Can silence truly quiet the mind?

  • Thread starter Etherialist.18
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In summary: There is no silence - you become the noise maker.Going into an anechoic chamber you can hear the blood pumping in you ears. There is no silence - you become the noise maker.
  • #1
Hello,

How can one go about acquiring an effect of soundlessness on the brain? For example, as earplugs are to hearing capacity, the affect would be on the mind and brain.
 
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  • #3
What? That implies that I would be dead or in sleep.
 
  • #4
With reference to the likeness in post #1, the affect on the mind and brain would be greater than that of the earplugs on the mind and brain, or hearing capacity.
 
  • #5
Etherialist.18, Can you be more specific? Your question is not worded so clearly and so members here are having difficulty giving meaningful responses.

Are you asking what would happen if the mind/brain was deprived of all stimulus? This is known as "sensory deprivation" and a Google search brings up many examples. If yes, then why not list those mechanisms that serve to stimulate the brain? Then research each one, and the effects on the brain of "turning it off"?

If this is not what you are asking about, please try again.

Bobbywhy
 
  • #6
meditation, biofeedback techniques. Nothing that qualifies as "physics", that I am aware of, can simply produce "soundlessness" in the mind. There are books about mind, self, and thoughts that propose a relationship, but this is philopsophy, not physics. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1577314808/?tag=pfamazon01-20 is extremely popular

I wish I could turn off my tinnitus.
 
  • #7
Bobbywhy said:
Etherialist.18, Can you be more specific? Your question is not worded so clearly and so members here are having difficulty giving meaningful responses.

Are you asking what would happen if the mind/brain was deprived of all stimulus? This is known as "sensory deprivation" and a Google search brings up many examples. If yes, then why not list those mechanisms that serve to stimulate the brain? Then research each one, and the effects on the brain of "turning it off"?

If this is not what you are asking about, please try again.

Bobbywhy

No, I do not mean to sensory deprivation. In other words, I mean a taking away of sound from the external, and possibly internal, environment of the individual. For example, a unique head-set that I would wear that blocks sounds - though, I'd still see visuals, see my environment etc.
 
  • #8
Perhaps...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_block

However further googling found...

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100824155501AAQogI8

The auditory nerve is the 8th Cranial Nerve. It feeds directly from the inner ear into the brain. I can think of no reason nor method to anesthetize this specific nerve without risking brain damage and possible deafness. Of course, general anesthesia would anesthetize the 8th Cranial nerve by anesthetizing the portion of the brain aware of stimulation of the inner ear. The brain would still be aware on a subconscious level that there were sounds coming in, but the portion of the brain to interpret what those sounds were would not be awake to be aware of the stimulation, nor to interpret it.
 
  • #9
For example, a unique head-set that I would wear that blocks sounds

It's very hard to totally block sound. Ear defenders work to an extent but very loud sounds don't just go in through the ear, they physically shake/vibrate the whole body.
 
  • #10
Just Google "noise cancelling headphones".
 
  • #11
I have those already. Would gun ear muffs be better? I'd like a tool to block all sound frequencies etc.
 
  • #12
Etherialist.18 said:
I have those already. Would gun ear muffs be better? I'd like a tool to block all sound frequencies etc.

When you're wearing sound-cancelling headphones, what do you hear?
 
  • #13
You can experience the real thing by visiting an anechoic chamber.

They are used in research projects with sound; you may find one at your local university - look for a professor who specializes in acoustics; they will know.
 
  • #14
I don't understand what you were originally asking about, in that you inferred your requirement was different than earplugs.

That said:
Consumer grade active noise cancelling headphones have their place, but are not really all that quiet.

The highest rated earmuffs are around 33dB (NRR) ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00117XML0/?tag=pfamazon01-20 ) , and earplugs go to 33dB. Supposedly wearing them both only gains you, like, 10dB more.

Remember there is sound conduction through your mouth and skull also.

Going into an anechoic chamber you can hear the blood pumping in you ears. There is no silence - you become the noise maker.
 
  • #15
meBigGuy said:
Going into an anechoic chamber you can hear the blood pumping in you ears. There is no silence - you become the noise maker.

Which is really weird!
 
  • #16
meBigGuy said:
I don't understand what you were originally asking about, in that you inferred your requirement was different than earplugs.

That said:
Consumer grade active noise cancelling headphones have their place, but are not really all that quiet.

The highest rated earmuffs are around 33dB (NRR) ( https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00117XML0/?tag=pfamazon01-20 ) , and earplugs go to 33dB. Supposedly wearing them both only gains you, like, 10dB more.

Remember there is sound conduction through your mouth and skull also.

Going into an anechoic chamber you can hear the blood pumping in you ears. There is no silence - you become the noise maker.

I definitely agree. If the OP is looking for total silence, ear plugs only make the sound of breathing and pulse more noticeable.
 
  • #17
I'm not clear that the OP knows WHAT he is looking for. Seems to have changed over the course of the thread.
 
  • #18
Repeated and prolonged exposure to extremely loud sounds has been shown to reduce the functionality of the ear's ability to hear. You could try that until you don't hear anything anymore.
 
  • #19
phinds said:
I'm not clear that the OP knows WHAT he is looking for. Seems to have changed over the course of the thread.

Pure silence.
 
  • #20
Are there specific sounds that are a problem? As meBigGuy and edward explained, you won't be able to hear absolutely nothing, even if you just hear yourself. You just have a choice what to hear (and how loud).
 
  • #21
I'd like to hear as little as possible. For example: not hear birds, dogs, people, cars etc.
 
  • #22
I think actually the OP means that the brain always thinks, even when you're not trying to think. So in your head you're always 'talking to yourself' about whatever it is you're thinking about.

The only time when you can have total silence is when you're asleep and not dreaming, or sedated/coma
 
  • #23
FlexGunship said:
Repeated and prolonged exposure to extremely loud sounds has been shown to reduce the functionality of the ear's ability to hear. You could try that until you don't hear anything anymore.

I tried that (involuntarily) now both my ears are ringing, but not at the same frequency.
 
  • #24
I explicitly mean pure silence with reference to sound. I may try gun ear muffs soon.
 
  • #25
Etherialist.18 said:
I explicitly mean pure silence with reference to sound. I may try gun ear muffs soon.

Even if you bought the best headphones in the world to block out in coming sound, you'd still hear sound because your ears would pick up your heart beat and possibly air vibrations inside the air muffs.
 

1. Can silence really quiet the mind?

Yes, silence can truly quiet the mind. Studies have shown that practicing silence, whether through meditation or simply taking a break from noise and distractions, can decrease activity in the brain's default mode network, which is responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts. This can lead to a sense of calm and clarity in the mind.

2. How does silence affect the brain?

Silence has been found to have a positive impact on the brain. It can decrease stress, improve memory and focus, and even promote neurogenesis (the growth of new brain cells). When the brain is not constantly bombarded with noise and stimulation, it can rest and recharge, leading to improved cognitive function.

3. Is it necessary to completely eliminate all noise for silence to be effective?

No, it is not necessary to eliminate all noise. While complete silence can be beneficial, even reducing noise levels can have a positive effect on the mind. This can be achieved by simply finding a quiet space or using noise-cancelling headphones. The key is to minimize external distractions and allow the mind to relax and rest.

4. Are there any potential drawbacks to practicing silence?

While silence can have many benefits, it may not be suitable for everyone. Some individuals may find it difficult to sit in silence or may experience discomfort when there are no distractions. It is important to listen to your body and mind and find a level of silence that works for you. Additionally, it is important to note that silence should not be used as a substitute for seeking professional help for mental health issues.

5. How can one incorporate silence into their daily routine?

There are many ways to incorporate silence into your daily routine. Some examples include setting aside a few minutes each day for meditation, going for a walk in a quiet park or nature setting, or simply turning off all electronics and sitting in a quiet room. It is important to find what works best for you and make it a regular practice to reap the benefits of silence.

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