Social Skills – Language – Consciousness

Friday, January 29th, 2010 at 8:00 am.
by pre.

As previously explained, language lets us program each others brains. It allows one human being to simulate the experience of another human being just by listening to the coded string of phonemes that the other speaks.

It can do more than simply allow one person to describe the physical events that they experienced. More than allow them to describe the tiger approaching. By using metaphors and similes based on shared experience in the outside world and common emotional responses, it can also describe and provoke actual mental states. In fact this is what you do, all the time, with every conversation you have. Transfer brain states between you.

This has tremendous implications for the very structure of human consciousness. If you doubt it, ponder this:

Imagine trying to teach a monkey how to meditate.

How would you even begin?

Every single day of your life people have been asking you questions like “How do you feel?” or “What do you think about this?” or “Would you like to do that?

We’ve talked a lot over the last few months about how a brain responds to practice.

What do you think the effect of practising asking and answering questions about your mental state dozens of times every day will have on those mental states themselves?

We suspect that a rat spends very little time looking at a painting and asking itself how it feels about that painting. Is it even possible to prompt yourself to ask how something feels without a language with which to do it?

This is the function of music, of paintings, of drama, of art in general. To provoke an emotional response and simultaneously the question “how do I feel about this response?” It practices the neural systems for self-consciousness. It fires, and strengthens the pathways which build the parts of the brain which monitor itself. It likely encourages neurons to grow feedback systems into all your systems for perception, emotion, even thought itself.

All this complicated self-aware mind machinery grew more and more practised as language evolved. Emotional states become more distinct as the words used to describe and provoke and practice them were developed. Each generation’s language improving and refining their very states of mind, their very consciousness.

Meditation is a very powerful force. The more you meditate on yourself, the more conscious of yourself you will become. But the very ability to teach meditation, to explain how it’s done, is built from a process with even more power. The process which taught you how to direct and use your brain in that versatile maner in the first place. The conciousness built by language.

And language does more than even this, because once a person learns how to talk, they internalise the process and then almost never stop doing it!

Stream Of Consciousness

Most people, it seems, have a more or less continuous stream of words running through their heads. Almost all the time. A running commentary on their life, always questioning, always tuning their brain states, pushing them towards the common well-worn and self-aware emotional states.

Since they have no language, this is something an animal simply can’t do. They can’t even tell themselves “come on, focus, concentrate on the task in hand.” How can you learn to do something difficult without the self-control to keep your attention on it? How can you learn to meditate without hearing the instruction to cast aside all thoughts and concentrate on the mantra? Without the ability to re-tell yourself that every time a distraction came along, it would surely be completely impossible.

Human being’s emotional states, their awareness, their very consciousness is channelled and directed and structured by their language in the same way a flow of water is contained and channeled by a system of canals. A person with a whole spectrum of words to describe their emotional states will have a more fine grained awareness, consciousness, of those emotional states.

Add a couple of million years worth of only those who are able to do this best surviving, a Darwinian evolution pushing our species towards better language skills, towards better consciousness, and you have the recipe for the difference between human and animal consciousness.

We have evolved to be able to learn to do it well, but we must still, to some extent, learn.

Knowing this, you can take it further!

The Meditation

We present a guided lucid dream designed to help you improve your use of language, and better direct that skill towards increased consciousness. Increased self awareness, confidence, and self control.

As usual, set this to quietly invade your consciousness first thing in the morning, ten minutes before you have to get out of bed. Let it influence your dreams. Learn the process so that when you find yourself lucid dreaming without the track’s help, you can still remember to do it without aid.

In the dream you will improve your use of language by dreaming that it’s improved, you’ll see yourself describing things with a wider and more precise language than usual. You’ll dream you’re using a greater number of more emotionally provocative superlatives. The dream will be loaded with suggestions that these things are growing in your waking life too, that you’re getting better at them.

As your vocabulary becomes wider, and your descriptions of things more vivid, your consciousness of things will inevitably increase.

You will also dream that your running stream of consciousness if changing, becoming more positive. That you are being less hard on yourself, praising yourself more often. You will find your constant running commentary on your life becomes more questioning, that you ponder your own awareness, your own consciousness, more often.

This will help you to become more aware of your emotional states, more conscious of your self, and your perceptions, your emotions, your thoughts and the world around you.

Guided Meditation File 24 – Language – Consciousness
Backing Music “Unchanged Lines” By Screw Jay
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