I’ve kept my own personal blog for years now. But being my first guest post with Adam’s team here, I thought I’d start with something deceptively simple and fundamental – and yet utterly mind blowing. In fact, I’d be willing to bet good money that most people have never considered what I’m about to say. This means that you are in for a potentially life-altering shift in perception. And that excites me. In all honesty, I get excited every time I think about the truth of what follows.
I trust you will be excited right along with me by the time we’re done here.
Before you continue reading, I’d like you to actually pause and answer a question. If circumstances allow, I’d even encourage you to write down your response to this question. Why? Because exploration is the first step to discovery. Studies prove without a doubt that learners who are allowed to explore a topic – to try solving it based on what they already know or believe – experience deeper learning and memory. And in order to really grasp and master a skill, we have to define terms and understand core purposes and goals.
Here’s my question:
What is the purpose of language and communication?
Take a moment to answer this foundational question now. Then continue reading.
My head gets all scrambled when I ponder what babies must be thinking all day. We are all aware that they have not yet developed language with which to communicate to others. But this also means they don’t have a language system in place to communicate even to themselves. So how do they remember anything, if their brains can’t store the words? When they see a yellow rubber ducky and squeeze it and make it squeak, they aren’t thinking “yellow” or “ducky” or “squeak.” So what are they thinking?
One would be hard pressed to read in a lifetime all of the research and theories on this topic. For now, we’ll let that question hang, shrouded in mystery (or perhaps, for some, frustration). My goal is to point out that somewhere between birth and now, we’ve developed an increasingly complex system of making noises with our mouths that allows us to store images, sensations and emotions in an organized way. Then we learned a system of writing lines and curves that either remind us of those sounds, or link directly to the non-verbal information (or both), and allow us another way to store those images, sensations and emotions.
Does anyone else find this as astounding as I do?
The right hemisphere of our brains stores, in essence, what babies experience: pictures, impressions, movements, sensations, music and rhythm, emotion, humor and more. The left hemisphere stores words and rote facts (like 6 x 8 = 48), and helps us make logical connections (ever wonder how babies figure out that a flat cartoon line drawing of a “dog” in a book is the same thing as the living, breathing animal when the two are almost nothing alike?). Together, the two hemispheres work together. In short, words are stored for the pictures and the pictures then elicit words.
THE MAGICAL TRUTH
So how did you answer the question I posed above? What is the purpose of language and communication?
The simple answer is this: language and communication exist to allow telepathy.
No, I’m not kidding.Language and communication exist to allow telepathy. Click To Tweet
Read the following words of mine and see what happens:
I see a shiny red apple with an irregular patch of dull green at the top around the stem.
And there you have it. I’ve proven that we are both, in fact, telepathic. In my mind, I was holding an image of a shiny red apple with an irregular patch of dull green at the top around the stem. And I was able to transfer that image into your mind almost instantaneously.
I told you that you’d be amazed.
Oh, I see. You think I cheated. That’s not telepathy, you’re protesting with a roll of eyes and wagging of head. You just told me what to picture!
Uh huh. And why do you think that does not constitute telepathy?
Is either of us looking at a real apple right now? I’m not. Are you?
We aren’t in close proximity to one another. I’m at my desk, and I don’t know where you are. But I’m certain you are not here and that I am not there.
Furthermore, it is absolutely true that I was holding an image of said apple in my mind, all the way over here at my house. Then, not by random chance, but according to an act of will on both my part and yours, your mind absorbed and held the same image that my mind had formed. How is that not telepathy?
WHAT IT ALL MEANS
I think we are routinely dulled to the immense wonder that we have in language. In essence, language and communication exist as a means of thought transference. Telepathy. Causing pictures and ideas to hop from one mind to another.
Let the magnitude of that sink in. We are mind readers. Why do we find it any less wondrous due to the fact that we happen to utter noises or make a series of curves and lines while we’re doing it?
Yet for some reason, though endowed with this freakish power to transfer detailed information between ourselves and other people, we go about not using this ability with the other telepaths all around us — at least not anywhere near our potential.
We just … talk. And “just talking” is wasting incredible opportunities.
Consider the magic and wonder of communication as we continue over the course of the next several posts. More specifically, consider what it means to you and how you might better be able to harness and develop this magical power of yours for increased effectiveness and greater good.
Hey, speaking of communication, telepathy and all that jazz – you already know I’m Erik and that I’m a writer, among other things. Would you send your brainwaves my way and introduce yourself in the Comments section below? The only way I’ll become acquainted with you is if you choose to use your magical communication powers to let me. I’m big on the importance of names, and I’d love to know who I’ve just been mind reading with.