Big Word Theory

Here is a  short word on creation for Bereishit, this last week’s Torah portion. There we read, “And God said: ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light. ” (Genesis 1:3) Time and again throughout the story of creation we read how the spoken word creates. It is hard to conceptualize how this worked. How could sound cause matter to come into existence?

According to my simplistic understanding of the Big Bang Theory this is exactly what happened. Reality as we know it started with a huge noise with the expansion of matter. So far beyond and before any notions of logos, there was the first sound. From the sound of a pin dropping to Beethoven’s 9th that sound of creation has been in the background.  It is hard to conceptualize this inaudible sound like that.

It might be easier to visualize it. So we turn our attention to  cymatics, the study of visible sound and vibration. Typically the surface of a plate or something  is vibrated and different patterns emerge depending on the geometry of the plate and the driving frequency. Take a look at this short TED talk, it will explain a lot.

Visualizing sound gives us insight into the very nature of existence. It is no surprise that revelation at Sinai was described as seeing the sound of thunder (Exodus 20:15). The experience of synesthesia seems essential to the human experience. This experience itself might be the link between the Big Bang Theory, the Divine utterance that caused creation, the revelation of the Torah,  and the  image I see every morning when Emunah, our 2-year-old wakes me before dawn. Even though it is dark out, it is quite a sight. I feel blessed to be part of that world that she is creating with her uttering the word Abba.

– Check out other another post on synesthesia


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