The Roar of the Bipeds

April 16, 2020

Behold. Here at this once-bustling intersection of OMG and WTF, a gulf, a vast and unimaginable chasm hath hastily appeared. Leaping into it? All our stagnant, hoary ideas of normal, of commonplace, of what it means to be a happy and barely functioning democracy. And lo, it is fucking weird.

The silence isn’t deafening, per se. It’s measurable. Don’t you not hear it?

Check it: Seismologists say the Earth, for the first time in modern human history, is significantly quieter right now. Their needles are vibrating less and less. The roar of human endeavor has, for a bizarre and sustained moment, subsided.

For the first time ever, all our deafening capitalism, all our roaring industry, all those cars, planes, engines, machines, businesses, factories, assembly lines, construction sites, all those billions of bodies hurling about – have all, almost simultaneously, fallen still. The relentless thunder of humanity has dropped to a nervous hush.

If you don’t think that’s fucking crazy-amazing, I can’t help you.

Here’s the teaching, the obvious yoga angle. When all the cacophony falls away, then you can really listen. Then you can hear. The hum, the deep thrum, the eternal OM.

It’s a meditation practice, no? When you meditate, you work to tune out the BS and the external distraction, and dial in to the sacred, the real, the wild, difficult fullness of the moment. Is that not right now happening, on a global scale, whether we want it or not, whether or not we find it comfortable or easy?

Here’s the question: What do you hear when the deafening clamor of humanity falls quiet? What sound does the planet actually make when it’s not drowned out by the endless roar of the bipeds? Have you heard its sound before? Sure you have. Everyone has. You just might not recognize it.

Is it that simple? Maybe we practice, then, to re-learn – clumsily, painfully, essentially – how to listen.



Mark Morford

About Mark Morford