October 08, 2010

Again about origin and meaning of the expression “third ear”…

As revealed in a past file of this archive (http://ghettoraga.blogspot.com/2010/07/origins-and-meanings-of-third-ear-band.html), apparently there're no obscure origins and meanings behind the expression “third ear” conceived by Carolyn Looker for the band of her husband Glen Sweeney: she had the happy intuition to relate

the well-known “third eye” philosophy to a “third ear” dimension to listen particular kind of sounds…
But it can be interesting to know that the origin of that expression it’s due to German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) that used it in his famous “Beyond of Good and Evil” (1886, paragraph n. 246) about the reading of books written in German:

"What a torture are books written in German to reader who has a THIRD ear!".

Friedrich Nietzsche
Later, the same expression was adopted by psychoanalists as Erich Fromm, Enid Balint and, above all, Theodor Reik,  author of a book titled “Listening with the third ear. The inner experience of a Psychoanalyst” (The Noonday Press, New York 1948-1991).

Reik (1888-1969), Freud's pupil and friend, writing about the silence in anlysis, alludes to the “active power of silence” inside the relation between psychoanalist and patient.

Theodor Reik
In the history of humankind culture, usually the word is equivalent to life and silence is equivalent to death, thus silence is considered a problem. But - as Reik maintains - if the analyst isn't afraid of the silence, he can penetrate the “silence areas” using his “third ear” and get all the patient’s psycologic stuff removed.

He explained that “to truly begin a framework in which to conceive of another's subconscience, we must begin with an experience of shock and surprise. From there, to incorporate an understanding through the third ear, is to understand musical time by making comments with tact, as in a moment of analagous musical pause, or between measures.

Often to say the right thing is to speak at the right moment. Nietzsche describes the third ear in Beyond Good and Evil, where the analyst exists in a subjective state of psychological timing, and it is to this cadence between himself and subject that he listens. In the detection of unspoken emotional significance, what is unconscious is hidden by language and revealed in silence. In other words, a true emotional drive is often under what is not said, rather than what is said. And the tone of speaking tells us about the speaker emotionally more so than the words themselves. For example, a low speaker can develop in reaction-formation against loud parents”.

“Often there is more to hear than what you normally hear”, writes James E. Miller in his “The Art of Listening in a Healing Way” (Willowgreen Publishing, UK 2007).
“Your two ears can take in only so much. They can be attuned only to certain wavelengths. After that, your third ear may be the one that hears best. (…) Listening with your third ear is never an attempt to psychoanalyze someone, nor is it an effort to come up with a solution for another’s problem. It is simply your openness to be sensitive to those messages that may not have been uttered but have been nonetheless sent”.

Also an Italian book tries to investigate the nature and the power of that "third ear". 
In their "Il terzo orecchio. Dalle forme dell'ascolto alla musicoterapia" - "The third ear. From the ways of listening to the musictheraphy" (Soleverde, Torino 1991), Mario Delli Ponti and Boris Luban-Plozza state that the "third ear" is "the capability of mind to place sonic material in an artistic space, let it live on a rich personal involvement, getting hidden meanings".

In their fascinating excursus, the authors drive us through the rich and complex relation between music and mind, proposing the use of sound as a strong medication for mind.

It’s quite suggestive to try to do some correlations between TEB music and the idea of a “third ear” that can access to obscure areas of our mind and get subliminal sounds...

no©2010 Luca Ferrari

No comments:

Post a Comment