Are there any Thoughts on this Web Page?

     The question could be asked equally of a book or some other media - perhaps YouTube.  This question showed up this morning as I contemplated how much reading outside of myself I needed to do to master the Social Question.
Lest you move along too quickly permit me to explain why I ask the question & what my answer is.  I say there are no thoughts, nor ideas on any page be it web or book - there is only representations & symbols of a language.  What you do with these symbols determine whether some ideas will show up. What you do with whatever shows up will determine whether living thoughts & ideas penetrate & enliven your world or whether dead thoughts of the past withdraw in sounds of your familiar inner voice the "I knew that" chorus or "that's just ......"
     You might equally ask are there thoughts in a brain.  After the brain is gone & returned to nature where are the thoughts? I remember seeing a brain & skull splattered all over the pavement in San Francisco after someone jumped off of the USB building. I'm sure that somewhere in that pile of pasta-colored mess was the thought "Oh, shit!", but it didn't show up that day.
      What shows up for me as thoughts, ideas & concepts comes only after I post-process the language or symbols or pictures.  To expect & find thoughts on a web page or within a book is like expecting that there is the sound of a tree falling in a forest with nobody there.  Perhaps you think there is sound because of the vibrations in the air (or words on a page) but, I think you are mistaken - one of those who believes in the sound of one hand clapping at the molecular level. Nothing like what a human experiences as sound happens until it goes into a human ear & the sensation gets post processed by a human.
      En passant, I have an inner voice - don't you? I ask this morning to whom is it speaking? Is anyone listening, who? When I read in that voice, (& peculiarly whose voice am I reading it in?) , who is listening? (Who is saying it?)  As I write, who is trying to express what?  (For whom?) NO! I am not schizophrenic, I am merely asking more zen (ontological) questions than most people are used to or would even care to think about. If you have any Anthroposophy within you try on the idea that one is your guardian angel & one without a voice is a higher self of you. You don't need Anthroposophy to do it, but you might need to appreciate what kind of a being a guardian angel might be.
      I extend the question a bit deeper.
      When I watch & listen to recorded media of other humans speaking, live or otherwise, are there any thoughts & ideas present in the media? I still say NO, it is equivalent to asking if there are any eggs in a basket before I put some in. There is only potential.  You & I have a lot of control over what shows up as the thoughts & feelings in an interaction with media & other people.  The most important step is being conscious of what you, yourself, bring into the process.
      What I do with it all is how I make thoughts & ideas live! I should be careful, shouldn't I?

Tags

  1. thoughts
  2. ideas
  3. books
  4. language
  5. media
  6. signs

Comments


Seth says
Yep, communication is done with signs ... the lion's tracks in the mud are not the lion.  Even, me thinks, when i voice a though to myself ... it is not the thought ... but like the tracks of the lion it may last there long after the thought is gone.   I was wondering, in Nathan's experiment with creating a reality, how i was suppose to hold the thought ... because thoughts don't hold still like that (at least mine don't) ... but you can keep repeating the sign of the thought ... voicing it in language ... and thereby come back with similar thoughts again and again for pretty much as long as you like.  Za Zen is like that; but there you use a real biological process rather than linguistic words for your sign.  

Who talks and who listens when we talk to ourselves privately in our thoughts.  That is certainly an interesting topic ... tied up with the whole  "who am i" thingie.  Sometimes my thoughts seem to imply knowledge of what i should do ... i have played with that a bit ... not sure what i should do with it ... sometimes, in retrospect, i was wrong ... err if one can be wrong.  I mean i wasn't suppose to write this till much later, after more contemplation ... i was suppose to be doing this instead ... but now these thoughts as written here seem best to me in the here and now.  

We do make up our reality ... in Nathan's terms, "our production" ... as we go along.  It is all pretty cool the way that happens.  We come to this or that sign differently each time we address it ... from a different angel ... from a different context.  Same sign ... the sign didn't change ... but our context did ... and so the sign appears to mean something different.   Do we have some measure of control of that?  Of that, i am not so very sure.

Mark de LA says
seth 2010-08-24 09:36:34 14217
In this context (or even perhaps not in this context) this showed up ...
source: Jason Corning said this on fb
"I say to my child, I will explain to you as much of life as I can, but you must remember that there is a part of life for which you are the explanation." -- Robert Brault
...



Mark de LA says
     I'm not fond of the word sign it conjures up stop signs, store windows & my required signature on legal documents.  I prefer more the word symbol & for modern world media (or medium which has other problems). It is interesting that Chinese uses one part of a character to express the meaning & another part for the sound - as example this for one context of spirit.  These may be the sign posts for ideas & thoughts, but as you say they are not the thoughts themselves.  What I am interested in is the thought itself.  I don't limit myself (there is no reason to limit myself) to a belief that I can't experience the truth of a thought itself.
      I wonder if Nate won the lottery yet.  The best I can tell is that his Secret puts him in the perpetual state of expecting to win the lottery.  If that is a useful state for him - more power to it.  I prefer the in the verge of discovery of the next best solution to the social question & problems of economics.
     The en passant passage showed up as a mini-epiphany after a long night with Charlene while l was living in the Haight ~ 39 yrs ago. I can still awaken that volcano.  She woke me up over & over each time I started to drift off to sleep. I think she was testing my resolve not to react.  In the morning while brushing my teeth I grokked that the inner voice & I were at times separate & at times unified.
     Another en passant Item from Book Ting I,15 - P.27 is that the ancient Chaldeans had their center of consciousness in the larynx (not the head) & now (as of CFR's writings) the general center of consciousness has shifted to the heart (not in the brain now either!). This is an area of the book devoted to the OTz ChIIM. I've toyed with this & it has interesting consequences, not the least of which is perception of one channel for the Golden Rule.
   

Seth says
source: M above
I don't relate to signs because they have a very physical presence & usage.


But physical presence is the very essence of signs.  Without that physical prescence you do not have a sign.  Note that the word "Yojo"  (meaning cat in some language) is a physical presence.   Only the concept in your mind lacks what you might call physical presence.  Me i don't like to mystify these things.  They are fairly straight forward.

Mark de LA says
seth 2010-08-24 12:05:55 14217
Well i like the word "sign" because several famous people who have written of this topic use that word, it is more general than symbol, and even christens the name of such studies as  this ... i.e. "semantics" or "semiotics". 
source: M above
"I don't limit myself (there is no reason to limit myself) to a belief that I can't experience the truth of a thought itself."
... which statement to me seems loaded with assumptions about the meaning of "truth".  For me, in that particular context, i would call "truth" an emotional experience.  It would be my personal emotional attitude towards the proposition in question.  But i suspect that your assumptions about "truth" would lead you in a different direction.
sign (v.) Look up sign at Dictionary.com c.1300, "to make the sign of the cross," from O.Fr. signer, from L. signare, from signum (see sign (n.)). Sense of "to mark, stamp" is attested from mid-14c.; that of "to affix one's name" is from late 15c. Meaning "to communicate by sign language" is recorded from 1700.
semiotics Look up semiotics at Dictionary.comstudy of signs and symbols with special regard to function and origin, 1880, from semiotic; also see -ics.semantics Look up semantics at Dictionary.com"science of meaning in language," 1893, from Fr. sémantique (1883); see semantic (also see -ics). Replaced semasiology (1847), from Ger. Semasiologie (1829), from Gk. semasia "signification, meaning."signify Look up signify at Dictionary.commid-13c., from O.Fr. signifier (12c.), from L. significare "to show by signs, mean, signify," from significus (adj.), from signum "sign" (see sign (n.)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Intrans. sense of "to be of importance" is attested from 1660s. Meaning "engage in mock-hostile banter" is Amer.Eng. black slang first recorded 1932.

I will acknowledge that sign is the root of signifiy & significant otherwise I don't relate to signs because they have a very physical presence & usage.


Mark de LA says
Of course CFR was talking about reasoning & not consciousness & living thoughts which is ultimately what I am talking about here. I don't like the distinction much about private thoughts either. You may be right in one respect about the physical sign thingy.  OTOH, I have one additional meme to offer which is what the Blue Collar Comedian Bob Engvall says when self-professed stupidity is spoken - "Here's your sign!" 


Seth says
M 2010-08-25 07:54:30 14217
seth 2010-08-25 07:45:27 14217
M 2010-08-25 07:37:12 14217
seth 2010-08-25 07:29:55 14217
C 2010-08-24 15:31:47 14217
Try that on with the concept of peace or value!
Np, works exactly the same way.  Obviously the the thing symbolized ...  the thing on the left ... the object, does not need to be a physical object.  It can be a process, an abstraction, the holy ghost, whatever.  The diagram just says there are three elements to every sign and indicates what they are.
Abstract things have no objects & are not things.!
Give me a break, the word "thing" is used here as a place holder for whatever you are talking about. 
Well, I don't know what you have really said here that furthers the inquiry.  If the object in your triangle is a concept then you have only a symbol and a concept.  We have stated before from semantics & NLP that the map is not the territory. Other than you don't much like going meta, what is your point? Your diagram uses the word symbol anyway.

No biggie ... i was just trying to tease out why you would say "I don't relate to signs because they have a very physical presence & usage" .   I'm saying that you don't have a sign (or a symbol) unless you sign it with some physicality.  Here i am talking about the right side of the triangle, not the left hand side (which you started to talk about).  That representation of the symbol is the mark made in the sand ... it is the print of the letters in a book ... it is the ascii characters showing on your screen.  If we are actually talking about a symbol (a sign) in the same sense, then that physical thing must always be there.  That's why i get  a tilt when i read you sentence above ... i'm just trying to understand why you would say it.  

It doesn't matter to me which word you use ... "sign" or "symbol" ... but if we *are* talking about the same thing, then you cannot take that physicality out of it or dislike its presence. 

Mark de LA says
Perhaps you may be recalling something from the recesses of your mind that you may have seen in Barbara Cubed in the following from page 6 on Demonstration:
 To prove is to demonstrate; the process is always sensible or perceptual, either as sensual or imaginative.  It may be refined & abbreviated, as in the higher mathematics, for we often grasp an intricate conception by means of a single stenographic symbol.  But soar as high as we may into the realm of the abstract, yet at least some symbol must be present in the mind, else we are not reasoning at all, but merely muddling in chaos not yet become cosmos.
...


Seth says
M 2010-08-25 09:41:12 14217
Perhaps you may be recalling something from the recesses of your mind that you may have seen in Barbara Cubed in the following from page 6 on Demonstration:
 To prove is to demonstrate; the process is always sensible or perceptual, either as sensual or imaginative.  It may be refined & abbreviated, as in the higher mathematics, for we often grasp an intricate conception by means of a single stenographic symbol.  But soar as high as we may into the realm of the abstract, yet at least some symbol must be present in the mind, else we are not reasoning at all, but merely muddling in chaos not yet become cosmos.
...

Well of course when the symbol (lower right of the triangle - not the apex) is only in the mind, as is the case with private thoughts, you do get into the choice of whether you call private experiences physical or not.  But either choice you make, the process of signing or symbolizing remains the same and has the same three elements as shown in the semantic triangle.

But if that *is* the distinction you are drawing  when you don't like the word "sign" i would understand.  Is that why you don't like the word "sign" used in this sense?

Seth says
Your far better at confusing things than i am at clarifying them.

Seth says
FYI: Sometimes i am addressing myself ... telling myself what to do ... or what i want to feel ... or what attitude i should or want to adopt.   But frequently I find that when i talk privately (voicing thoughts) i am talking to someone or some audience.  For example i might be talking to Denise or Jason or even talking to my blog or to my twitter audience or someone over on facebook or perhaps someone i talk to on the phone.    But i know they can't hear ... instead i must do it for them ... so a part of me is simulating my audience listening to my message.  Right now i am simulating you ... listening to this one.  

Mark de LA says
seth 2010-08-29 09:59:54 14217
FYI: Sometimes i am addressing myself ... telling myself what to do ... or what i want to feel ... or what attitude i should or want to adopt.   But frequently I find that when i talk privately (voicing thoughts) i am talking to someone or some audience.  For example i might be talking to Denise or Jason or even talking to my blog or to my twitter audience or someone over on facebook or perhaps someone i talk to on the phone.    But i know they can't hear ... instead i must do it for them ... so a part of me is simulating my audience listening to my message.  Right now i am simulating you ... listening to this one.  
Yep, I do that too! See ... you are good at clarifying as well.  The fun part in the above scenario is switching minds with the person you are talking to when you talk to yourself as a listener. That's where the inner smile shows up (for me).


Seth says
source: M above
The fun part in the above scenario is switching minds with the person you are talking to when you talk to yourself as a listener. That's where the inner smile shows up (for me).
Can't say i've ever done that, but i'll play with it.


Mark de LA says
seth 2010-09-08 06:59:49 14217
I had a thought about this ... perhaps sometimes it is "he who commands" who talks ... and "he who does" who listens ... but he rarely does listen .
Commanding is one species of the polarity. The relationship there is rich with others. Try thinking from the heart & see what shows up.


Seth says
I had a thought about this ... perhaps sometimes it is "he who commands" who talks ... and "he who does" who listens ... but he rarely does listen .

Mark de LA says
Signs on SOUCL

Seth says
source: mark
I say there are no thoughts, nor ideas on any page be it web or book - there is only representations & symbols of a language.  What you do with these symbols determine whether some ideas will show up. What you do with whatever shows up will determine whether living thoughts & ideas penetrate & enliven your world or whether dead thoughts of the past withdraw in sounds of your familiar inner voice the "I knew that" chorus or "that's just ......"
... Yes certainly .   The actual awareness of the thought is not the symbols which represent it to your awareness.  The real thought, me thinks, happens in your being when you apprehend what the symbols mean.   That is actually why i like thoughts that i think originally myself ... rather than ones which i read in a book. 

Incidentally this item was found off of a train along ideas from 17489.

Seth says
 If i remember correctly, Mark asked (or talked about), “where do our thoughts come from”.   Well maybe we can remember back to when we started thinking.   Back then, did they not come from what we heard and what we said?  Let us consider that as being how we started thinking.   Now then, why would we presume that as we have grown up, and think all the time, that our thoughts would come from anything but what we hear (and read) and say (and write) … provoked, of course by what we feel and do?

Mark, if this is not the best one of your thoughts to discuss this on, please move it to the thought that it best suits.  This was just the most pertinent place in our mind space that i could find with a fast use of nathan’s new full text search (*).

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