C.S. Lewis wrote Heaven is a place ‘what is not music is silence” while Hell is ‘The Kingdom of noise”. The devils hope in the end to shout down the quiet sonorous truths of Heaven. Mr. Lewis has a good point. Noise pollution and nasty types hollering lies at the top of their lungs are abundant these days. One can almost smell the stink of sulfur.

I was listening to a podcast the other day about sounds and noises are associated with serenity and which ones are associated with agitation. “Misophonia” is a term about people becoming readily angry or upset upon hearing certain sounds. Urs Truly doesn’t have this – or so he thought – until the podcast talked about something called ‘autonomous sensory meridian response’ or ‘ASMR’. I’ve never heard of such a thing and I wish to high heaven I hadn’t. ASMR is the sound of someone whispering rather than talking. Apparently a percentage of people who hear such feel all warm and fuzzy inside; they are quite soothed by such. There is a whole cult-like following on The Tube of Yous where millions tune in to hear someone fold towels or tidy up while whispering. The podcast went on to report while most people are not reactive to ASMR there a few find it annoying. Indeed there is a percentage who bristle misophonia-like to the sound of whispering.

I am not a violent person. So far as I remember I have never hit anyone. I was amazed and shocked within five seconds of hearing ASMR-like whispering my emotions explode like a piece of machinery that has been given one once of pressure too much and I want to reach through the screen and slap the whisperer into next week. What a reaction! And so quick and angrily! Part of me is fascinated but this and another part is horrified knowing how noxious this is for me.

I am wracking my memory Freud-like trying to recall if there was any childhood trauma that had whispering to it to make this so. No such luck. ASMR (whether good or bad reaction) seems to touch on nerves yet to be understood. Thems with misophonia have a hard time avoiding the sounds that make them bristle. Happily I can avoid my nemesis as no one around me whispers, ever. Heaven and Hell neither contain any whispering so I am OK no matter where I go, provided the demons don’t whisper things through all eternity.

Do you bristle at certain sounds?

What does whispering evoke in you?