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Material - The Third Power on Axiom (1991)

The Third Ear

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The Third Ear: On Listening to the World

by Joachim-Ernst Berendt
Henry Holt and Co., 1992
ISBN 0-8050-2007-1

Chapter Titles

1 Ear and Eye
2 We See Three internal linkDimensions But How Many Do We Hear?
3 The Ear Goes Beyond: On the Miracle of Hearing
4 Thinking Through the Ear
5 Analogies Lead Further Than Logic
6 Listening Words
7 Landscapes of the Ear: A Summer Experience
8 Ears That Do Not Hear: On Noise
9 The World is Sound
10 Total Listening: The Implications of Holomovement
11 Audible and Inaudible Sound
12 Why Women Have Higher Voices
13 Overtones Open the Door
14 TV Reassures That Shooting Doesn't Harm Anyone
15 Listening is Improvising
16 Putting to the Test
17 Do You Hear the Rushing of the River? A Meditation
18 Songs of Praise

Selected Excerpts

Merely looking at something cannot develop us. internal linkGoethe
Hidden internal linkharmony is mightier than what is revealed. Heraclitus
Our tradition teaches us that sound is God - internal linkNada Brahma. The highest aim of our music is to reveal the essence of the universe it reflects. Ravi Shankar
The eye takes a person into the world. The ear brings the world into a human being. Lorenz Oken
The ear is the way. Upanishads

Foreward by Yehudi Menuhin
The reader will soon understand why this book fills me with admiration and wonder for its author, a kindred spirit who corroborates my conviction that the internal linkmagic of listening brings us closer to the central core of the universe. To begin to comprehend the mystery of life it is not sufficient to touch and to see - we need to hear, to listen, and thus to unite heart and mind and soul. The softer the sound, the more important it is that we percieve it. We have, I fear, become a deaf people, and the cries of pain of the flora and fauna around us, the very air we breathe, the suffering of our fellow human beings in our urban deserts, in parts of the globe we have subjected to war, to famine and flood, through greed and selfishness, have become inaudible. The media encourage us to read, to view, to hear, but that does not mean we listen.

Until we can create a still centre within ourselves we will be unable to attune the 'third ear' to the messages that are broadcast to us, loud and clear for the most part, but rendered futile due to our incapacity to listen. This handicap is more than deafness; it is blindness as well - and our only hope as we reach the end of the twentieth century is to heed that childhood rhyme we all learned - a key to finding the 'third ear':

A wise old internal linkowl lived in an oak
The more he saw, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard -
Why can't we be like that wise old bird?

do you like our owl?

p. 177
"Seeing entails judging. The eye passes judgement. The judgement separates the judge from what is judged. Seeing involves keeping at a distance. Viewed literally - if I bring an object too close to my eyes, I can't see it clearly any longer. The outlines blur and the structures are no longer internal linkperceptible. When the object is one or two centimetres away from my eyes, it starts to get dark; and when it is right on top of them, things are completely black. This shows that in the moment of becoming one, the eye loses its function. The eye must in fact stop looking in order that this becoming one may be possible. That is why most people close their eyes when kissing and making love."

p. 73
"The fact that it has mainly been eye-oriented human beings who permit, who make, the noise which fills every corner of our towns and cities cannot be fortuitous. People oriented towards hearing would never have allowed that to happen. They wouldn't have been able to put up with it. They can't tolerate it.

Noise is garbage perceptible to the ear. It is noise, and not the refuse and other rubbish tipped on the dumps spreading like the plague around towns and villages, that constitutes our civilization's greatest problem in this sphere. 'Visible' garbage is taken away by refuse trucks, but audible garbage remains - as if the auditory internal linkdimension wanted to take its revenge for centuries of suppression, discrimination, insult, and injury. If people still able to listen don't take their revenge, the auditory dimension will."

p. 129
"This book is full of examples of how through listening we can gain knowledge, make discoveries, and find connections inaccessible to seeing. The more examples the better in order to convince Westerners, brought up to glorify the eye, that they also possess another wonderful sense organ whose internal linkelevation is long overdue.

Scientists believe that they investigate everything, but they deceive themselves. They mainly examine what can be comprehended in visual terms. They neglect what can be heard, and even the organ of hearing itself. Physiologist Wolf D. Keidel sums up: 'The functioning of the eyeball has become absolutely clear to science...but the same is in no way true of the inner ear.'"

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