Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Trees and Sound

by Robert Capozzi

Kevin Rollins's blog reminds me that words are malleable, contextual things. That’s why the old koan, “If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound?” is such a mind bender.

The best answer I’ve seen is, “No, it generates sound waves.” Only if a person hears it and recognizes the thud as a tree falling do we have any agreement on what that sound is, and what it means.

Ideas always have consequences on the thinker. If the ideas are hateful and angry, that’s the emotional state the thinker will have. If kind and empathetic, that will be the thinker’s experience.

Weaver’s “Ideas have consequences,” then, is important counsel. Not only will they rule your mind, but if they are projected out into the world, others may react in a number of ways. When we share our ideas, we shouldn’t be surprised if hate is met with hate.

Ideas themselves don’t leave their source, the mind. Weaver’s overstatement about consequences, however, helps us remember how vitally important it is to have “good” ideas. Sharing ideas is our opportunity to join with others about how our collective experience can be better in some way, IMO.

-Robert Capozzi