The Artist Who Hears Colour

Cyborg Artist : Neil Harbisson

For every ailment under the sun.
There is a remedy, or there is none.
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.
– Mother Goose Rhymes.

Neil Harbisson is an artist from Britain who was born completely colour blind. His black and white life changed when he decided to have an antenna surgically implanted into his skull that enabled him to “hear” colour. The microchip converts light waves into sound waves and then sends vibrations to Neil which he can feel in his bones. Each colour represents a different vibration which the artist had to memorize in the initial period.

Now he identifies each colour with a musical note – even the ones we can’t see. You see – where there is a will there’s a way. An old saying but believing in it, Neil can hear colours. Not only living his dreams but to help others in the year 2010 Neil founded the Cyborg Foundation that helps others to permanently implant technology into their bodies.

Khalil Gibran was right when he said, “Though in winter you deny your spring, yet spring, reposing within you, smiles in her drowsiness and is not offended.”

When a baby giraffe is born, he falls from a height of about 8 feet from the mother’s womb. Then the mother giraffe instead of lifting the baby up, lifts her leg and kicks the baby giraffe and keeps on kicking the new-born until the baby stands on its feet. She teaches her new-born the very first lesson that no matter how hard you fall, always pick yourself up and stand tall. Mother Giraffe knows that lion loves giraffe meat and unless the baby giraffe learns how to stand, there is no chance of his survival.

Difficult roads, they say, often lead to beautiful destination. So please, stop playing victim and start trying to see all the opportunities our problems can bring to us. Only when we push through the problems can we ultimately achieve what is meaningful in life. Ray Dalio in his book Principles said, “Problems are like wood thrown into a locomotive engine, because burning them up – i.e., inventing and implementing solutions – propels us forward. Problems are typically manifestations of root causes, so they provide clues for getting better. Most of the movement toward excellence comes from eliminating problems by getting at their root causes and making the changes that pay off repeatedly in the future. So, finding problems should get you excited because you have found an opportunity to get better.”

It’s not what happens to us really matters rather then what happens inside us that really matters. Acceptance of something is positive. Non acceptance on the other end is negative. I firmly believe the words of Author M. Scott Peck which he said in his book The Road Less Travelled “This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it has been accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

Let’s accept our difficult life and put our best efforts to make lemonade from the most bitter of lemons that comes our way.

Published by Harsh Pandey

A shapeless Pigmy searching for his own awakening. Otherwise, I am a master mariner, commanding merchant ships on international voyages.

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