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You can only think what You can say.

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posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:51 AM
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I think that from your point of view.. your thoughts are entirely random.. until, for whatever reason, you are made aware of them.. then the attempts at definition commence.. followed by confirmation of definitions.. until an "event" type of awareness, of time and place occurs.. just before conscious thought, there is a subconscious revelation as to 1, the accuracy of the information contemplated, 2, the justification of awareness, and 3, the merit of releasing this into the "awake" mind.. then the thought will proceed into consciously definable terms.. such as language..

I thought this was good.. the first few comments anyway.. about thinking in multiple languages..

www.answerbag.com...




posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:52 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


i disagree , i frequently have thoughts and ideas i could not possibly articulate .

i am not simply recounting reticence - i know people are often unwilling to say what they are thinking

i seldom have that problem


rather i find myself simply unable to quantify what i was thinking - most often at the extremes of emotion

i am unsure if that makes total sense - but that is my opinion , and personal ` observation `



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 07:02 AM
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I though i'd add something to this thing. it's not reaLLy relevant but who cares. it's stuff. stuff from here



Things said to be essentially incommunicable
The nature of qualia (sensory experiences), such as colors or flavors
The nature of dreams
The nature of emotions (with love being a prominent example)
The nature of religious experiences, e.g. Søren Kierkegaard's analysis of Abraham in Fear and Trembling, Problemata III, and in particular the mystic's realization of nonduality
The near-death experience
The experience of birth
The psychedelic experience is largely considered ineffable to psychologists, philosophers and psychonauts alike
The musical experience, following Theodor Adorno, Vladimir Jankélévitch, among others
The human soul (see also sentience and the hard problem of consciousness)
The name of a god or gods, in some religions[1]
The Dao
The catrices of Spain

Things said to be incommunicable due to incomprehensibility
The pre-big bang universe
The size of the universe
Pre-birth
Post-death
The concept of Infinity
A square with 3 sides or any other illogical proposition

Phrases considered too great to be spoken
The Tetragrammaton (YHWH, by orthodox Jewish tradition)
The "Will of Bob" in Mostly Harmless, part of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy




posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 07:27 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


A very interesting subject for a thread.


Maybe there is a semantic gap at work here, but I have to disagree.
I have "intuitions" - that's how I call them - that transcend what I am able to verbally formulate. (And I am not usually lost for words.)
However, they might be expressed by means of poetry - i.e. in an indirect, seemingly "absurd" (= not literal) way.
Does that count as "say"?

More importantly, I often have dreams that actually do transcend words, totally - to the point of being indescribable.
That's because the values and meanings assigned to each one of the components of my dream in the "real world" are totally mixed up in my dreams. (For example, a concept - or even a person, or an event - may parade as a potato salad in my dreams. Or - and this is an actual dream I had - I may be breathing air that IS at the same time silk made of pure gold. I am NOT talking about symbolism. Each thing or person are what/who they are while being , to the same degree, other things, concepts, people. That's why it's impossible to explain in an intelligible way.)

So... maybe we/you should redefine "thought" - or the concept of "saying"?



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 08:47 AM
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posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 09:21 AM
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I believe the idea makes perfect sense. I also believe it is the nature of a dual-mind, conscious and subconscious. All experiences are related through the conscious mind as symbols. But as I see it, the form of the symbols is of little consequence; letters and words simply being one of limitless forms. But that seems to be the problem inherent in all communication.

It seems simply that the conscious mind has the job of establishing the boundaries that allow us to share a common and uncommon experience. The subconscious mind takes it upon itself to break the boundaries in order to broaden the experience.

[edit on 21-9-2008 by TravelerintheDark]



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 09:31 AM
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You can conceptualize things without being able to verbally speak about it. How does a mute/deaf person think?

Are you saying he doesn't think if that person cannot speak or hear?



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 10:55 AM
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My thoughts are almost never verbal. I'm sure there are words for what I'm thinking or imagining (and perhaps this is what the OP meant, in which case I agree,) but I don't think in a dialogue or in words (or even in phonetic sounds at all.) I think in images, shapes, often sounds (music, noise, etc.) and textures. In fact, if something is deeply challenging for me to think about, ponder, or solve such that it requires words or being "talked out," then I actually have to speak out loud in tandem with whatever mental component is going on, because I can't think in words (except when I'm writing.)

I have audio synesthesia, though, so that could be why.


Perhaps a better way to put it would be to say, "You can only conceive of what you have perceived." For instance, I've definitely seen - if not in whole, then at least in part - every shade of color and every texture I see in my mind when thinking. I can't imagine a shade of color, shape, object, or texture, that isn't at least made up of others that I've already perceived at some point in my life. I can imagine some very exotic things that don't exist and would look downright alien to me if I saw them, but they're still comprised of a large number of "components" that I've seen or encountered at some time in my life.

This is a very interesting subject!

[edit on 9/21/2008 by AceWombat04]



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 10:59 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


This is nonsense. All of my life, I've struggled to tell people my thoughts but couldn't. There were and still are thoughts that don't have assigmned words to them. If this were true, our science and vocabulary would never grow. It would be stagnant. As we all know it isn't.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 11:09 AM
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Nonsense. Every word started as an idea first. When you invent something, you have to think up a name for it after the fact. When a new species or a new planet is discovered, it is given a name after the fact.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 11:14 AM
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reply to post by Distractions4Nothing
 


Yes, but you are still using approximate verbal descriptions until you choose a new word for it. It might take you a couple of sentences to describe the new invention, but your brain is still only thinking in verbal terms.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Do you consider mental visualization "thought" or "fantasy"? I ask only because to me they are one and the same. But to communicate that mental visualization to you I used words. I think because it is the simplest way we have found to attempt a common understanding. That is my understanding of what this thread is about.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 11:32 AM
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LIke some others who have posted on this thread, I am a musician.I can have a thought or strings of thoughts which have no words at all associated with them... unless I should choose to assign ' do-re-mi...'
symbols to them. Just a thought that maybe you ( or I ) can in fact think without words.

I have often thought that words ( especially written ones ) are our human downfall.
My thinking is that the easy road is never ever the right road. And language and the storing of info ( literature ) have been one hell of an easy road.
Possible result ? How much of our brains DO we supposedly use these days ?



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 11:32 AM
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Originally posted by TravelerintheDark
reply to post by schrodingers dog
 


Do you consider mental visualization "thought" or "fantasy"? I ask only because to me they are one and the same. But to communicate that mental visualization to you I used words. I think because it is the simplest way we have found to attempt a common understanding. That is my understanding of what this thread is about.



I think you are right.
Think of it this way, before you communicate it to me, to communicate it to yourself you can only use words. I'm not trying to minimize the infinite ways a human can sense and feel, it's just that the brain limits that interpretation to one's vocabulary.

That is why I say in the OP, that in order to remedy this, humans will use sculptures, paintings, music and other creative and artistic mechanism to emote all that lies between words.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 11:47 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Think of it this way, before you communicate it to me, to communicate it to yourself you can only use words.


Yes, to communicate the visual idea I translate it to myself as a verbal idea and attempt to translate it to you in a verbal form. I think you bring up an excellent point to show that words (Using "words" simply for simplicity of the argument) aren't only for communicating with each other, but with ourselves. The conscious and subconscious attempting to shake hands and be friends, so to speak.


I'm not trying to minimize the infinite ways a human can sense and feel, it's just that the brain limits that interpretation to one's vocabulary.


Indeed, and I think the limitations of the system are just as vital as the limitless possibilities. We must understand the boundaries in order to be able to accept the possibilities and vice versa. It is the overall idea of understanding as it pertains to ourselves and others.

[edit on 21-9-2008 by TravelerintheDark]



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 11:58 AM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Within a split second that experience travels to your brain, which is only able to interpret it within the limits of the words it knows to assign to it.


Anyone who speaks several languages fluently knows this to be untrue.

Thought isn't limited by words....communication is.
You seem to be muddying the waters.

In other words, when I think in one language, it impacts *HOW* I express myself, not *WHAT* I think. Make sense?



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 12:02 PM
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Originally posted by loam

Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Within a split second that experience travels to your brain, which is only able to interpret it within the limits of the words it knows to assign to it.


Anyone who speaks several languages fluently knows this to be untrue.

Thought isn't limited by words....communication is.
You seem to be muddying the waters.

In other words, when I think in one language, it impacts *HOW* I express myself, not *WHAT* I think. Make sense?


Well, I speak four languages. And often when I observe something, my first thought will be in the language that has the closest words to describe what I am observing.

The how and the what are the same thought, one is internal the other is external.



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by schrodingers dog
Well, I speak four languages. And often when I observe something, my first thought will be in the language that has the closest words to describe what I am observing.


Only because you reduce the observation to an act of expression. Whether that's internal or external is irrelevant. When you see a garage door, you don't fail to comprehend it simply because you haven't assigned a term to describe it.


[edit on 21-9-2008 by loam]



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by AceWombat04
My thoughts are almost never verbal. I'm sure there are words for what I'm thinking or imagining (and perhaps this is what the OP meant, in which case I agree,) but I don't think in a dialogue or in words (or even in phonetic sounds at all.) I think in images, shapes, often sounds (music, noise, etc.) and textures.


This is exactly what I thought also after I read the OP. My thoughts may be verbal or visionary (meaning that my thoughts are not words, but images) and audible sounds (not words though, but sounds of various pitches). I think that OP restricts human thinking into something very unilateral - maybe those thinking merely with words have something to try in visionary or audible thinking


Sincerely,

-v



posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 12:36 PM
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reply to post by schrodingers dog
 

I completely disagree. In fact, I am an artist. My thoughts are comprised of verbal, visual, musical, and spatial thoughts. There are not words assigned to many of the thoughts that I have. Not all of the thoughts I have need to be understood. Some I have for the sake of perspective and nothing else. Still, some I just have and that's all there is to it -- no verbal inclination whatsoever.

Non-verbal thoughts only take on verbal significance when I attempt to make some sort of reasonable statement within some sort of theoretical, logical, or emotional context.

In general, verbalizing abstract thoughts often corrupts or perverts the original thought. And often the result only expresses an emotional or trivial impulse -- not the original abstract thought itself.

Then there is intuition. Of which there is not always conscious reasoning backing it up. There can be, but often the truth of the matter is just understood without need to verbalize for the sake of understanding.

I love the smell of oranges, yet I don't need to think of the word that corresponds to the fruit in order to know and understand what the smell means. After all, there was a time when I was a baby and didn't have any vocabulary at all.

A baby responds to the smell, touch, voice, and presence of its parents. Sometimes the baby will vocalize his or her pleasure or displeasure as a result, but there are no words attached to the emotional expression or thoughts that the baby is having. That's about as abstract as one can get, and no words are needed.

[edit on 21-9-2008 by Areal51]





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