The subtlety of sound

We feel the vibration of the sound in our limbs, while we are unable to feel a light beam directed onto our skin. We conclude that the light is subtle while the sound is coarse. Sound travels slowly, while light travels faster than ever. We conclude that the light is more subtle. I think it's the opposite.

We know the famous story of the teacher who has successively filled a pot with stones, then gravel, sand and finally water. He began with the coarsest, ending with the most subtle element. The most subtle elements infiltrate everywhere, while larger ones are rejected if there is no opening wide enough for them to fit in and sufficient space to accommodate them.

This parable makes me think that sound is more subtle than light. In fact, the light bounces off the objects that it encounters. It is unable to get inside. It can erode the surface, like an abrasive object but it does not go further than that. However, the sound can penetrate through objects, whatever their consistency, that's why they vibrate. It can even alter them by crossing them.

When a storm breaks, we can possibly see lightning and hear thunder. It's easy to protect against lightning. It emits light, so we just need to close the windows, curtains and blinds, in addition we can close our eyes to no longer see light flashes. Light is a surface phenomenon, any surface is enough to stop it. By cons, when the thunder rumbles, how to protect ourselves? The roof shakes, the walls shake, the ground shakes, our whole body shakes. The sound enters inside the matter. It penetrates into the matter as it is subtle enough to get in there.

The humans have quickly apprehended light. Cavemen immortalized their lives on the walls. Thereafter painters did the same with much more sophisticated tools. Through chemistry, photography and film helped to capture directly the effects of light, without going through human intervention. But at the beginning, movies were silent.

Indeed to record a surface phenomenon, just print it on a surface, either by physical or chemical means. Whereas sound is a motion, a vibration of the air, a wave that propagates. It can bounce off objects, go through them and even alter them. How to register a move? We had to wait until the technology allowed such a feat. We had to wait to be able to automatically generate movement. Electricity is about moving electrons. With this feature, we can capture the motion of sound waves, store them and play them back. The sound was more difficult to tame than light, because it is more subtle.

The light is coarse. The sound is subtle. Why not representing the divine by the most subtle element? Sounds and particularly music, are essential components of various cults and religions. Instead of being the support of devotion, could the sound be the object of devotion? Is it possible to worship the sound?

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