On Apr 19, 2006, at 10:21 AM, Patrick Gillam wrote:

> --- Richard Hughes wrote:
> >
> > wouldn't sign language be their first brush
> > with abstract thought and thus first way of thinking about death?
>
> Does abstract thought require language? I've run
> across that notion, and it's never made sense to
> me. I have preverbal hunches all the time. Language
> doesn't seem to make those hunches possible.

In the mantric theory of speech there is an aspect of 
thought--"mental speech"--which occurs both before the thought 
divides into words which make up sentences and are in a sequential 
order. In other words, the style of speech which comes before 
sequential thought is basically an impulse or "flash" in which it is 
one unit and not in any sequence. This relates to the aspect of 
mentation in mantra use where the mantra becomes vague or seems to 
change in some abstract way. What's really happening when you "think" 
about such a level of thought is that you are trying to apprehend it 
using sequential thought and that just doesn't work, it's beyond 
sequential probing; it's not even in a sequence yet. People will 
often talk of it as having been "seen" in a flash and that's how the 
rishi's describe it as "visionary speech": pashyanti. We all have it. 
Some people are able to communicate from this level consciously which 
can be annoying to those who can't--you're always getting what 
they're going to say, before they say it. Others will be able to 
grasp entire groups of concepts and idea, just by having that 
"flash". In higher forms of perception, like samadhi, entire volumes 
of knowledge and wisdom can be acquired using this type of "speech".


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