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Without Words in Cognitive Semantics

Cognitive Semantics

Can you think without words?

Maybe that would depend on the sort of thinking it is.

I often think in images and then would have to translate that into words.

I think so, but we’re not practiced at seeing it well.

Sometimes I think in images, but it’s usually a flash.

Some would say that since I didn’t speak before sometime between ages three and four, that I couldn’t think or certainly couldn’t recall anything from that period. What do you think?

I’ve heard people say that words are the start of memory.

Well, maybe “images” could be a form of symbolism… and you could think like that.

I can remember when I was 3, but nothing earlier. Yes, you have pediatric amnesia, almost everyone does. There is no scientific explanation for being unable to remember anything earlier than about age 3. For me, that early form of thinking never stopped. I just had to adapt my language skills to it.

I remember at age 3, someone giving me Candyland for my birthday, and thinking “but that’s for little kids!” but smiling and saying thank you anyway. I imagine you were a polite young man.

I would imagine it has something to do with our form being noticeably different then when we get older, that it’s hard to translate…kind of like how imagery in dreams can be hard to remember?

There is a related phenomenon. We can acquire skills in an altered state that we later cannot access, or access only very poorly. Like studying when you are drunk…bad idea. But getting drunk again would clarify that memory for what that might be worth. This throws many other things out the window at the same time, so not sure it’s useful.

Ever find yourself slipping into an altered state from hearing the spoken word?

Yes, sometimes. Like with some good orators. I think good orators like Obama can do that.

Do you ever repeat an idea verbally to calm yourself?

Yes, I do that a lot. Really, everyone does this, because it does work.

I say “ok.” I engage in mild swearing, repeating the word ‘farkle’, things like that. It’s the name of a dice game, and farkle is the losing condition. So why do we do things like that?

As “GIN!” is the winning position (and exhortation) in another game. Indeed, or Yatzee, or Bingo.

I do it in order to bring order to my chaotic world and it works.

It brings us back into a recognizable state? It serves as an attentional anchor. Yes.

Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.

Travis Saunders
Dragon Intuitive

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