In this episode of the Making Sense podcast, Sam Harris speaks with poet David Whyte about the importance of work and relationships, the balance between training and expressing of one’s talents, the lessons of mortality, and other topics.
This thread is for listeners’ comments.
“Human beings are constantly choosing too early in the conversation. That the strategic mind throws up these black and whites and binary questions….almost always the way forward is actually holding them both together - or the way between things.”
The guest’s voice is soothing, I ended up listening to the entire episode even though I didn’t have a lot of interest in the topic. After listening, I was thinking “what if the guest’s voice was like a nasal nerdy voice, like you’d imagine some pocket protector wearing engineer to have?” Would I have stopped after 5 minutes? And I think the answer is yes. But why? It’s the same conversation, the exact same content. Why is the determining factor of me listening to this entire podcast the cadence and tone of the guest’s voice? It isn’t really fair. It’s vocal discrimination.
Sam had a guest on some time back (anne applebaum or some reporter) and her voice was shrill and breaking. It was so annoying that I couldn’t listen beyond 10 minutes. Should I feel bad for not listening to someone based on their voice? I wonder if this affects political candidates? Would you choose one of two similar candidates based on their voice or mannerisms?
Anyway - back to the quote at the beginning of the OP. It reminded me of conversations on this forum regarding bandwidth and poetry. I just read another post that mentioned “Repo Man” and thought “that’s a plate of shrimp!” The voice thing would be a FUN psychological experiment.
This was one of my personal favorite Making Sense Podcasts. I felt that this topic brought some much needed creditbility to the Arts in particular Poetry. Sam did more listening and seemed to really give more over to the topic rather than mediate a format for the dialog (juxtaposed to more heated and controversial topics in past podcasts).
Something that Sam did touch upon that I’d like to elaborate upon. Deepening and broadening the definition of wealth. Sam identified wealth as cultivating ones attention and explained how its value becomes qualitative in life. I wrote down other possible meanings for wealth in my notes such as; time, dearness, security and safety, and health. But Ultimately, wealth has an implication for the capacity to support others in life. In the past family has been defined as wealth. I think a more contemporaneously, community is wealth.
I liked, ‘Poetry always starts practical to describe deeper interactions but ends up philosophical after the poet develops the craft.’ And, ‘Poetry allows a person to have their own language.’ Perhaps for the experience of liberty?? And, ‘write Poetry where there are no defenses.’ And, ‘vulnerability is the great enabler of relationships.’ And fear not, ‘Humiliation means returning to the ground of your being.’
From my view this is courage to build inner strength.
Peace and blessing to all.
Imagine a forum where every post box had a play button and patrons spoke their posts. Or a way to choose which AI-generated celebrity voiced their post. That would be more communicative and not so dry.
If one had a voice that hobbled their communicating, they could overcome this handicap with a small megaphone-like device. Your voice goes in, Mr. Whyte’s voice comes out.
I haven’t heard this yet so I should shut up and listen.