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InvisibleRevelation

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Does language limit our imagination?
    #1164860 - 12/23/02 10:49 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I was wondering if the spoken language actually limits or changes the way we think about things. I mean, a lot of the time we actually *think* in words. Doesn't this stop is from formulating and contemplating abstract and personal ideas? And when you consider the fact that the way we think governs the way we live....you begin to see the boundaries we've placed around ourselves.

I suppose telepathy would be the answer.


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Offlinemikey_
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165040 - 12/23/02 12:31 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

one of my favourite quotes is " the limits of my language are the limits of my world", although i'm not sure who said it or where i read it :smile:

maybe try looking at Logical Positivism and/or A J Ayer's, Verification Principle.


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The poison is the dose - Paracelsus
Let your food be medicine and your medicine be food - Hippocrates

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Anonymous

Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165079 - 12/23/02 12:52 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

In a word, no.

And whatever you do stay away from Logical Positivists especially Ayer. They are blind guides.

Sorry mikey.

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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: ]
    #1165084 - 12/23/02 12:55 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

We all know what happened to Louis Ferdinand Celine, don't we? :wink: 


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"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"


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Anonymous

Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: FreakQlibrium]
    #1165116 - 12/23/02 01:13 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Yeah! That's right! :mad:

[wonders who in the hell is Louis Ferdinand Celine??]

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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: ]
    #1165181 - 12/23/02 01:39 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

LOL journey to the end of the night and death on the installment plan were probably his two most well know novels Mr. Shrooms> He was a self proclaimed logical positivist and was found hanging by the neck(what other way is there?) circa 1962........i'm not suggesting here that despair and suicide is the inevitable terminus for anyone of that particular mindset, i was just using Celine as an example :smile: 


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"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"


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Anonymous

Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: FreakQlibrium]
    #1165194 - 12/23/02 01:46 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Oh that Louis Ferdinand Celine! yeah yeah yeah

I was thinking his name rang a bell but the best I could come up with was "Louis Ferdinand Celine, the Bell ringer"

After you mentioned the books I remembered that I had heard of him.

For the record, I have little respect for any philosophy that leads people to suicide, existentialism included.

It is interesting to note that Realists (my brand) never take their life. I think it is because they understand what it is for.

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InvisibleRebelSteve33
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165203 - 12/23/02 01:54 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I've thought about this same thing many times before!  I always pondered how exactly we would think if we couldn't think in words.  I think language limits the way we perceive the world. 

One time when I was alone in the woods for a few days, I noticed that I stopped thinking in words so much because I had not used language with anybody for the whole time that I was out there.  I would simply sit on a rock, stare around and perceive the world without really having any thoughts (in the form of words) about what I was perceiving.  I was just perceiving!  And in that state of mind I could feel only an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder at the beauty that lay before my eyes.

I'm fairly sure that without language, we could not have egos.  Thus, our perception of the world and the way we "think" would be completely and utterly different, as those of you who have experienced ego-loss know.  The world might be a much more wonderful place to live in, had we not developed language.

Most scientists agree, though, that without language we would never have been able to make the advances that we have made and basically become what we are today.  We would still be like every other animal on this planet, in essence.

With the way the world has become today, though, I'm not so sure if this would have been a bad thing!  It's funny that language has enabled us to do so much, but at the same time there is no denying that it limits us, too.

Good post, Rev! :smile:  I'm glad that other people out there think about the same sort of things that I do! 


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Namaste.

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Offlineupupup
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165280 - 12/23/02 02:52 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I believe it does. There are meanings of words in some languages that do not translate into other languages. There can be close approximations but not exact translations.

Take Chinease for instance- You cannot find a good translation for the word Chi in English. Their language most deffinatly affects the way thier culture think. I belive this to be so because my mother is not from the US and has many times tried to tell me sayings of her father but can't translate the meanings into English.....


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Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.

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Offlinepattern
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165331 - 12/23/02 03:28 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

> Does language limit our imagination?

I think language enhances our imaginations!

Just think of all the concepts contained in words, that we can combine together into sentences, to make new imaginary ideas.  :laugh: 


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man = monkey + mushroom

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InvisibleMetasyn
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165337 - 12/23/02 03:32 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Eskimos have something like 30 words for snow, English has three (snow, powder, slush). I bet eskimos would be a hell of a lot better at identifying snow types than we would be, even if both had similar exposure. Likewise, if you don't have a word for something it would be a lot harder to think about and make inferences, deductions, and extrapolations upon. For instance, if we didn't have a word for "infatuation" we probably wouldn't be able to distinguish it from "love." Or if we didn't have a word for "freedom" we'd never demand it (hence the concept behind thought control via language engineering in Orwell's 1984).

Language can limit our thoughts, but we don't have to think solely in words. I often think in images and metaphors that I can't even begin to translate into English, but that doesn't mean I didn't have the thoughts or explore the ideas. However, not being able to speak about wordless concepts certainly hinders their communication. I think that is what art is all about - trying to communicate ideas that cannot otherwise be communicated, accessing the mental essence of an idea, the raw feeling behind it.

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InvisibleShroomismM
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165361 - 12/23/02 03:42 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I think that verbal language, while it is good to an extent, has its limitations. For example some people may not have the vocabulary to correctly describe their thoughts, also..different people have different interpretations for different words and phrases and combination of words. This can cause for a lot of miscommunication. While verbal language has brought us to a higher level of understanding of each other and ourselves, it can reach a limit and new avenues of communication open up to make for more efficient and better means of positive communication.

Telepathy is the universal language. It is spoken through subconscious mind. It is direct mind-to-mind communication. Not only is one able to relay words through telepathy, but also complete thoughts...feelings....images... symbols... and anything else your mind associates with what you are trying to communicate. This makes for a very personalized, clear and intimate communication. Telepathy surpasses language barriers, as it is the universal language of thought.


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Anonymous

Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165375 - 12/23/02 03:47 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I would say language most definately limits my imagination, since I can only speak for myself. When I am tripping, I often find myself pondering new thoughts and feelings that I've never had before, and words cannot explain them. As my vocabulary is fairly large, I am confident of this, and do not believe that I simply don't know the right words (although that is a possibility).

Nevertheless, language would still be limiting my imagination, because it is required to know how to convey your thoughts, however complicated If we must spend energy to translate those thoughts into words, we are undoubtedly using energy that could just as easily be used to think up new thoughts.

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Invisibleraytrace
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165376 - 12/23/02 03:48 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I suppose telepathy would be the answer.
telepathy is still far away............ lets just learn the basics first, shouldn't we?

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OfflineSnuffelzFurever
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165426 - 12/23/02 04:09 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

thinking in a language limits you much in the same way speaking in a language prevents you from conveying every emotion you are tryin to convey.
however, we are not always thinkign with words. there are times when you think something, and cannot explain it. that is thinking without words :-)


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"I think it's time we stop
Children, What's the sound,
Everybody look what's going down"

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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165593 - 12/23/02 05:22 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

/recommends "The Archaic Revival" by Terence McKenna

:smile: 


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:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:

Edited by Adamist (12/23/02 05:23 PM)

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OfflineMurex
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165714 - 12/23/02 06:03 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Language builds a mental structure. You think with language (think about it :tongue:).


I'm sure most of you who said no would think differently if we had only 56 words in our language.


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What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?


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OfflineAdamist
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Murex]
    #1165739 - 12/23/02 06:12 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Good point.

We can only evolve as fast as our language allows us.


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:heartpump: { { { ṧ◎ηḯ¢ αʟ¢ℌ℮мƴ } } } :heartpump:

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OfflineRemy
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1165746 - 12/23/02 06:14 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

No, because imagination is where math and language meet!

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Anonymous

Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Metasyn]
    #1165916 - 12/23/02 08:32 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Language can limit our thoughts, but we don't have to think solely in words. I often think in images and metaphors that I can't even begin to translate into English, but that doesn't mean I didn't have the thoughts or explore the ideas.

That's cause you're so damn cool! :cool:

As soon as I figure out whether I exist or not I'm gonna have me some of them non-thinking thoughts or whatever it is you called 'em.

Chill 'n Cool :cool:

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OfflineGrav
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: ]
    #1166027 - 12/23/02 11:12 PM (21 years, 5 months ago)

We should all communicate through Pictionary(tm). It would be highly effecient.

To me verbal language has become basically 'mechanical'. Like everyday communication I mean... The only use it seems to have is to get things done. Like with performing group tasks and shit. When people do use it just to 'talk', it all seems like meaningless small talk just to convey some sense of false caring or whatever. Or it's like "I have to be a good little american now and talk to my neighbor"

I don't know if it's my imagination or not but I just don't see people thinking behind their words. In any case they are just displaying their conversational skills, or trying to get with a chick.

It's like some acceptance thing too, if you don't talk 'this' way, so we can all understand you, then you're different.

It's a rare occurance where I'll see someone speak from the heart, like say how they really feel about something. But even when it is about something they feel, it's like theyre just remembering how they felt about it in the past and giving you aged words that only meant something at another time or place.

I like to remain totally silent until I feel I have something worthwhile to say, whether it be to joke around to ligthen someone's mood, express my honest opinion that I feel at that moment, suggest something fun to do, or spit out my thoughts to my bandmembers on how we could set up a really trippy part for a song, or some sort of wacky stage prop idea. Oh yea, small talk with a hot chick always seems worthwhile to me too...

most words are empty. draw pictures. play hackey sack.

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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: ]
    #1166061 - 12/24/02 12:30 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

For the record, I have little respect for any philosophy that leads people to suicide, existentialism included.

Nor do i Mr. Shrooms, nor do i. For whatever reason, after what was at LEAST a Maslowian "Peak experience" in 74 i descended to a very low ebb indeed, with LP & existential writers making up the bulk of my reading material back in 75....it was a VERY bleak period of my life :frown: 


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"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"


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Offlinemikey_
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: FreakQlibrium]
    #1166114 - 12/24/02 01:32 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

i'm assuming this guy can read opinions and ideas without taking them to heart. i know the logical positivists focused on the area he was interested in and i just thought he'd like to know the ideas that were put forward. i don't see any harm in seeing what someone else has to say on the subject.,


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The poison is the dose - Paracelsus
Let your food be medicine and your medicine be food - Hippocrates

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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: mikey_]
    #1166122 - 12/24/02 01:36 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Personally Mikey, i don't think any philosophy/system of thought is in and of itself is going to push someone over the edge..IMO there probably are pre-existing issues with the person to begin with, and perhaps(conciously or subconciously) they are looking for a philosophy to justify, perhaps even(falsely, imo) ignoble the act of suicide.... 

*edit Still, as noted by Mr. Shrooms, the existentialist school of thought seems to have a higher than average percapita of people pulling the plug on life prematurely.

Of course Mr. Shrooms said no such thing and i stand corrected, even if only by myself :grin:


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"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"


Edited by FreakQlibrium (12/24/02 01:40 AM)

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OfflineLOBO
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: FreakQlibrium]
    #1166164 - 12/24/02 02:04 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I have often thought abut this topic, my self being a trilingual I realize that language is a very funny thing, some languages can describe things or concepts perfectly and other not, and vice versa.
I wonder if one were to know all languages of man if we would have a clear picture of reality?


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: LOBO]
    #1166403 - 12/24/02 04:04 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

It is interesting that most humans remember very little before age 3, which is roughly when infants start to really use language in a conceptual sense.

I believe that we still have memories before that but can no longer access them because they are not stored as language.


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The proof is in the pudding.

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InvisibleFreakQlibrium
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: LOBO]
    #1166454 - 12/24/02 04:21 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I wonder if one were to know all languages of man if we would have a clear picture of reality?

Of course i can only speculate there Lobo, but it seems to me with all the slight/subtle deliniations/nuances of any given phrase or word as it crosses over into the spectrum of another language that it would only obfuscate(:grin:) reality as opposed to crytalizing it......however already being trilingual you would undoubtably have a much better idea of the possibility/probability of this than i..... 


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"Being crazier than a shithouse rat is not sufficient grounds for banishment"


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Invisiblematts
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1166552 - 12/24/02 05:09 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

Post deleted by Administrator

Edited by matts (12/24/02 05:10 AM)

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OfflineStrumpling
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1167410 - 12/24/02 09:42 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

I don't feel language limits the imagination but it does limit the ability to pass these imaginings to the external world (or somebody else's internal world..), naturally.


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Insert an "I think" mentally in front of eveything I say that seems sketchy, because I certainly don't KNOW much. Also; feel free to yell at me.
In addition: SHPONGLE

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Invisiblespud
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Re: Does language limit our imagination? [Re: Revelation]
    #1167452 - 12/24/02 09:54 AM (21 years, 5 months ago)

in my opinion yes. you should read 1984, the book is kinda about that and talks about how words can control people. even hitler destroyed words to limit how the people thought and control how they thought.

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