and if there is no one?

What do you think about this question taken from the Zen tradition : ” if a tree falls in the middle of a forest and there’s no one near by : does it make any sound?”


  1. Tracy says:

    I concur with an earlier post, yes, it would make a sound as sound is created vibration. Very interesting response Han, I enjoyed reading it.

  2. Leandro says:

    To me it makes no sound. We humans are the only ones on the planet that we are well aware of things. The other animals just follow their instincts. The lion kills to feed his family, we can kill just to have a clock. Even with eight years, we know that one day we will die, animals spend their lives just by following instincts, they do not care about death, not afraid of tomorrow, or become with insomnia because of a problem.
    So for me the tree falling in a deserted forest makes no noise.
    If humans do not exist, nobody is going to define what love, what sorrow, what joy is.
    No colors, smells, tastes. Because the other animals just follow their instincts, they have no conscience.

  3. Dola says:

    To the question about the tree , I don’t feel like saying anything, just take a deep breath and exhale out “hmnnn”.

  4. ThatMarilyn says:

    What difference does it make? Does it matter to the tree? What can be said about an event that was not witnessed, or experienced? Are our assumptions based on past experience accurate, true, correct? Paradox, dichotomy and everything in between. Meanwhile, words dance around in the air until they rest in a temporary sequence waiting to be shuffled once again to yet another conclusion.

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  6. Priya says:

    FALL…fails to produce any impact on anyone…everyone wants to be a part of victory , celebration , attracts multitude but Fall brings isolation… no matter how big tree was or how significant it was but the fact remains the same that it was falling.anyone s presence nearby or not wont alter it so whether tree screams or not it will remain unheard in the land of deaf people.

  7. Sid says:

    Sadly, It does. Sadly, no one hears in spite of so much want of the tree to be heard and consoled. And it sheds tears silently with pain and there’s no one to see or caress! Like us sometimes, when something inside us gets hurt no one knows but we do feel pain…and cry silent trees@

  8. Jackie noriega says:


  9. Diana says:

    No, it doesnt make a “Sound”.

  10. Rodrigo says:

    O som, assim como tudo é uma vibraí§í£o. Muito embora ní£o ecoe nos ouvidos de ninguém ela está presente e termina ecoando no ambiente e nas demais árvores.

  11. nishq says:

    to itself, yes…
    to the forest, yes…
    to our ears, no…

  12. I think it does make a sound only to a living creature who listens…if nobody is there to listen, then there won’t be any sound at all…sound is only present to those who can listen.

  13. muzna says:

    it will definitely make a noise but it will be up to us whether we hear it or not.

  14. barbara says:

    yes, the others trees will make sound with the vibrations and shaking of thier leaves, and the echo will be heard…

  15. Pilar says:

    Tiene sonido para sí­ mismo, y suena con más fuerza que si hubiera alguien cerca

  16. O som é produzido em nossas mentes. e ní£o praticamente nas ací§oes naturais, pois um pai que muito fala para filhos sem alguma razí£o espiritual, de certeza, jamais será ouvido.

  17. faith says:

    Yes, the tree will still make a sound even if it is alone. Her faith that even in the vastness of the forest and the thickness of the foliage around her, someone-somewhere will hear that she had fallen.
    Same as true as our faith in God, even in the chaotic world we are in God hears even the minute sound of our calls.

  18. Carina says:

    My spontaneous answer is yes. The tree still make a sound since sound is vibrations.

  19. mafatmo says:

    a good speaker needs a good listener or vice versa

  20. Shiv says:

    When a great tree falls the earth does shake… you or me may not hear it now but a time will to come… and a piece of history will remain hidden to be found to the one who was looking for it…

  21. denise says:

    yes, there are other ceatures everywhere to hear it. No one thing or person is ever totally alone, unheard.

  22. Daniel says:

    Or the modern version ‘if a man talks in the middle of a forest and there is no woman to hear him, is he still wrong?’

  23. at work i just take time I say a little pray for you, my boyfriend Osvaldo, forever, ever will never apart
    My darling believe me for me there’s no one but you…say you love me too answer my prayer…
    Say a little pray for you Osvaldo, wondering what dress to wear together we i run for the bus dear, and thruogh my coffe break i think about you,
    for ever ever together it must be…My darling believe me for me theres no one but you beliver me, say you love me too, I’m in love with you…

  24. women’s and health
    men’s and health
    vibrations and medicine…
    Laboratory and economy…
    dirty bussiness?

  25. Han says:

    I think it does if it follows the law of physics as we understand it. It causes vibrations. If no ears are present to hear it, then no it doesn’t make a ‘sound’ but it would still make a vibration. Even deaf people can write and make music if they can pick up the vibrations instead. The ‘sound’ is a product of the human sense of hearing, so it is possible that the tree does not make a sound if no one is there to hear it. On the other hand Quantum Physics experiment shows that when an experiment is not watched or witnessed by a person or sensors of a machine, the usual laws of physics go out the window and ‘magic’ or unexpected ‘impossible’ reactions can happen. So maybe the tree might do something else… ie. perhaps no vibrations or sound may occur… or maybe it could make a different type of sound.