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OM and The Big Bang
#1

OM and The Big Bang
As many of you know I practice yoga and as such have a lot of friends in the yoga community. One of my friends mentioned she thought it was amazing how the ancient yogis knew the exact sound of the universe (OM). OM is a common chant that many use in yoga and it is often referred to as the sound of the universe or the universe’s sound as it was coming into existence. There is also a creation story about an initial humming of the universe that occurred before the act of creation (by a creator god).  When OM is chanted it sounds like a deep hum.  My friend then referenced that this was similar to the humming noise science has found associated with the Big Bang (from cosmic microwave background radiation).  You can listen to both sounds online (OM being chanted and the hum from the Big Bang) and both sound remarkably similar. So...did the ancient yogis know about this humming sound prior to it being discovered by Wilson and Penzias? Or is it a coincidence? 

Anyway, even though I am an atheist, I thought this was an interesting discussion on a theist point of view. So...

Discuss  Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#2

OM and The Big Bang
" So...did the ancient yogis know about this humming sound prior to it being discovered by Wilson and Penzias?" No.
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#3

OM and The Big Bang
I did not know that an OM-like humming sound is the sound of the BB and the universe, so I have learned something new today. No doubt a coincidence regarding chanting. Maybe OM is just the simplest most mind-soothing sound.
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#4

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 05:35 PM)Bcat Wrote: As many of you know I practice yoga and as such have a lot of friends in the yoga community. One of my friends mentioned she thought it was amazing how the ancient yogis knew the exact sound of the universe (OM). OM is a common chant that many use in yoga and it is often referred to as the sound of the universe or the universe’s sound as it was coming into existence. There is also a creation story about an initial humming of the universe that occurred before the act of creation (by a creator god).  When OM is chanted it sounds like a deep hum.  My friend then referenced that this was similar to the humming noise science has found associated with the Big Bang (from cosmic microwave background radiation).  You can listen to both sounds online (OM being chanted and the hum from the Big Bang) and both sound remarkably similar. So...did the ancient yogis know about this humming sound prior to it being discovered by Wilson and Penzias? Or is it a coincidence? 

Anyway, even though I am an atheist, I thought this was an interesting discussion on a theist point of view. So...

Discuss  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

I'm no expert on the matter, but if I recall correctly "Om" has held several meanings over the years. It's an oversimplification of the word's history to say that "ancient yogis" used it as the "exact sound of the universe." There was a time when it could have been roughly translated to mean the Vedas and Vedic knowledge as a whole, which is a bit less abstract than "the sound of the universe." And I know, vaguely, that the Upanishads use "Om" in several different contexts and, while they're abstract in each usage, they're not really used as "the sound of the universe" all the time. Some Brahmanas actually break it up into three distinct sounds: phonetic components, a + u + ṃ, correspond to the three stages of cosmic creation, and saying them together as "Om" celebrates the creative powers of the universe. That's a radically different way of perceiving the word "Om" than your friend is perceiving it (three sounds as opposed to one sound). Other texts put emphasis on its use in meditation, and that the primary function of "Om" is to give momentum to your meditation practice. That's also an obviously very different usage of the word.

But regardless, if you are looking for a simple and succinct sound to encompass the totality of reality, a hum seems like a good one.
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#5

OM and The Big Bang
I think Om is used primarily because of the vibrations it causes in your body, which allow you to focus more intently. There are other letter combinations that do this, but om does it with your mouth closed in a relaxed manner. I think it's just physical.
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#6

OM and The Big Bang
I think the basic sounds from the BB is more like "Dumbbbbbbbbbbbbb!".

Plunk your magic twanger Froggy!   Boinnnnnng!  Hiya Kids!  Hiya! Hiya!



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#7

OM and The Big Bang
It's not the exact sound, the human making it can be tone deaf and make a noise that only slightly resembles the signal. But even if they were dead bang matches it would still be far, far more likely to be coincidence than something cosmically significant.
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#8

OM and The Big Bang
Human arrogance never ceases to amaze me. But I guess accepting that in the grand (and even not so grand) scheme of things we're less than ants are to us, a chance, a random fluke doesn't stroke the ego quite as much as convincing ourselves we're of cosmic importance or somehow mystically attuned to its "deep mysteries".

We're not. We'll go extinct one day and the universe still won't care.
“We drift down time, clutching at straws. But what good's a brick to a drowning man?” 
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#9

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 07:19 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote: I think the basic sounds from the BB is more like "Dumbbbbbbbbbbbbb!".


There’s another video by physicist John Cramer who did an audio recreation of the sound of the BB. It sounds a bit more clear than the ambient sounds if anyone’s interested Smile
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#10

OM and The Big Bang
I simply cannot meditate.  My brain is always whirling round. When I'm in a yoga class and we're supposed to be meditating and doing the OM thing I'm thinking about dozens of other things.   I've tried to do the OM sound and it lasts about one breath and then I'm OFF!  I'm chasing thoughts, fixing the world's problems or doing a slight toe tap or body sway to the yoga music in the background.  OM isn't my thing.
                                                         T4618
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#11

OM and The Big Bang
Btw, My response to my friend was this: There are and have been a lot of religions over time and in many cases, each have had their own creation story.  Finding a slight overlap in one creation story and a scientific discovery is not really surprising, imo, just from the sheer number of creation stories from various cultures.  Additionally, if one listens to the whole of the creation myth that includes OM, the sound of the universe, the rest of story involves the splitting of a lotus into three parts to make the earth, sky, and heaven and in another portion, the creator god divides himself in two to make a male bull and female cow to give birth to calves etc. —which clearly does not line up with science.  

From my own point of view, and this part is solely my opinion, I think the word OM makes sense for a sound of the universe if one was going to come up with a sound of the universe/creation with no prior knowledge.  Ancient people-not just yogis-but people of all ancient cultures were very in tune when it came to nature.  They had to be—in many cases their lives depended on it. Of course, stories came out of this and a belief in gods as well.  But if one was thinking of nature and listening to nature and thinking hmm what would the sound of creation sound like—it would sound like a vibration and a hum or a rattle. Why those noises? Because that’s how the earth “speaks” via an earthquake.  Much like creation stories that believed thunder was the voice of a god (as in the case of Baal, the Canaanite storm god), earthquakes could have been viewed as a hum vibration and “voice” of the earth that created the sound OM.  Anyway, that’s just my own thoughts on the genesis of the word.

I’m interested to hear more replies Smile
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#12

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 08:21 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I simply cannot meditate.  My brain is always whirling round. When I'm in a yoga class and we're supposed to be meditating and doing the OM thing I'm thinking about dozens of other things.   I've tried to do the OM sound and it lasts about one breath and then I'm OFF!  I'm chasing thoughts, fixing the world's problems or doing a slight toe tap or body sway to the yoga music in the background.  OM isn't my thing.

My decrepit old body can't do much yoga, but I can meditate, with or without om.  With om, I just focus on the vibrations...
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#13

OM and The Big Bang
"From my own point of view, and this part is solely my opinion, I think the word OM makes sense for a sound of the universe if one was going to come up with a sound of the universe/creation with no prior knowledge."

"Making shit up is not evidence."
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#14

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 08:55 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: "From my own point of view, and this part is solely my opinion, I think the word OM makes sense for a sound of the universe if one was going to come up with a sound of the universe/creation with no prior knowledge."

"Making shit up is not evidence."

Agreed, but I didn’t say it was evidence, just my opinion.
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#15

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 08:21 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: I simply cannot meditate.  My brain is always whirling round. When I'm in a yoga class and we're supposed to be meditating and doing the OM thing I'm thinking about dozens of other things.   I've tried to do the OM sound and it lasts about one breath and then I'm OFF!  I'm chasing thoughts, fixing the world's problems or doing a slight toe tap or body sway to the yoga music in the background.  OM isn't my thing.

I meditate but I don't OM when I meditate, imo it's distracting.  But I think with meditation (as with most things in life) it's about finding what works for you.  I know people who can just sit down and meditate.  For me, I like to get really relaxed via stretching and breathing exercises and then meditate.  I find meditation really relaxing, but I get it's also not for everybody.  Imo, you can "meditate" or consciously relax in many different ways--through music, taking a walk, being with nature etc.  I know you said you love to walk, maybe that's your meditation Smile
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#16

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 08:58 PM)Bcat Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 08:55 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: "From my own point of view, and this part is solely my opinion, I think the word OM makes sense for a sound of the universe if one was going to come up with a sound of the universe/creation with no prior knowledge."

"Making shit up is not evidence."

Agreed, but I didn’t say it was evidence, just my opinion.
And you're hoping that will convince people, ersatz evidence in the flesh.
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#17

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 06:52 PM)Aegon Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 05:35 PM)Bcat Wrote: As many of you know I practice yoga and as such have a lot of friends in the yoga community. One of my friends mentioned she thought it was amazing how the ancient yogis knew the exact sound of the universe (OM). OM is a common chant that many use in yoga and it is often referred to as the sound of the universe or the universe’s sound as it was coming into existence. There is also a creation story about an initial humming of the universe that occurred before the act of creation (by a creator god).  When OM is chanted it sounds like a deep hum.  My friend then referenced that this was similar to the humming noise science has found associated with the Big Bang (from cosmic microwave background radiation).  You can listen to both sounds online (OM being chanted and the hum from the Big Bang) and both sound remarkably similar. So...did the ancient yogis know about this humming sound prior to it being discovered by Wilson and Penzias? Or is it a coincidence? 

Anyway, even though I am an atheist, I thought this was an interesting discussion on a theist point of view. So...

Discuss  Deadpan Coffee Drinker

I'm no expert on the matter, but if I recall correctly "Om" has held several meanings over the years. It's an oversimplification of the word's history to say that "ancient yogis" used it as the "exact sound of the universe." There was a time when it could have been roughly translated to mean the Vedas and Vedic knowledge as a whole, which is a bit less abstract than "the sound of the universe." And I know, vaguely, that the Upanishads use "Om" in several different contexts and, while they're abstract in each usage, they're not really used as "the sound of the universe" all the time. Some Brahmanas actually break it up into three distinct sounds: phonetic components, a + u + ṃ, correspond to the three stages of cosmic creation, and saying them together as "Om" celebrates the creative powers of the universe. That's a radically different way of perceiving the word "Om" than your friend is perceiving it (three sounds as opposed to one sound). Other texts put emphasis on its use in meditation, and that the primary function of "Om" is to give momentum to your meditation practice. That's also an obviously very different usage of the word.

But regardless, if you are looking for a simple and succinct sound to encompass the totality of reality, a hum seems like a good one.


You're right, OM has several different meanings.  Depending on the school of yoga, OM/AUM is pronounced different ways.  Sanskrit-wise many go for the OM pronunciation.  AUM is actually a four part chant.  A-U-M-then silence.  

My friend was referring to (one of) the creation myths which features the cosmic sound of OM at the beginning of the myth prior to Brahma's creation of the world, which in her mind equates to the sound of the BB. 

Good post, btw! Smile
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#18

OM and The Big Bang
The human ear can not detect the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Any one that says they can is delusional and/or full of shit.
One thing you never see: A guy in Boston Mass. with a Union flag yelling "The Nawth's gonna rise again!"
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#19

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 09:39 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 08:58 PM)Bcat Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 08:55 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: "From my own point of view, and this part is solely my opinion, I think the word OM makes sense for a sound of the universe if one was going to come up with a sound of the universe/creation with no prior knowledge."

"Making shit up is not evidence."

Agreed, but I didn’t say it was evidence, just my opinion.
And you're hoping that will convince people, ersatz evidence in the flesh.

I'm not hoping it will convince anyone of anything which is why I mentioned several times in my post that this was *solely my opinion.*  They were just *my thoughts* on how the word OM *may* have come to be chosen as the sound of the universe by ancient people.  I posted this thread as a discussion thread and like all discussions on any subject, individual opinions are always welcome as long as they are stated as such.  I'm sorry if you felt I was trying to "convince" anyone of anything, it certainly was not my intent.
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#20

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 09:51 PM)Chimp3 Wrote: The human ear can not detect the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Any one that says they can is delusional and/or full of shit.

You're right, the human ear can't hear it, but there was an audio recreation compiled by a physicist and that's what my friend was referring to.
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#21

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 10:03 PM)Bcat Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 09:39 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 08:58 PM)Bcat Wrote: Agreed, but I didn’t say it was evidence, just my opinion.
And you're hoping that will convince people, ersatz evidence in the flesh.

I'm not hoping it will convince anyone of anything which is why I mentioned several times in my post that this was *solely my opinion.*  They were just *my thoughts* on how the word OM *may* have come to be chosen as the sound of the universe by ancient people.  I posted this thread as a discussion thread and like all discussions on any subject, individual opinions are always welcome as long as they are stated as such.  I'm sorry if you felt I was trying to "convince" anyone of anything, it certainly was not my intent.
You are campaigning. Don't bullshit us.
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#22

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 10:06 PM)Bcat Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 09:51 PM)Chimp3 Wrote: The human ear can not detect the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Any one that says they can is delusional and/or full of shit.

You're right, the human ear can't hear it, but there was an audio recreation compiled by a physicist and that's what my friend was referring to.

I bet Gwynneth Paltrow sells recordings of it.
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#23

OM and The Big Bang
Here's another one from UW:

https://soundcloud.com/uwnews/bigbangsound100

Doesn't sound like an Om to me.

That there could be some fairly straightforward way of mapping the CBR to audio that sounds like an Om doesn't surprise me, because an Om is a very basic sound, mostly a continuous hum with little change throughout. 

To cite this as a connection between the yogi and the creation of the universe is no more significant than, say, taking a basic shape like two lines crossing, ascribing religious significance to it, and then declaring it miraculous whenever you find something that looks roughly like that in nature, or in the rubble of a natural disaster, or in our DNA, or...

.... crap, people do that too, don't they?
"To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today." - Isaac Asimov
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#24

OM and The Big Bang
(07-20-2020, 10:13 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 10:03 PM)Bcat Wrote:
(07-20-2020, 09:39 PM)Gawdzilla Sama Wrote: And you're hoping that will convince people, ersatz evidence in the flesh.

I'm not hoping it will convince anyone of anything which is why I mentioned several times in my post that this was *solely my opinion.*  They were just *my thoughts* on how the word OM *may* have come to be chosen as the sound of the universe by ancient people.  I posted this thread as a discussion thread and like all discussions on any subject, individual opinions are always welcome as long as they are stated as such.  I'm sorry if you felt I was trying to "convince" anyone of anything, it certainly was not my intent.
You are campaigning. Don't bullshit us.

I really don't have the energy to argue what you thought my intent was.  I can only tell you it was not my intent to campaign or convince anyone of anything.  I am an atheist--and after living in years of religion which was tormenting in many ways to me, I would never ever tell anyone what or how to think.  All I can say is if anyone took it that way--that I was trying to campaign or convince, I'm really very sorry, it was never my intent to do that.  It was just an opinion of how *I* thought the word OM may have come to be.  I think everyone should think for themselves always.
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#25

OM and The Big Bang
Preaching.
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