wong tsz mei Art Blog
(Part 2 : From sound of antiques to sound of silence)
The range of vision is not the match for the reaching limits of sound as it is almost boundless.Long time ago,without the facilitation of the communication equipments, wheneverTarzan had to distribute messages, he just climbed up to the heights and bawled out a cry,which could resound through the entire jungle. In China Guanyin,the bodhisattva,a Goddess of Compassion will pretect and rescue the sufferers when she hears them call for help earnestly.___Guanyin___ is a transliteration of the name of the propitious Goddess,which means___observing the sound___in Chinese.The nature of sound is accommodating to space;almost nothing is the barrier of it.To front and rear,left and right, up and down,to such extent as to ten directions are accessible by sound.In fact,the whole universe is filled with color,light and sound and our body is the same as our universe. From the scientific point of view,the flowing blood,the beating heart,combining with variety of noises produced by the functions of other organs could compose the vibration of big noises in the body,but we do not notice it as we have not attended to the inner sound of us. The sound induced by the cosmos in motion is really enormous while the sound coming from the Galaxy system is also extremely big.Therefore the Chinese philosopher Lao-tsz said___Loud is its sound,but never word it said___.We also can not hear the tremendous sound of our universe.
Chuang-tsu tells of the notes of Earth as detached,refined,long-drawn-out and staid,and can we conceive such wonderful Sounds of Nature?In reality, we can just use it as a term to describe some kinds of beautiful music or nice voice which we have heard in this mundane world.However the unheard-of sounds of nature comes from the climax of supremacy that the ordinary persons should not can hear.What we can hear is the acoustic appearance of things,which are triggered by whatsoever happenings outside us,but we still could not hear if we are absent-minded;we turn a deaf ear to the sound. Therefore if we want to hear clearly,we have to exert our mental afforts.Our intrinsic willingness,our heart,is in control of the capability of hearing. In this universe existing another kind of sound can only be heard by our heart;maybe we can name it as___sound of silence___.Only the solemn and quiet mind could commune with the sound which comes from the apogee of firmament.Nothing short of slightest hinderance should not be retained in this passageway of connection;if we cling to the existence of any kind of individual objective thing or truth in our mind,it turns out to be an obstacle to hear the sounds of nature.As a result,the successful tuning to the celestial channel,all our vexations breeding from this world of suffering and delusion are purified and dissipated.
The evening drum and morning bell in a monastery can be said to be close to the celestial music.The chime timely remind us the virtue and purity in life.There is a metaphor in Buddhism to analogize such moment of enligtenment as the refined,clarified cream and the best quality rice wine pouring over our heads to let us feel refreshed suddenly;such sudden insight into life is beyond intellectual speculation or all the afforts to direct ourselves toward the conception of enlightenment. This kind of archaic rhythm was the ideal serene and solemn tonalities which our ancestors wanted to hear every moment.Only the porcelains before Song Dynasty (960-1279) could give out the archaic rhythm with percussion ,for the ceramic clay was mixed with more mud than that of the after dynasties.However through the percussion of instruments or porcelains to listen to as a mean to always communicate with Heaven is not an ideal way. Therefore our ancestor wearing jade and listen to the sound of it;also be alert for getting rid of distracting thoughts. (In the picture is a Multi-coloured Plate with Patterns of Flowers and Cranes Traced in Gold of the reign of Kangxi)