chapter  3
Sound imagery
Pages 17

We have established that mental imagery is often taken to mean some form of internal visual-like representation. The emphasis on the visual in Western culture makes it difficult for those not visually impaired to recognise that the world of sound is an event world, while the world of sight is an object world (Ong 1971). Reflecting on the relationship between sound and imagery provokes the observation that ours is a visually dominant representational culture. There is no reason to believe, however, that sound perception is any less complicated than visual perception, and as we noted in the previous chapter, the relationship between perception itself and discursive representations of that experience remains philosophically problematic. Although we understand scientific descriptions of auditory perception, phenomenally we don’t ‘ h e a r ’ acoustic signals or sound waves, we hear events: the sounds of people and things moving, changing, beginning and ending, forever interdependent with the dynamics of the present moment. We ‘hear’ the sound of silence.