Prehistoric man scratched lines on a sea shell by the sea shore.
430,000 years ago…
I love this archaeological stuff.
Educated guys/gals digging stuff up, cataloguing it and putting it on display where the rest of us can look at it and ponder “That’s interesting”
There’s usually a little information plaque or sign describing the what, who and why of the display.
This is what got me thinking @ 2 am.
First, let’s say that the, I’ll say “man” for the Prehistoric fellow, is sitting somewhere on a shore, or Hill or grassy plain.
He has some nice sea shells he’s just collected for scooping water, scraping skins and so forth.
Now, did this man have human nature as we describe it today?
Did he pick up these particular shells because they were pretty or because they were just the size he needed for his tools; precious, yet practical?
I know one thing.
He was not thinking in English.
He was not thinking in a language that we can even imagine.
Wrap your head around that.
Try doing something without processing what your doing.
I mean, doing something contrary to instinct is almost beyond our control without applied “spoken” thought.
Reasoning, talking ourselves around something or thru it…
Basic instincts that require no thought to implement but must be processed afterwards….With language.
Smelling the air or our food. “yuck” or “oooo”
Tasting something before eating it. “yum” or “crap”
Shading our eyes from the sun, getting out of a cold rain….You get my drift.
Now, put yourself in the man’s place.
He needs a tool for scraping animal skins and digging up roots or something.
There are shells of different sizes all around him. He picks up a few, looks at them, hefts them for weight, looks at the potential scraping edge; turns it over and over in his hand, he may even scrape his arm with it or a nearby tree to test it’s worthiness.
And he’s not thinking in a language….?
What a mystery to consider!
We are so engrossed in language in our own time that it is impossible, or should I say, unavoidable to do anything without that language.
English, math, logic, abstract problem solving, cognitive reason…. All expressed in language in our minds without spoken utterance.
Thoughts…. In language.
Swahili, Urdu, Afrikaans, Latin…
What if this man had not one language thought in his head about what he was looking at.
What was he “thinking”?
How was he thinking?
He had to have something going on in his bean.
“I’ve got to scratch my nose” pops into your head.
It’s there, don’t you see?
Archaeological people and scientists question Prehistoric man’s intelligence and expression.
I think the Prehistoric people were brilliant.
They figured most of it out beforehand.
What was safe to eat.
Don’t pet the pretty tiger…
Touching light that fell from the sky and turned the land black.
What is sky?
What is a tiger?
What is land?
What is light?
I’m positive he knew pleasure, pain, hunger, thirst, fear and other “primal” built in awareness.
Did he experience love as “love” or as a required necessity?
How did he express it?
Did he blame everything on bad luck, happenstance or God?
Hmmm…. A clean slate.
A mind free of language, only wonder.
Here’s my thought.
The man reacted.
But to believe that there was no “spoken” thoughts in his mind is ludicrous.
He didn’t know a word, as we know them for say, pretty.
But he knew it when he saw it.
He didn’t know the word for fear but, he knew it when he felt it.
Did he utter “Mmmmm” When he ate?
Did he think “Gross” When he stepped in mastodon poop?
Try to think of living your life without language.
Try to do something without the play by play in your head
Try to live a moment without verbal or mental descriptive.
Expression is the cornerstone of life.
The man scratched on a sea shell.
We type on a laptop.
You think about it, and I’ll think about it some more.
Life without spoken thought.
Life with only instinct, reaction and survival.
We think we got it tough.