thought without language


can we think without language? we can think graphically, spatially, relationally, actively (as action). we can think abstractly, intuitively, immediately, responsively. language is only level of thought. within language, as within the other levels, more subdivisions can be created, such as: mathematics, logic, formal speech, informal (stream of consciousness) speech. if it is a stream of consciousness, that is, automatic, is it thought?

in our everyday activities, we constantly use thought which is not language. to lift our cup of coffee we do not think “arm extend, hand open, hand close, hand to mouth, mouth open, pour, swallow.” we do not have to write programs for our every action. they are immediate. the action is the thought. but then even a dog can drink water right? this does not prove thought, or at least not thought considered worthy of the homo sapiens brand name. could you teach a dog to drive a car. do you think with language when you drive a car? the car becomes an extension of the body, an automatic usage. as with most tools and extensions of the body. when an interface is too complicated and not easily used without lots of figuring and deduction, we complain that it is not intuitive or user-friendly.

but there is a belief that the creation of the tool must be made through rational, language induced thought. the idea is that we must be outside the system to change it. we must escape the present into the future to think, and then we can use our bodies to build. we must leave the realm of being and enter the realm of becoming in order to change the realm of being. this is one of the principle tenets of modern society; you can not be and become at the same time. that we make the plan and then execute it. that our minds are separate from our bodies. we think with our minds and then we build with our bodies. our bodies are merely mechanical machines which allow us to build what we have dreamed up. we must work (become) towards a goal (being). we must journey to a destination.

this is what i challenge: the division of plan and construction. the idea that all thought other than language ends in mere traces (animal tracks) also called expressionism. there is thought which occurs beyond language. abstract physics is a spatial construction beyond mathematics. sculpting clay is an immediate construction of thought. but how can we avoid mere expressionism without language, without a plan which indicates an induction, a working, a functioning, beyond. we can create through trial and error, through construction and its testing, like a mad scientist, but this is not considered efficient or rational. perhaps we need to challenge the ideas of efficiency and rationality. there is an open-endedness, an ambiguity, which is inherent in non-language constructions which leads to them being called non-meaning, non-objective. they do not refer to specific ideas within language. they leave themselves open to be used physically and immediately to many uses. like a cage performance. like art which involves the viewer. the piece is never completed.

this is a familiar thought. that something is without end, an endless flow. but have the implications of a never-ending being really been accepted? can we accept the idea that a hammer is never truly constructed. that its uses and potentials are part of its construction and definition. death is just as much a part of the creation of life as birth. maybe this is all just semantics from within language. it sounds ridiculous because it is said from within language.

but the main implication of a never-ending being is that because it is never-ending, it must have the ability to include becoming. being is becoming. life is growth. language can not be relegated to a separate space away from being. journey can not be separated from destination. language must then occur within being.

could we reproduce without desire? what if we see desire as part of being, not something opposed to it? can we enjoy desire? is this really desire? what is the point of desire from within being? what is the point of goals from within being? there is no point. there are no goals. but there is still desire, i think. being must be large enough to include language and desire without destroying it. it must include it as a part of itself. i can not imagine this.