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December 16, 2014 / Fantelius

Magnificent Ignorance 5 – Language 3, Mind & Brain

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Animals can think, but they have no language so they don’t know about it.

A lion wakes up hungry and wants to find food. She thinks, ”Which way is the wind blowing?” If she walks downwind other animals will detect her before she sees them. She then thinks about the landscape to decide on a suitable direction. When she spots a herd of gnus she thinks about how to approach unseen. She creeps low and cautiously while her thoughts race at the speed of a chase. Which young, weak or isolated gnu could she attack?

The lion is thinking constantly, but as she has no language she’s unaware of her thoughts. No language, no awareness. The lion obviously thinks or would starve to death in a short time. Walking or attacking randomly (thoughtlessly) will not lead to food. Like all animals confronted with alternatives, she must be able to think to make a choice. But without language, she’s unaware of her thoughts. They are inaccessible.

Language brings our thoughts into the light. It is conscious thinking, an interface that allows us to examine our unconscious thoughts and manipulate them. Language is like a picture of thoughts on the screen of our minds. Actual thought flows constantly through the circuits of the brain.

Thinking generates language.
Language allows us to trace backwards and see, be aware of, our thoughts. Language is to thought what writing is to language. Thinking generates language, language produces writing.

This is a difficult concept to grasp, but we’ve all experienced seemingly thoughtless periods of consciousness. We travel to work or go around the house with zero recollection of what we’ve done. On more than one occasion I’ve frightened myself by not being able to recall the last 20 minutes of driving before stopping at my destination. My thoughts weren’t somewhere else, but my language thinking, my consciousness was. I must have been thinking about driving, unconsciously (without language), or I would have left a trail of accidents worthy of a Hollywood action movie.

Perhaps it’s easier to understand language thinking if we equate it with what Freud called the ego, our consciousness, in contrast to the id, our subconscious, the emotions, desires, needs, thoughts and instincts below our awareness. Here in the subconscious—off limits to our language/consciousness—lies the soul, the essence of our being, the home of our humanity and the throne of the force of life.

We should be thankful for this arrangement because the rulers support and promote a great deal of research to understand how we think so that they can control us. They are forced to work through the medium of language. But our true thoughts that flow from the subconscious wells of our being are beyond their reach. Our humanity and the needs and desires of our souls follow the light of the force of life and cannot be captured by their dark greed.

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“A lock that can’t open is broken.”
Dartwill Aquila

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