- This is the kind of thing we forget.
- This is the kind of thing that, given all our distractions,
our celeb obsessions and happy drugs and bothersome trifles like family
and bills and war and health care and sex and love and porn and breathing
and death, tends to fly under the radar of your overspanked consciousness,
only to be later rediscovered and brought forth and placed directly in
front of your eyeballs, at least for a moment, so you can look, really
look, and go, oh my God, I had no idea.
- The Earth is humming. Singing. Churning out a tune without
the aid of battery or string or wind-up mechanism and its song is ethereal
and mystifying and very, very weird, a rather astonishing, newly discovered
phenomena that's not easily analyzed, but which, if you really let it sink
into your consciousness, can change the way you look at everything.
- Indeed, scientists now say the planet itself is generating
a constant, deep thrum of noise. No mere cacophony, but actually a kind
of music, huge, swirling loops of sound, a song so strange you can't really
fathom it, so low it can't be heard by human ears, chthonic roars churning
from the very water and wind and rock themselves, countless notes of varying
vibration creating all sorts of curious tonal phrases that bounce around
the mountains and spin over the oceans and penetrate the tectonic plates
and gurgle in the magma and careen off the clouds and smack into trees
and bounce off your ribcage and spin over the surface of the planet in
strange circular loops, "like dozens of lazy hurricanes," as
one writer put it.
- It all makes for a very quiet, otherworldly symphony
so odd and mysterious, scientists still can't figure out exactly what's
causing it or why the hell it's happening. Sure, sensitive instruments
are getting better at picking up what's been dubbed "Earth's hum,"
but no one's any closer to understanding what the hell it all might mean.
Which, of course, is exactly as it should be.
- Because then, well, then you get to crank up your imagination,
your mystical intuition, your poetic sensibility - and if there's one thing
we're lacking in modern America, it's ... well, you know.
- Me, I like to think of the Earth as essentially a giant
Tibetan singing bowl, flicked by the middle finger of God and set to a
mesmerizing, low ring for about 10 billion years until the tone begins
to fade and the vibration slows and eventually the sound completely disappears
into nothingness and the birds are all, hey what the hell happened to the
music? And God just shrugs and goes, well that was interesting.
- Or maybe the planet is more like an enormous wine glass,
half full of a heady potion made of horny unicorns and divine lubricant
and perky sunshine, around the smooth, gleaming rim of which Dionysus himself
circles his wet fingertip, generating a mellifluous tone that makes the
wood nymphs dance and the satyrs orgasm and the gods hum along as they
all watch 7 billion confused human ants scamper about with their lattes
and their war and their perpetually adorable angst, oblivious.
- But most of all, I believe the Earth actually (and obviously)
resonates, quite literally, with the Hindu belief in the divine sound of
OM (or more accurately, AUM), that single, universal syllable that contains
and encompasses all: birth and death, creation and destruction, being and
nothingness, rock and roll, Christian and pagan, meat and vegetable, spit
and swallow. You know?
- But here's the best part: This massive wave of sound?
The Earth's deep, mysterious OM, it's perpetual hum of song? Totally normal
- that is, if by "normal" you mean "unfathomably powerful
and speaking to a vast mystical timelessness we can't possibly comprehend."
- Indeed, all the spheres do it, all the planets and all
the quasars and stars and moons and whirlpool galaxies, all vibrating and
humming like a chorus of wayward deities singing sea shanties in a black
hole. It's nothing new, really: Mystics and poets and theorists have pondered
the "music of the spheres" (or musica universalis) for eons;
it is the stuff of cosmic philosophy, linking sacred geometry, mathematics,
cosmology, harmonics, astrology and music into one big cosmological poetry
- Translation: You don't have to look very far to understand
that human beings - hell, all animals, really - adore song and music and
tone and rhythm, and then link this everyday source of life straight to
the roar of the planet itself, and then back out to the cosmos.
- In other words, you love loud punk? Metal? Jazz? Deep
house? Saint-Saens with a glass of Pinot in the tub? Sure you do. That's
because somewhere, somehow, deep in your very cells and bones and DNA,
it links you back to source, to the Earth's own vibration, the pulse of
the cosmos. Oh yes it does. To tap your foot and sway your body to that
weird new Portishead tune is, in effect, to sway it to the roar of the
universe. I mean, obviously.
- At some point we'll probably figure it all out. Science
will, with its typical charming, arrogant certainty, sift and measure and
quantify this "mystical" Earthly hum, and tell us it merely comes
from, say, ocean movements, or solar wind, or 10 billion trees all deciding
to grow a quarter millimeter all at once. We will do as we always do: oversimplify,
peer through a single lens of understanding, stick this dazzling phenomenon
in a narrow category, and forget it.
- How dangerously boring. I much prefer, in matters mystical
and musical and deeply cosmic, to tell the logical mind to shut up and
let the soul take over and say, wait wait wait, maybe most humans have
this divine connection thing all wrong. Maybe God really isn't some scowling
gay-hating deity raining down guilt and judgment and fear on all humankind
- Maybe she's actually, you know, a throb, a pulse, a song,
deep, complex, eternal. And us, well, we're just bouncing and swaying along
as best we can, trying to figure out the goddamn melody.
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