16 May 2011

Thinking about Hearing...

...Jim and Tapani and I ate outside at Olympia's today.  It was a beautiful day for it.  But once again, I felt very hampered by the inability to hear correctly - traffic roaring by and of course, Tapani's British accent.  The weird thing is that when the ear doesn't quite catch what is said, the mind is very quick to supply the lack.  The result is sometimes something so ludicrous as to bring a smile - if only they knew what I THOUGHT they said, but surely didn't say.  The swiftness of the mind to fill the hearing gap is absolutely amazing - and it testifies to the fact that we're rather driven to find MEANING in life (and speech) and where we can't quite figure something out, to IMPOSE meaning upon it (even if the meaning is rather nonsensical).  Logikos.  We're convinced at a very deep level that the world itself is logikos.  Just start losing your hearing and you'll see exactly what I mean!

10 comments:

Terry Maher said...

It is only when one insists there be meaning, that the lack of it is a problem. In some thought systems, this drive to impose meaning is the "original sin", arrogance before reality, refusal to accept it as it is and not force it to conform to an imposed "logic" then further imagine that that "logic" actually exists, maybe even was "discovered", when in fact it is nothing but a self-willed imposition of the mind.

Eine kleine Nachtphilosophie.

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem in crowds and know exactly what it feels like to hear only 2/3s of the conversation. Filling in the blanks is often not easy!

Anonymous said...

Should have signed the last post...

+ Herb Mueller

Paul McCain said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul McCain said...

You guys....go get some hearing aids. Your wives will be SO happy and so will everyone around you who is tired of you not understanding what they are saying.

I've been wearing them for nearly five years now...they can't give you what is lost, but they can sure help you hear better, and more, than you are now.

Sue said...

Amen, Pastor McCain. I've had mine about 3 years. While they don't make your hearing perfect, it's sure a lot better. And with sometimes sound-system problems at church, I have a pastor kind enough to print out a copy of his sermon for a couple of us to follow along. He has a great voice and I hear most of it, but he, like many pastors, tends to drop his voice to make a point, and I totally miss that part. My mother used to say there are blessings in being hard of hearing, and I have also found that to be true. (Screaming child in the grocery store? Turn off those hearing aids! I can still hear it, but at several decibels lower.) And while I'm at it, can I use this to remind you pastors that when you drop your voice to make a point your hard of hearing members won't get your point at all?!

Terry Maher said...

There it is then: hearing aids or Umwertung aller Werte.

David Clapper said...

There was an interesting article in the NY Times (I think) some weeks ago about how recent studies have shown that all our perception is fragmented and that our brain "stitches it together", as it were ...

Paul McCain said...

Many men suffer from high frequency hearing loss, most by the time they are fifty, and almost all by the time they get to be 60+

Some guys, like me, develop this condition earlier than "normal." I chalk my loss up to literally living under jet planes flying over me at around 500 feet through the long lazy days of summer playing outside across from the Naval Air Station Pensacola.

I was suffering from high frequency hearing loss by the time I hit forty and by the time I hit 45 my wife, daughter and entire family had finally had enough. The day I found myself irked when I could not hear my daughter and responded to her in irritation was the day I called to get a full diagnosis.

Since then I've been wearing my "aids" daily. It is as natural to put them on as it is to put my socks on in the morning.

Just when I think I don't need them and take them off and forget to wear them the next day...is just when I realize I need them.

The majority of human vocalizations of words and sounds in words are in the higher frequency, so that's why you can "hear" people talking, but you won't understand them.

This is particularly the case when you are in a situation where there is a lot of ambient noise, crowds, restaurants.

If your wife tells you that you have the TV too loud...that's your first clue you have a hearing problem

OK, off my soap box.

Sue said...

That reminds my of how my mother used to lecture all the old men (sorry Pastor M.!) at church who had hearing aids at home in a drawer. She would explain to them how her doctor told her that even though she lived alone, she needed to wear them all the time to become accustomed to them, that all the annoying background noises they used to be able to filter out would become less irritating with time, if they would just wear the darn things. Best part: the wives would stand behind the husbands applauding! Sadly, none of those men would listen.