Nothing in your head is formless. Nothing in your head is without “words”. Is why in psycho-analysis they use word association, but it can be sounds or even body language. Just has to be language.
Your nervous system picks up patterns of action potential through the mirroring nervous system. They have even found that when you observe someone with the intention to be able to reproduce the action they displayed, your brain activates the same regions as if you were literally doing it.
Mirror neurons? Yes. They have found not too long ago a system of neurons that fire when we are trying to recognize what other people are doing, or what state of being they are experiencing. They reproduce a limited depiction of the same state in ourselves.
Hard-wired for empathy then? More or less, yes. I would say more that we are hard wired to harmonize which includes reacting to dissonance. We want to rest together, be comfortable with each other.
I offer that the range of information we pick up from others around us is greater than conventionally recognized, and it starts from the ground up. Simple things like body order or state of physical upkeep tell us things without any effort on our part to analyze them, and our bodies react to them even before we are consciously aware of them. This has held up under laboratory testing though the range of their testing has been limited. So as usual, they have no clue or inclination to explore what this might actually mean.
You impress upon a necessarily limited group of people, and this group of people does include people you consciously consider to be distressing. In that last case, it’s said the better the devil you know.
When I mention you impress on a limited group of people, I don’t mean that this connecting process is prejudicial. You will even come to crave contact with those people who create some flavour of transition in your life, but if you encounter someone who bears no resemblance to your “in group” as they say, you won’t hate them or anything. You won’t really even recognize them. It will be more like a perceptual silence. Ever meet people who just make no impression on you?
The first time I met my brothers (now ex) wife, she made no impression at all. So when he introduced her, I thought I hadn’t met her before though she remembered me. This happens more commonly than anyone recognizes, and to everyone.
It’s difficult to recall if they made NO impression. Some people do have broader perceptual ranges comparatively speaking for one reason or another.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.