Hearing Things: Don’t We All?

I was listening to a podcast while out walking Dog, a series called ‘Seriously’ that curates factual sciencey blogs from around the English speaking metaverse (get me, huh!).

This one gave me pause as it was about the internal monologue that accompanies our lives, only it doesn’t. Not all of us.

There was interesting stuff about how Children talk to themselves, describing games and dialogue for toys that gradually goes inside and becomes the range of conversations, pep talks, critiques, planning meetings and reviews that people our heads when we are alone.

But then there are those who don’t have those voices, or pictures, or unformed coherent thoughts… that’s the thing about these kinds of neurological tricks; as we are different in personality and hair colour, so it is with how we experience those moments of solitude. Some see colour, some hear voices, some hold thoughts that are neither images nor words and some – and this, to me, is the weird bit – have silence. A not so roaring void.

Which made me wonder about writers. Do any writers live with such silence? Do their characters not barge in and take over, unravel plot problems and generally make nuisances of themselves? Can you write and live with such silence? Is one a necessary condition of the other?

It would have had me thinking if my spokessoul hadn’t interrupted me with an ethical dilemma I needed to unravel… oh for a bit of peace and quiet.

PS in another podcast about the trial of Alex Jones in the US, he of the Infowars network and purveyor of fake news, there was a line from the Judge, commenting on the damage his fabrications have caused (in the case of this trial, the injury to the parents of those killed at Sandy Hook) when she commented:

‘Your beliefs do not make something true’

which is probably as good a summation of the fallacy of fake news and those who believe it and repeat it as I’ve heard. Which emphasises the troubling truth about fake news. It’s those who are willing believers who are as much, if not more, the problem than those who come up with it in the first place.

Given that this has been on the heavy side of thinking, here’s a picture of Dog and the views from West Norwood…

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
This entry was posted in 2022, dog, miscellany, thought piece, west norwood and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Hearing Things: Don’t We All?

  1. Did you ever see P’tang, Yang, Kipperbang? – I think Channel 4’s first film. This post reminded me of fourteen-year old Alan’s head full of John Arlott’s voice giving an imaginary commentary on his Test Match performance. (Mat and Becky were extras in the film 🙂 )

    Liked by 2 people

  2. trifflepudling says:

    I started to listen to it one night and fell asleep! I will listen. Inner monologues are deafening sometimes and cause tremendous tension.
    Re. the Alex Jones comment, have a listen to the Rory Stewart “Seriously “ progs about argument if you haven’t already done so. One of his thoughts is that since the social media age really took off, people just stick their opinions out there and consider that enough – they just “talk past” each other.
    Love to Dog (and cats).


    • TanGental says:

      Seriously is seriously good; the Sideways one on the nuclear history v interesting. Rory’s voice does rather set of my ‘smug arse’ buzzer which is more my issue than his..


  3. willowdot21 says:

    I heard both programs on Radio 4 I am sure it was radio 4. I have so many voices in my head and occasionally they even speak to eachother. I think if they went I’d find the silence painful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always find that, if the disagreements within my head get overburdensome, trees always talk sense and can sort out any problem apart from politics.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. noelleg44 says:

    That quote easily applies to our politicians.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Erika says:

    In the end, a belief is only an opinion. Not more not less.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. gordon759 says:

    It’s not weird to me, it’s only comparatively recently that I realised that the vast majority of people can imagine sound, I can’t. I can imagine a thunderstorm, ‘see’ the building clouds and flashes of lightning, but cannot ‘hear’ the thunder in my head.
    When I read a story I can visualise a scene, but it as if I a watching a film with no sound just invisible subtitles letting me know what the characters say, I can visualise a characters appearance, but not what their voice sounds like,
    I can enjoy music, I can identify a piece once it starts playing ( how, goodness only knows, the mind is a strange place ) but ask me to hum it when it stops, impossible.
    The condition is called, I think, auditory aphantasia, it is probably quite rare.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Eileen Norman says:

      I don’t think it’s rare. My husband was visual. Words were not his thing inside his head or out of his mouth. He was an architect and when listening to me go on about something he didn’t understand, he’d count ceiling tiles etc. He listened to music, but only heard the sounds not the words.


    • V.M.Sang says:

      I’ve certainly never heard of it. Interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        It’s strange to me, but then my brother replies to this post the he can’t imagine sounds at all. It means he couldn’t hum anything, which looking back makes sense. There’s an actual condition, or so he says (mind you, he’s been bullshitting me my whole life…)


    • TanGental says:

      Fascinating; we are all different. Yes, I definitely hear voices and other sounds

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pam Lazos says:

    I know some have the peace of silence but, for good or bad, that’s not me. 🥴

    Liked by 1 person

  9. JT Twissel says:

    I generally don’t listen to podcasts … I guess I’m too much of a visual learner. Alex Jones also argued that he was just an actor playing the part of a conspiracy theorist. Didn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Darlene says:

    Interesting. I can’t imagine a silent mind. There is so much going on in mine at one time it is like a three-ring circus.


  11. ‘Your beliefs do not make something true’ We need to post this off of every building and bus etc. I even question the rhetoric that goes on in my own head. Byron Katie taught me to question my own thoughts years ago. I can lie to myself better than to anyone else. I stopped watching the news because people were just making it up. I only believe the dogs now. They don’t lie. I listen to many and just shake my head. Where do they get that ridiculousness from?? Hugs to dog.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. V.M.Sang says:

    I can’t imagine my mind without things going on in there. Sometimes the silence would be good.
    I frequently have music in there. But I also have mild tinnitus, so there’s always a high pitched whistle. That sounds like it’s outside my head, so doesn’t actually impinge on thoughts.


    • gordon759 says:

      I can imaging very detailed, complex images in my mind, just with no sound. To me to have sound inside my mind would be extremely weird.


      • TanGental says:

        I talked to Linda about your thingy and we realised that she hears nearly everything as sounds. Ask her to hum a tune and if she knows it she’ll hit it immediately. I can’t do that. Sometimes yes, but it has to be something I’ve heard many times. Maybe, we pondered I have a milder version?


    • TanGental says:

      When I settle to sleep and try and still my thoughts, there seems to be an echo, which increases if I focus on it; usually I start on one of my unfinished books or imagine some cricket! Then it goes


  13. Suzanne says:

    I would’ve thought that to have silence would require the skill of mediation. Very interesting. Supposedly very healthy for our being to rid ourselves of thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Suzanne says:

    Just had a peek at that podcast. Years ago I read a book or two written by Alan Watts. Interesting perspective on life. I will definitely listen to the podcast.


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