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Four Awakenings to Compassion

Heal
In 1965, a marine biologist named Roger Payne found himself relaxing on the stern deck of a sailboat on the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Headphones snugly in place, he recorded the sounds of humpback whales via a hydrophone that hung more than 100 feet into the depths below. An accomplished cellist, Dr. Payne had been interested in music from earliest childhood. He had listened to these whale calls hundreds of times before, but that evening he heard something different. Maybe it was because of the warm glow diffusing after sunset, or the balmy evening breeze kissing the sails. For whatever reason, Payne started sounding the notes aloud. And then he heard it: real music! These were not just vocalizations. No, he realized, he had been humming an elaborate sequence of notes, reiterating it again and again, in endless, clever variations. The cyclical quality of the repetition had escaped his attention because the length of each musical phrase was so extensive that it encompassed hundreds of individual sounds. These were not just random, jumbled assortments of pings, clicks, and whistles strung together. T …

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CompassionBiologyWhalesNatureScienceEcology

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