods of acquiring knowledge about the world. They consider the balance that needs to be established between blocking out unreliable knowledge, and remaining receptive towards knowledge that provides genuine insight, and how the ways of knowing interact with one another.” cf. VIDEO towards the bottom right of the link when open:
Another model of knowing is described in many works, as an unraveling of two modes of information dissemination; that of the exoteric (generally known teachings) and that of the esoteric (privately known or secret teachings). These secret doctrines, treatises, and closely held writings, have been the way of the philosophers, the metaphysicians, the mystics.
In Plato’s work “Phaedo” a commentary specifically is made to relieve the worried and grieving friends of the departing Socrates, and to continually point the way to a mystical, philosophical way of life, after he leaves them. Plato: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, Phaedrus. (H. N. Fowler, Trans). Cambridge: Harvard University. (1914). (Original work written in Fourth/Fifth century B. C.).
“Reality, just like all insights and experiences, is literally indescribable, but then it can nevertheless be indirectly pointed to by setting down a group of rules, an experiment which, if it be followed faithfully and wholly, will result in the experience-reality.” (p. 57)
We will continue this topic of death and phenomenon later.
But, let’s return to the practical, or pragmatic approach to using knowledge in constructive ways for healing. We find that the efforts towards healing Tinnitus, and perhaps Other Tonal Sound Symptoms (OTSS), is a part of: Medical Treatment, and Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) treatments.
Further on the spectrum of treatment options might be considered: Life Enhancement/Developmental, and/or those with a psychological and/or spiritual context, as a process of self exploration and individual growth. Hesitating to view this context as a third, or separate option, it is imagined herein as apart of a continuum, as in K. Wilber’s sense of the word, (see my comments on this in the next section).
The first link, is one from the ATA, and focuses on Tinnitus, cf. link:
The second offers a more broadly, nuanced approach to the first medical model, cf. link:
The third link gives the reader a sort of primer in the area of Psychoacoustics. It has a practical manner, and introduces one indirectly to the scientific research area of Sonication and Sonochemistry, which may be discussed later, but for now, cf. link:
The fourth link offers a broadly Westernized understanding of the practice of meditation, cf. link:
Light therapy of various kinds is now being offered; from the early treatments using full spectrum light to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and other disorders of a depressed nervous system, to newer theories about the effects of colored light treatment as a treatment potential. These treatments are evolving, and may hold out some hope for experiencers of tinnitus. cf. link:
We are now approaching the notion that the physical world, and the metaphysical world, previously thought of as incompatible with each other, or separated in some fashion, are beginning to be imagined, if not understood, as a continuum, a gradation, or continuity. To borrow a phrase from early proponents of this theory of consciousness, and the early work of K. Wilber, let’s consider the phrase of his title: “The Spectrum of Consciousness”, (1977). He urges all disciplines to unite efforts to explore and find , as may be possible, a verifiable body of research that can encompass and codify multiple levels of conscious existence, as connected parts of a whole. We will explore this theme a bit more, with some more current writings from medical and psychological researchers who are studying what is beyond the neuron model of consciousness building, and are showing us that our brains are even more unbelievable and complex than ever imagined or conceived of; as it is, now understood in the last quarter to half century or so.
As we explore this movement from medical diagnosis and treatment towards alternative medicinal theory and treatment, Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM), to the inclusive of a more personally developmental revealing self awareness, it is important to reiterate this point.
Just as we need to walk on firm foundations before we sprint across uneven ground, it is wise to not vault into unquestioned acceptance of any new therapies that come along. The simplest reading of K. Wilber, shows that certain symptoms and complaints need to addressed by the suitable level or stage of therapeutic intervention.While is is obvious that we don’t go to a dentist to obtain help with a battered hand, it is less obvious whether the present day treatment validity of Neurolinguistic Programing workshops will provide relief for tinnitus, or some other phenomenological complaint or symptom.
Hard as it may be to hear this so directly in this matter, we must operate from a skeptics point of view at some important level. “Buyer Beware”, is an important caveat, in all transactional events. Bias: like stress, fear, and pain; are not only, bad experiences and perspectives. They provide an important alerting and warning signal. Accordingly some exploration of messages and opinions of naysayers, doubters and reservationists is always prudent. After all, we are all responsible in the end for deciding what to do within our own life experience. If you go to a surgeon, you will probably get advise that favors surgery, or so goes an urban myth.
Believe or not to believe, that is the question?! The reader is encouraged to construct/instruct their own inner skeptic. This, as mentioned earlier, is a part of the process of bias wrestling (BW), and its assimilation. cf. links:
So we ask again, is it possible that tonal sound machines and music tonality therapy can be a part of tinnitus treatment? Well, perhaps they may be a part of the emerging CAM treatments.
Returning to the question at hand, “Hey,,,, ‘Hey, What is That Sound?’ ”
though much has been studied about tinnitus, much more is yet to be learned. As Bruce Greyson, a seminal Near Death Experience (NDE) researcher wrote to this writer recently; as far as he knows, “the auditory features of NDEs have not been studied in any depth”, (Greyson, 11/2/2016). Well, wait a moment, one can say,,,what does the relatively new study of NDE have to do with Tinnitus experience in the first place? To get a grasp on this, it is helpful to explore that topic, and realize that the phenomenon of being near a death experience, as a direct participant, has been a topic of written observation and comment for millennia. In my own writing on the matter of NDE, I explored the area predominately from the area of affective and visual components of awareness. See below:
‘The phenomenon of the “near-death experience” is discussed from a broadened perspective as a predominantly, though not exclusively, visual component of an individually fundamental life-assessment. This is identified as being a relationship of materialistic and spiritual approaches to life.
The affective description of the experientially perceived “state of being dead” places this experience in a purificatory and mystical context. It explores this “inner experience” as an affectively perceived image of the aversive and attractive components of the experiencer’s complete life circumstance.
A case is made that suggests that within the experiencer is a progressive and developmental function that processes these rich, varied, and engaging affects. This process can be facilitated by health-care that is holistic and at the same time ethically and legally pragmatic. A multimodal therapeutic treatment plan is presented for initiating this progressive and integrative option.
Historical references to journeys into the realm of the dead are explored. Carrick (1985) states that death includes the “dying process…the precise moment of death…[and] the state of being dead” (p. 39). This paper deals mainly with the descriptions of the entrance into the state of being dead and with the subsequent return from that memorable state. These remembered experiences of near-death include philosophical, religious, affective or psychological, and physical expressions of the death and rebirth imagery.
This paper discusses several formats by which an experiencer can organize their images with the help of a skilled therapist. Initially, the importance of relaxation is discussed. Collage exercises that work with the experiencer’s family of origin are described. Additional artistic and creative exercises will expand this biographical material into an archetypal realm by focusing on other images from the near-death state as they awaken connections to historically produced art products. Lastly, a format for embodying these images using the medium of the human being in actual space is suggested.
It is a fundamental observation that the desire to make images is directly connected to the struggle to die to one point of view and to search out and create or embrace a new point of view. The“product” that is concretized is the result of this search and study. In this way, the artistic exploration becomes intimately connected to healing the affective existence of the near-death experiencer.’
(“Death as a Threshold: Working With Those Who Have Seen Within”, 1990, unpublished thesis: Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, Ca., Frederick James Skinner).
Yet, we can look to Greyson’s NDE writings, to see reference to the problem of what tinnitus may be, as a small part of a larger phenomenon. We will do so later in the context of what might be called the expansion of the perimeters of the NDE to include additional extra-ordinary experiences that people have reported over longer periods of time. This is to say, specifically, that over a longer actual time period, (from days to years of time). This is, as opposed to the initial focus of NDE research, which was to critical short term time events occurring in moments of near death, during cardiac arrest, suicide attempts or other one-time occurrences of some profound life threatening event.
This notion of a progressive experience or consciousness building aspect of the NDE has blossomed in the past decades, and has resulted in further connection of Western medicine and research, to the written and expressed teachings of so-called metaphysical proponents. One area of this growing congruence is discussed by Greyson in his research, that constructed a list of phenomenon or symptoms, that when clustered together describe a syndrome for research and reference. Cf. link:
For a lengthy, and far ranging discussion of this area of research, read the following source link in its entirety. cf. link:
The entry (next link below); “Kundalini Syndrome | World Public Library – eBooks | Read eBooks online”, is edited for some clarity, and attention is drawn to, for purposes of our exploration of tinnitus, and the question of:
“Hey,,,, ‘Hey, What’s That Sound?’ ”
“11. Internal noises, such as whistling, hissing, chirping, roaring or flutelike sounds.”, and “Inner sounds.” See lists below; and then below the lists, see the actual live source link:
“THE PHYSIO-KUNDALINI SYNDROME INDEX”
Greyson developed the Physio-Kundalini Syndrome Index, a 19-item dichotomous questionnaire Note b., in order to study kundalini and its effects.
The Index includes 4 major categories: motor symptoms, somatosensory symptoms, audiovisual symptoms and mental symptoms.
Table 2: The Physio-Kundalini Syndrome Index
1. Body assuming and maintaining strange positions for no apparent reason.
2. Body becoming frozen or locked into strange positions and immovable.
3. Breathing spontaneously stopping or becoming rapid, shallow, or deep for no apparent reason.
4. Spontaneous involuntary bodily movements.
5. Spontaneous deep ecstatic tickle or orgasmic feeling.
6. Physical sensations starting in the feet, legs or pelvis, and moving up the back and neck to the top of the head, down the forehead, over the face, then to the throat, and ending in the abdomen.
7. Extreme sensations of heat or cold moving through the body.
8. Moving pockets of bodily heat or cold being extreme enough to burn or otherwise affect someone else or an inanimate object.
9. Pains in specific parts of the body that begin and end abruptly.
10. Tingling, vibration, itching or tickling on the skin or inside the body.
11. Internal noises, such as whistling, hissing, chirping, roaring or flutelike sounds.
12. Internal voices.
13. Internal lights or colors illuminating parts of the body
14. Internal lights bright enough to illuminate a dark room.
15. Observing oneself, including one’s thoughts, as if one were a bystander.
16. Sudden, intense ecstacy (sic), bliss, peace, love, devotion, joy, or cosmic unity.
17. Sudden intense fear, anxiety, depression, hatred or confusion.
18. Thoughts spontaneously speeding up, slowing down, or stopping altogether.
19. Experiencing oneself as physically larger than the body.”,,,,,
“Although more anecdotal, and less systematic than the taxonomies listed above, both Kason  and Scotton  confirm many of the features presented by Ring & Rosing and Greyson.” ,,,, See list below:
“Author”, and “Symptoms”,“Kason (2000)
- Cranial pressures.
- Expansion of consciousness.
- Inner sounds.
- Energies up the spine.
- Vibrating or tickling sensations in the lower back.
- Light experiences.
- Scotton (1996)
- Energy rising in the spine.
- Experience of hot-cold energy.
- Experiencing energy (synesthetically) as light.
- Fear and anxiety.
- Persistent bradycardia (slow heart rate).
- Tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate).
- Cool skin.
- Flushed skin.
- Spontaneous trance states.
- Spontaneous assumption of yogic postures.”
In fact, I asked this question concerning the tinnitus or ringing sound symptom, in the end of my thesis, in 1990, and this question, is what has driven me to begin this additional and subsequent approach to the topic of “Hey,,,, ‘Hey, What’s That Sound?’ ” See below:
“It is obvious that skepticism towards the spiritual nature of the near-death experience will not disappear quickly. On the other side of the issue, “believers” in spiritual perspectives might be impatient in some degree towards the skeptics.
This paper takes the position that healthy questioning is essential no matter which side of the polarity one is favoring. An openly inquiring attitude helps to create a favorable atmosphere for determining the middle ground that exists where neither position is completely true or false.
Whether or not a middle ground is established, an area of consideration that has only been briefly touched upon is worthy of research. Of specific interest is the reference in numerous reports to the hearing of sounds, tones, or music. On first describing these symptoms to a health-care provider these may be connected to the symptoms that are lumped in with tinnitus.
Tinnitus is commonly a result of ear disorders and is an illness of a physical nature. In addition, it can be connected to acute anxiety and presbycusis, or hearing loss that occurs when one gets old. Greek roots of presbycusis refer to hearing and when being an old man. These allusions bring up a curious convergence with the study of near-death as presented in this paper (Stein, 1973).
Osis and Haraldsson (1977) report that hallucinations in the terminally ill are usually visual and rarely just auditory. The people in this study were previously free of mental illness. The reverse is true with mentally ill persons. Their auditory hallucinations have a character that strongly suggests a regressive psychopathology.
In the general population the neurolinguistic process is decidedly visual and much less common as auditory processing. Is it not possible that Assagioli’s (1989) progressive character of inner experience, which in this paper is connected to the visionary near-death experience, can also have a progressive auditory component? Several sources in the review of the literature indicate support for this notion.
If the notion of a progressive auditory component of the near-death experience is entertained, then it follows that all people who are experiencing tinnitus are not merely suffering a physical difficulty in ear function, or suffering anxiety caused by a variety of psychological causes. They may in some way be in the midst of a near-death experience which is veridical and spiritually authentic.
The importance in the last point revolves around the health-care providers’ knowledge and attitude toward the potentially positive, integrating, and healing aspect of the near-death experience. If there is no inclination towards the holistic approach then the tinnitus symptoms may be “blocked” with a variety of traditional means that may include: vasodilators, tranquilizers, anti-seizure medications, or biofeedback.In addition, tinnitus maskers can be used that produce a counteracting band of noise, or a hearing aid can be worn which makes the outer world sounds more prevalent (Cahill, 1986).
The above research topic is an extremely topical one for several reasons. First, it is not one that is being addressed or debated. In this sense, it may presently be in the position that near-death research from a visual modality was several decades ago. Second, there is evidence in philosophical and religious writing that indicates that it is both a part of the near-death experience and may at times be an important inner sense modality which enables one to progress further in the “other worldly journey”.
Such a suggested topic for further investigation is not a surprising one to come out of a holistic approach. This paper supports the notion that the near-death experience is one that enable some to move from one level of being to another one by means of a visual modality. This is to say that one can become practiced at progressive inner visual awareness. Is it not sensible to assume that one can begin to experience and to practice at the development of progressive inner hearing?”
(“Death as a Threshold: Working With Those Who Have Seen Within”, 1990, unpublished thesis: Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, Ca., Frederick James Skinner).
Earlier, a few pages back, I focused attention upon the “Theory of Knowledge: Ways of Knowing“. This now can be seen to fit into the discussion of sound phenomenon being experienced within introspectional and meditational contexts, and is supported by the previous references and by the sources referenced below.
“Wilber (1977) calls this pointing to esoteric knowledge as the third of three ways to acquiring knowledge and wisdom. It is the one way that will do this that is not conjecture, or idle thinking. It is the injunctive way and is an invitation to find out for oneself. This way is underneath all belief systems, as an inner mystical ground. The more usual of the three modes of knowing are, first, in an analogical way, or what it is like. Second, it is by the negative way, as what it is not like, in order to penetrate beyond ordinary concepts. Thus, these three manners of endeavor direct the philosopher, the mystic, the person who is close to death.” (Skinner, 1990).
“In his work Phaedo, Plato (1914) has Socrates share his thoughts with his friends as they await his time to drink the fatal hemlock drink. He writes that a dream causes Socrates to perceive music in an interior state of awareness. This apprehended music is equated with philosophy by Plato. Later in the work he has Socrates create externally heard music to express and symbolize his striving for beauty and its expression.
The musical life described above is for “those who pursue philosophy aright [and] study nothing but dying and being dead” (Plato, 1914, p. 223). Contemporary philosopher Singh (1979) also writes of a subtly perceived inner music which is the result of a successful philosophical life and practice at dying each day.
An interconnected stream of music and vision is both heard and seen by the soul as different states and stages in the continuum of concentration by the mystic (Singh, 1973). In the Vedic world such a concentration of awareness is written of as “an unbroken continuity between ordinary seeing, poetic seeing, and the sight of the Gods” (Alper, 1989, p. 336).” (Skinner, 1990)
Professor Daniel Gold, writes in his exploration of the Northern India Hindi Sants: “At the same time, a great many couplets (as well as longer songs) attributed to Kabir suggest particular sorts of inward experience. Some of this experience includes visions of lotuses and a version of the unstruck sound frequently referred to in yogic traditions.”
“Inside— a bright shining lotus
where Brahma makes his home.
The bee-mind is attracted there: hardly anybody knows. (9: 17)
Kabir sees a bright shining lotus,
a spotless, risen sun.
Night’s darkness disappears: he hears
the horn of unstruck sound. (9: 36)”
“The lotuses and sounds, however, frequently come together with a fervent devotion not commonly found in yogic texts:”
“There heavens are thundering, nectar drips down,
banana trees bloom, and the lotus shines bright:
Where just His few real slaves are found,
Kabir is bound in adoration. (9: 35)”.
Above passage from Chapter 8, “The Hindi Sant’s Two Yogic Paths to the Formless Lord”, Daniel Gold, Chapter Author. cf. link:
“Meditation and Culture: The Interplay of Practice and Context” by Halvor Eifring (Editor), Halvor Eifring
Astounding as it may seem, to make a modern day connection to the vision and hearing of Kabir, so many centuries ago; review the article below, for a real world example of sonication. It is with vivid imagery that the experience of Kabir, being rained on by nectar, or Amrit, from above; as experienced in The New York Times article by James Gorman; cf. link:
So what is this experience that has been alluded to by Kabir, written about by Gold, and shown to us by James Gorman and his Bees “Buzzing for Their Supper”?
Who are the Bees? What is the Nectar? And, what is the “horn of unstruck sound”?
After my reading the full text of the Transpersonal Psychology Review, and the World Library entry, both above, I appreciate more fully that this question, and this larger topic is considered to be important, and continually vital, by other researchers and writers. So, “Hey,,,,’Hey, What’s that Sound’?”
Let’s read a bit of recent writing and reporting on this topic, from an April 2015 article in LiveScience Human Nature., by Tanya Lewis.
“What happens in the brain when a person has an out-of-body experience? A team of scientists may now have an answer. In a new study, researchers using a brain scanner and some fancy camera work gave study participants the illusion that their bodies were located in a part of a room other than where they really were. Then, the researchers examined the participants’ brain activity, to find out which brain regions were involved in the participants’ perceptions about where their body was. The findings showed that the conscious experience of where one’s body is located arises from activity in brain areas involved in feelings of body ownership, as well as regions that contain cells known to be involved in spatial orientation, the researchers said. Earlier work done in animals had showed these cells, dubbed “GPS cells,” have a key role in navigation and memory.”
The above quote from article, by Tanya Lewis, lends some support for my own speculative notion that the ethmoid bone, which is thought to have a vestigial magneto-tropic property in humans, is a relic or discarded version of the region which is fully developed in birds. Birds use the earth’s magnetic field to navigate. Could it be, that humans might begin to access this function? If so, can we fly to heights imagined, or travel through distances immense; however unimagined, yet potentially to be experienced? This might be happening to some, to those with/or without this built-in directional sense. It may give a greater certainty and/or greater confusion to many, as they attempt to sense accurately the location in which they exist. cf. link:
If we do take the advice of our “sign” above, is there a realm that we leave or that we enter? While much of what I have written in the pages earlier, may be to some a series of dangling explorations; perhaps a reflection on what has been worked through in my search process for “Hey,,,, ‘Hey, What’s that Sound’?”, will suggest or inspire some readers to do their own trail-blazing. If so, Blaze On!
Where that leads is into the unknown. cf. link below:
As a closing note, on this totally unfinished collection of readings, musings and writings: two poems of the journey through light and sound; its presence and its absence. Words of sight, sound, and motion; within empty darkness, silence, and stillness. These to suggest this:
Far beyond fear, and hope; there is a sense of Place.
“Valley of Darkness”
The path can wind and curve onward
As one traverses,
Or it can be straight as an arrow.
With darkness abundant.
And, It can flatten out
As one emerges
From the valley.
Over the rise, seeking-following the sound,
The light will begin to dawn.
“Washer In The Sky”
Finding the dark-washer
In the dark-sky,
Is Amazing in Itself.
Place the tip of attention
Softly to its center.
Reverse this Plug in the Dike.
Wash in this unexplainable Sound and Light!
All Rights Reserved
by Frederick James Skinner