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"Is it possible to think without words?" Watch

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    "Is it possible to think without words?"

    Wondering if this is possible and if it is, whether that is normal. Because sometimes, and this was especially the case when I was younger, I can completely clear my head of thoughts or words, and yet still be able things like writing or poetry for example. But there is a disadvantage to this characteristic/ method, I cant speak properly, I have a sort of slight stutter and am a bit on the awkward side when I speak (especially when I am nervous, but I improve a lot when I am feeling confident)or at least I cant speak as well as I write. Weird huh?

    Anybody out there who shares the same experience?
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    Do you think in colours? If so you might want to find out if you have a condition called synasthaesia. (sp)

    On a less related note, you might want to research the Bulgarian/French feminist Julia Kristeva and her work on semiotics. Semiotics is the idea of what existed before words were used to communicate, e.g. signs.
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    OMG!!! I have EXACTLY the same problem. I wish i could project my thoughts instead of speaking. Strange thing is everyone i've asked seems to think in words. Some even in different languages . Let me know if you find a cure pls
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    I don't really think in words, I usually visualise whatever I'm thinking of. So instead of thinking "The cat sat on the mat" I'll see a picture in my head of a cat sitting on a mat.

    I can only really think in words if I say/whisper the words themselves out loud
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    George Orwell I think seemed to believe words are inherent in thoughts when he was writing 1984 - with newspeak as "the only language in the world whose vocabulary gets smaller every year."
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    If you manage to stop thinking and completely clear your mind, then you won't know about it.
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    (Original post by InquilabZindabad)
    OMG!!! I have EXACTLY the same problem. I wish i could project my thoughts instead of speaking. Strange thing is everyone i've asked seems to think in words. Some even in different languages . Let me know if you find a cure pls

    Well nowadays I think with words almost all the time, but that didnt use to be the case before. And I am better at speaking now but sometimes still manage to write poems without actually thinking about them i.e. when I am inspired...
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    [QUOTE]
    (Original post by bright-eyes)
    Do you think in colours? If so you might want to find out if you have a condition called synasthaesia. (sp)

    On a less related note, you might want to research the Bulgarian/French feminist Julia Kristeva and her work on semiotics. Semiotics is the idea of what existed before words were used to communicate, e.g. signs.[/QUOTE
    ]


    No I dont think in colours dear. Just words nowadays or sometimes not thinking at all. I will consult that writer on semiotics.
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    It is perfectly possible to think without words. It just takes practice. What is much harder is to reason or think logically without words. This is because we are so accustomed to only reasoning with words that our brains find it practically impossible to reason without 'sub-vocalisation'. A good way to try to train yourself to think without words is to try reading without subvocalisation. The way we are taught to read, first out loud and then 'in your head', means that almost all people subvocalise in their head whatever they are reading. By training yourself to stop doing this you can start to think without words - and also greatly increase your reading speed. When subvocalising it is impossible to read more than a couple of hundred words a minute, even if you are a very fast reader. By getting rid of the subvocalisation, it is easy to reach reading speeds of 1000 to 1500 words a minute. Similar improvements can be seen in the speed of thought processes without subvocalisation.

    There are some geniuses who are geniuses not becuase they have 'something extra' but merely never learnt how to subvocalise their thoughts, making it harder for them to learn to read etc but when they did learn it, they could both read and think much quicker than many of us. Sub-vocalisation is like stabilisers on a bike: it is a learning aid which makes it much easier to learn how to read and reason. However, in the end it hampers you and slows you down. Removing the 'stabilisers' can be a very tricky process and many of us never bother - even if we know they are there.
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    I don't think in words, colours or images... I never really have. It's hard to describe... it's just a thought, it just is.
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    [QUOTE=Justice (OCD85)]
    ]


    No I dont think in colours dear. Just words nowadays or sometimes not thinking at all. I will consult that writer on semiotics.
    Synasthaesia also involves smells and sound associations with thoughts, not just colours. How did you get on with semiotics?
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    definitely. you can go through thought processes without expressing it in words.
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    This question has actually made my brain hurt :P

    I have concluded my answer to be no.
    Xx
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    yup. I always find myself talking or writing with a completely blank mind.

    i used to read without thinking and absorb the knowledge, but over the last few years i've fallen out of practice a bit.

    when I'm playing music (especially jazz) I often just let me my mind slip into neutral and let my fingers do the playing. everything sounds so much more musical, it's actually amazing.
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    Youre definately not special though lol. Everyone thinks without words just think about it, everytime you hit the kettle switch, or brush dust onto the floor, you never recreate the scenario in your head with words do you.
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    (Original post by forwardadam)
    Humans think. That's fundamental to our existence, right? If someone were to be brought up in a hypothetical culture which didn't use words at all, then their mind would think in different ways. It's impossible for me to actually comprehend thinking without words, as when I try to, words keep popping into my head.
    That no culture has ever developed without at least some form of spoken communication, it seems unlikely that humans can actually "think without words." In fact, many researchers suggest that more developed language skills were a turning point in our evolution from purely animal status. There's lots of theory written on this, but Kristeva (as previously suggested) is probably as good a place to start as any...! (I think Noam Chomsky might have some interesting stuff too, which'll be available around the internet!)

    ETA: Bear in mind that there's a strong difference between thinking in a complex way and the sort of thoughtless actions that animals would perform. E.g. turning on the kettle, Olekander. That's a response to hunger/thirst that doesn't really require complex thought. :P
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    Yeah its called a dream
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    I think that when something becomes so familiar to you, so intrinsic to the person you are, then you cease to need to think about it in that concious, wordy way - for example, when I perform pieces from memory on the flute, it becomes automatic - the music flows through me, and out, but there's no thought going on in terms of what note comes next or whether it should be faster / quieter or whatever. I'm bilingual, so I think in whichever language I'm speaking at the time. Does this mean thought proccesses are maybe adapted towards the situation - so that, for example, in early civilisations when people didn;t converse in word, but in, perhaps, grunts, that their thoughts were in this same mode of grunting? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts (no pun intended)
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    Its when you consciously think that your thinking that you use words because you are analysing an action which is hard to do in anything but words.....
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    [QUOTE=Justice (OCD85)]Because sometimes, and this was especially the case when I was younger, I can completely clear my head of thoughts or words, and yet still be able things like writing or poetry for example./QUOTE]

    Ahem. Thinking without words, maybe. Writing poetry without words, I think is stretching it a little (unless by "poetry" you mean something completely different to what we understand it as).
 
 
 
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