I came a across a Q. asking about how people thought before language was invented. The questioner stated he thought in words. I do not think in words.
So I am curious, do you think in words or another way?
If you do not use words when thinking what is that?
And finally, does language, the use of words make…
a definite page #2 contribution….
One assumes the language and intonation of the culture that one is born into.
This is developed through close association with ones initial environment.
As the intellect expands ones initial verbal language is formed.
This is the language of the intellect.
The intellect as we well know has the capacity to absorb many languages.
There is also a language (a Vibration, a Resonance) amplified within the heart of each and every human being.
This is a universal language formed from within universal consciousness.
It is ever present within a human being, but often neglected, through forgetfulness.
I have been told that it is possible for the ‘language of the mind’ and the ‘language of the heart’ to intertwine and function in unity.
One must recognize the source of this Resonance or Vibration in order for the receiver to become energized and operable.
– Interesting question! –
I’m presently searching for the Source of this Vibration or Resonance.
*footnote – This intonation must be focused inwardly. This is from personal experience.
I think this is an excellent questions and raises many more points.
We use words, in my case the words of the English language, do describe what we are thinking or feeling or otherwise wish to communicate. Yet the words in our language limit the degree to which we can express these things that occur in our mind, body, and spirit. I sometimes try to explain something but note that I am having trouble finding the right words. Therefore, I do think that communication through written or spoken language can put limits on, or “tone down” or otherwise not convey the full dynamics of what we are thinking or feeling.
This also raises the question of other languages. Not all language are a comparision of apples to apples, so to speak. For example some Chinese languages are based on pictures and symbols, quite different from the English language, and so the limitiations may not be the same.
I have, on occasion, felt a thought or emotion that was so profound, complicated, and intense that I was not able to describe it in words, and so first hand have experienced the limitations of communication through words.
I wonder what the thoughts of a person are who has been deaf since birth, thereby never have heard the spoken word. I suppose they may think in sign language, but perhaps the limitations on this in comarison to the limitations of the English language are also quite different.
You have given me a lot to think about, I am now considering how written and spoken language can be a limitation of being human, especially when we try to communicate the thoughts and ideas that come from our spiritual side. Maybe our communication as humans will or needs to evolve to something new that allows us to more accurately convey our spiritual sides?
What a wonderful question. Once again, I am at a loss for words. LOL
I asked myself do I think in words or some other way? I realized that I was using words to symbolize the thought patterns. I think words are a result of our thinking. The process that goes on in our brain is a binary process much like computers. I think the use of words makes it more tangible (albeit very limiting) so we can make some sense, order in this process. Animals in the wild use sight, smells, sounds etc for their queues and ‘think’ in those terms. I wonder what goes on their heads? We associate the same five senses to certain feelings and thought patterns and formulate words to bring some order into this chaotic sensory input. WOW! The more I try to answer your Q the more I delve into myself. What a trip!! LOL
There are many things I hope I have communicated with out words, so I feel words are not necessary in thinking or feeling, mostly feeling. I think therefore I am. I was and felt I was long, before I experienced the thought ” I think therefore, I am.” And that is an experience, others’ words can be an experience. I “think” or “am” in visual sense, color and images, in scented sense, in smells of all kinds, smells that attach, and make recognition and mark feelings, I am in hearing, all sound defines my “thinking” or “feeling”, my I am. I am in touch, and in taste too. I am in thinking, I take the words and fit them into the larger experience in my mind, in my experience of being and thought at the same time. Sometimes the words can’t keep up with the “thought” .
You have an exceptional flow and relationship to words for someone who doesn’t think in words, and I don’t either, but that eloquence does not necessarily, come to my words even when I “see” or feel beauty. Thinking, though, is just another way of seeing, a sense we share with each other by the paradigm, by the measure of words. I can talk myself right out of words with their inadequacy to form the complexities of my understandings, experiences and “feeling thoughts” or concepts. The world is too big and words are so small. “Words are cheap”. Someone said that right? Yet we still value them as the only currency at times, neglecting so much. And they do have their value in connection, a strong connection can be made through words. Connection is valuable as love, with out it can there be love?
It really depends on what I’m thinking about. When I’m reasoning, I use words. When I’m solving a mathematical problem, I use symbols. When I play chess, I visualize. When I go fishing, I project or extend my senses through the rod and line to the bait under the water. All of these and more are thinking. But when I share my thoughts, I must use some kind of language. The same applies to understanding the thoughts of another mind.
I think both in words and otherwise. When I think deep thoughts I think in pictures, concepts, and through some kind of intuition (it’s hard to describe). When I want to summarize my thoughts or make something explicit or clear, I will think in words.
Words and language are the gateway to precise and meticulous thoughts and concepts. Without words, there are general concepts and general senses of meaning, and although you cannot pin down a precise meaning for them, they have a general connotation which allows you to get a broad view of a subject and to gain an inner and synthetic grasp of the topic of thought. So words can be both helpful in their precision and limiting.
If this last paragraph made absolutely no sense to you, that simply proves my point because I don’t think of those things in words, but in general conceptions, and when they are put into words they appear strange and incomprehensible.
Thoughts are done with images and words, through their associations and deductions. It happens in all animals. they may not use our words, but they have their own language. The coos and caws, the grunts and growl, have specific meaning for its listener, mental perception(‘thoughts’) of the same occur and they shape their behavior accordingly. This is a sound language as words also a sound language. Chimpanzee perceive two images and deduce co relation between them and acts accordingly. This is a thought process, although words are not there. Functionally, thinking with and without words makes no difference. In fact, in humans, often words misrepresent/misconstrue reality! Thoughts based and tested on inner experiences is the safe bet.
I think in pictures, but in words when I’m thinking of more rational things, and sometimes it’s feelings combined with words or pictures, sometimes it’s the words or pictures that promote the feelings. I guess before language people just thought in pictures and maybe also sound people did make sound even if it was a coherent language.
I think in pictures, but there is an audio stream of babble, so both images and words, I guess. I do believe language facilitates thinking, because only through words can you construct complex abstract ideas. Or for that matter, if you are trying to think of something to say to somebody, you would formulate the sentence in your mind first — unless you do what I admittedly am guilty of from time to time: speak before I think.
As an artist, I think without words constantly. I visualize, and “feel” my way to what I want. Most of the time that I am critiquing a design or logo, I don’t WANT words to intrude. I want to embrace the emotional impact of the image.
That said, when it comes to language as a way of organizing and expressing thoughts, this is an absolute minimum requirement for establishing any sort of society. When people wandered the plains, hunting and gathering, it was probably easy enough to communicate with motions, gestures or perhaps imitating sounds of nature. This is really no different from what animals do (although they also use scent as a way to communicate.) When people began to settle and establish permanent communities, agriculture, livestock, etc, they needed more complex ways to convey needs and desires. Thus language was born.
Lastly, you’d be amazed at how much non-verbal communication takes place between people. In fact, without non-verbal cues, words would probably create a great deal of confusion. Your countenance can convey whether you are happy, sad, angry, surprised, shocked, terrified, and dozens of other feelings – without you ever saying a word.