Bodily symptoms - Deepstash

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Why wonder is the most human of all emotions | Aeon Essays

Bodily symptoms

The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:

  • Sensory: The marvelous things take hold of our senses - we stare and widen our eyes.
  • Cognitive: We are perplexed because we don't have a past experience to understand them. It leads to a suspension of breath, similar to when we are startled.
  • Spiritual: We look upwards in veneration, which makes our heart swell.

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Getting clear on thought
Getting clear on thought

The knowledge of our thoughts can be effortless and instantaneous. Other times, our thoughts are obscure and we must work hard to gain clarity.

Trying to understand the process of turning thought into speech can illuminate the deeper challenges we face in articulation. It can transform our relation to our own thoughts, and help us develop our ideas in other areas.

Articulating our thoughts in the hard cases

To succeed in articulation, we need to chisel away at imprecise words, while guarding against words that would blur what we think.

We often discover what we think by reflecting on what we find ourselves saying. Immediately articulating our thoughts can also come out of us as buzzwords that might hardly reflect what we think at all. (eg, 'What a mess!') These words could come as a result of habit and obscure your thoughts even from yourself.

The paradox of articulation

The careful searching for words we need stands in tension with the ignorance we hope it will remedy. The clarity we want seems to consist in the knowledge that we're thinking some specific thought.

Jean-Paul Sartre touched on this paradox when he stated: "This is indeed what linguists and psychologists have perceived … they believed that they discovered a circle in the formulation of speaking, for in order to speak it is necessary to know one's thought. But how can we know this thought as a reality made explicit and fixed in concepts except precisely by speaking it?"