Ingo Swann (08Oct98)
As readers of this website will understand, the whole of its contents are based upon actual research and experience that have spanned at least forty years by now.
A greater part of this research involved endless experimenting and testing in laboratories, and which, at one point, yielded a tutorial-training program that demonstrated a good deal of positive results.
The reasons for achieving positive results need to be entered into and integrated within the line-up of the information contained in this website. In attempting to do so, however, one particular detrimental phenomenon must always be kept in mind.
As with everything that is wonderful, it is always detrimental to synopsize, shorten, and down-size whatever is involved into easy, how-to terms. The process of making things easy to understand has its valid place, of course. But this is appropriate only AFTER all that is involved has been made completely visible or brought to light.
The detrimental part of making things easy to understand is that via the reductionist process of doing so, any number of important factors and nuances usually have to be ejected from the down-sizing line-up. And this reductionist process is especially unrewarding in those cases where a bigger rather than a smaller amount of factors need constantly to be carried in mind.
In this sense, then, BEGINNING a study of something by depending on a down-sized, simplified version of it can easily end up locking the mental processes within the down-sized, simplified version. But this is approximately the same as becoming locked into the peripheries of a smaller picture of something.
In the past, this writer had the opportunity of personally knowing several "natural psychics" and also took the opportunity to study autobiographical out-pourings of others. In addition merely to satisfy my simple fascination with them, one goal was to discover what they had in common within their personality structures.
As I had encountered it during the 1960s, the general consensus in psychical research and later parapsychology was that they had not much in common -- since beyond certain similar egotistical manifestations, their personalities were extremely varied otherwise. Indeed, most parapsychologists had little interest in the personalities of such individuals -- somewhat because the parapsychologists were interested in Psi phenomena, not in people.
One excuse several times given to ME was that the psychics couldn't articulate themselves very well, and so it was impossible to understand what they were talking about.
Well, it is somewhat the duty of researchers to penetrate any surface problems of articulation, and attempt to perceive the person behind them.
The psychics had one important factor in common, and once it is pointed up it is not all that difficult to identify it.
They all demonstrated a wide or large overview of things -- each in their own particular way, of course, but none the less a factor rather consistently present within them as an identifiable group. (This factor will be fleshed out in other essays and chapters in this website. Here, it is only necessary to point it up within the contexts of smaller pictures versus bigger pictures.)
The implication was that their larger overview of things might somehow be associated with their Psi functioning, and might also contribute to understanding something as to why they were variously alienated from many aspects of the world around them.
As it turned out, the alienation aspect made things easier rather than harder, for it was quickly possible to associate it with a number of entirely respectable sources having to do with social alienation.
One of these, perhaps the enduring best one, was Colin Wilson's very remarkable and enormously acclaimed book THE OUTSIDER (1956). In this book (and with articulation so elegant it has seldom been matched), Wilson sets forth the "anatomy" of The Outsider.
But he does so not only from the point of view that the outsider is representative of the conventional idea of a misfit, but he also sets forth what the outsider won't and can't fit into.
Transliterating Wilson's observations into the concept-lingo of these essays, the central problem encapsulating outsiders is that their overview of things is bigger than the smaller social pictures they otherwise would be expected to fit into.
Wilson postulated, with some degree of accuracy, that most social environments don't really contain much in the way of visionary elements. He describes this visionary lack as largely down-loading from average mainstream social reluctance to deal with factors that might upset conventional social balances. Wilson's "visionaries" won't and can't fit into the conventions, and thus achieve the status of "Outsider."
Wilson's book was one of the first to focus not only on the so-called psychological "maladjustments" of visionaries, but also to quite thoroughly examine the limiting psychological maladjusting processes of social groupings. It is clearly "suggested reading" for anyone truly interested in the superpower faculties.
Although Wilson didn't employ the concepts of smaller and bigger pictures, these two analogies are interchangeable with his visionary and non-visionary ones.
While the conceptual characteristics of visionaries and psychics might not be exactly the same, they do overlap, and both involve the same problems attendant upon smaller pictures versus bigger pictures.
Here, then, is uncovered the somewhat invisible background noise involving (1) what does and doesn't fit into what; and (2) distinctions between smaller and bigger pictures, and their fall-outs.
By now is uncovered a fatal flaw in the modern, Western concepts of Psi.
Many parapsychologists themselves have acknowledged that the modern evolution of the concepts of Psi and etc., compartmentalized them too narrowly away from the general category of life processes.
But as one might interpret, this is almost the same as saying that the compartmentalization resulted in smaller pictures -- perhaps really tight ones, and which became really up-tight as their overall failure ratio became more and more evident.
In any event, and with all the foregoing now having been stated, if one attempts to utilize a smaller-picture module to train and develop something that actually needs a bigger-picture module, it is possible to say that the handwriting regarding failure is already on the wall.
This can neatly be put another way by invoking the analogies of SYSTEMS, SYSTEMS WORKABILITY, and SYSTEMS FAILURE. (NOTE: A separate set of essays on the topic of systems is forthcoming.)
As a passing observation here, it is not unusual to find topics being dealt with in a certain context -- when, in a bigger reality they actually belong in another context.
For example, in the cultural West, and by broadly accepted definition and understanding, Psi factors have been dealt with as "mental abilities of gifted individuals." Attempts by designing training to trigger the Psi-mental abilities into functioning have not succeeded very much, if at all.
Since such efforts have almost a total failure rate, there is no harm suggesting that Psi factors are not mental abilities, but are systems functions regarding modules of awareness.
If this would be the case, then the situation has to do with identifying and activating the proper module of awareness.
Indeed, mental abilities cannot produce products that download from awarenesses which the same mental abilities don't conceptualize as existing.
This can be put another way. Mental abilities are, of course, wonderful. But that they and their products are based on modules of awareness is quite clear. After all, mental abilities can process only to the degree that various modules of awareness are actively on-going.
Other modules of awareness that have never been activated, or somehow have been stupefied and deadened, cannot contribute anything at all.
All of the foregoing has been discussed in order to help construct a bigger picture regarding the superpowers, and which picture has somewhat to be in place before training in superpower details can proceed toward a success potential. (This particular concept is henceforth to be restated in several ways so as to locate important different nuances that go along with it.)
Returning now to the topic of the natural psychics, it was pointed up that they tended to have wide or large overviews of things.
It was THIS that they had difficulty in articulating, especially if required to do so within the confines modernist psychical and parapsychological concepts and lingo. To my knowledge, no Psi researcher EVER ASKED a psychic to write out their worldviews.
One aspect that downloaded over time from most (but not all) of the psychics I talked with was that they felt that the superpower faculties existed within everyone, but that the faculties did not develop into activity in most.
This was not merely fashionable, democratizing chit-chat on their parts -- in that they could SENSE-FEEL as much in most people they encountered. Their convictions along these lines emerged from their bigger worldviews, not from mere intellectual conditioning.
In the sense that "EVERYONE" was expressed, this of course refers not the vast conglomerate of all people, but rather to Our Species out of which each of us downloads. Indeed, if everyone has the faculties, either deadened or active, then the faculties are inherent in our species.
And so it is within the greater context of our species that we will find the bigger-picture systemic contexts for the superpower faculties.
And thus, we FINALLY arrive in the proximity of the central topic of this essay -- and which is a centerpiece of some kind that reflects through all the contents of this website.
As to the topic of this essay itself, although one can easily have an assumption that a great deal is understood about our species, the more basic fact is that what is NOT understood looms like a gigantic fog filled with unexplained mysteries.
For a number of reasons, the existence of the fog is often minimized, one reason being that people don't like to think in terms of fogs. Even so, complications descending out of the fog are real enough.
In order to help penetrate at least a short distance into the fog, one can discern three initial reasons for making the attempt to do so.
(1) A double question can be considered:
(a) whether enhanced understanding of the superpowers (and their functioning) can be found within the contexts of smaller pictures;
(b) whether the superpowers belong, so to speak, within the contexts of a bigger picture that is commodious enough to include ALL aspects of the human species entire.
(2) It can easily be established that neither the existence nor the phenomena of the superpowers are officially incorporated into conventional, modern conceptualizations of our species.
Indeed, without too much effort, it can be brought to light that various forces modulating the conventional concepts work not only to diminish FUNCTIONAL knowledge of the superpowers, but to disenfranchise them as meaningful species attributes.
(3) As already mentioned, modern conceptualizations in large part tend to focus on awful, sicko and unfortunate aspects of our species -- with the result that these are over-emphasized and end up negatively suffusing a larger cognitive understanding of what our species actually consists of otherwise.
By comparison, although the higher, more astonishing attributes of our species are sometimes referred to in some idealizing manner, active pursuit and enhancement of them is rare. One obvious reason for this might be that idealizing might not be completely and effectively based on its real processes and functions.
With the foregoing having been more or less preambled, it can be mentioned that most efforts to describe our species usually begin by rehashing what is conventionally known and/or accepted.
This approach is not without its merits. But in several ways it rather tends to plunge one into limited smaller-picture concepts.
Indeed, if one is up to identifying (or admitting) what is NOT understood (or even known) about our species is quite large compared to what is known, then what is known obviously must constitute some kind of smaller rather than larger possible picture.
Various dimensions of this can best by grasped by considering the following.
One of the unique factors of our species is that it possesses both intelligence and mental faculties sufficient enough to make attempts to explain not only itself, but to explain existence per se.
Many might miss the utterly remarkable nature of this unique factor, especially if their awareness is fixed into lower-order levels where it has little meaning.
But, to the extent that all Earthside species are so far understood, ours is the only one that possesses this quality, and possesses it on a species-wide level.
Furthermore, our species is the only one that has built enormous, even fabulous societal and cultural edifices in this regard.
This unique factor takes on even greater amazement by virtue of a secondary but none the less astonishing fact: that where and when our existing is not really understood, our species entire anyway proceeds to invent or imagine this or that kind of "understanding."
It is possible to consider that ALL invented or imagined understandings along these lines are smaller-picture ones, and this no matter their status otherwise. If this would be the case, then WHAT makes the understandings is a bigger picture than the understandings themselves.
By far and large, conventional pictures regarding the nature of our species usually first focus on the bio-bodies that are thought to comprise it.
There can be little doubt that human bio-bodies are an astonishing example of biological engineering, whether this be natural, evolutionary, artificial, or the achievement of some otherwise unknown something.
Our species also possesses one rather astonishing factor that is seldom identified, much less discussed, but which can easily bring into question all conventional explanations of our origin.
Our species is endowed with elements and faculties far, far beyond what are needed merely for survival Earthside, and even for mere survival of the species itself within Earthside environments.
This is explicitly to say that in its greater collective sense at least, our species is thus strategically over-endowed for the purposes of mere survival. And this aspect lifts our species out of the line-up of all other species which are precisely, directly and brusquely endowed for survival.
This single factor establishes that there is some kind of very great distance between our species and all other Earthside species, and this clearly opens up the question of the actual origin of our species.
Of course, many smaller picture answers to this question have been provided, have had their day and their smaller histories. But, as will be partially discussed in the next essay, all of them have been provided by negating the fact that there is an enormous distance between our species and all others.
For some possible clarity here, most efforts to comprehend our species focus on our similarities to other species, not on how utterly different our species is from them.
In any event, as a result of being over-endowed merely for survival, our species possess a great number of faculties that it hardly uses. But the essentials of them are none the less replicated from generation to generation, and in each of which signature elements of the essentials spontaneously flare-up, and are experienced.
The real existence of these essentials can easily be determined not only by their spontaneous flaring up.
Not only do the extraordinary essentials spontaneously flare up, but many social subsets of our species recognizably put dampers on varieties of these faculties -- or at least many social workings refuse to endorse and support their functioning -- and which is the same as admitting the existence of what is being denied support and development.
One hypothetical way of conceptualizing the above is to speculate that our over-endowed species could activate 100 per cent of its powers. In fact, thought, many societal norms only encourage utilization of only about less than 10 per cent of them.
But this factoid only heightens what is perhaps one of the greater of all human mysteries.
Why would a species possess faculties that, on average, it doesn't use? In other words, why would the species basis for those faculties have become installed in the first place -- IF they were never meant to be activated and used in the same first place?
Here it must be mentioned that the panorama and peripheries of the above are made somewhat hard to discern and articulate -- because our same remarkable species possesses a number of rather influential small-picture-making attributes that can easily get in the way.
For example, consider the triple penchant for societal reductionism, uniformism, and conformity. Additionally, one might consider the social stabilizing mechanisms having to do with erecting LIMITS regarding proper and improper formats of consciousness, awareness, experiencing and thinking.
All such pseudo-formats of course refer to how human intelligence is to be managed within this or that smaller-picture framework.
As it is, though, the immediately foregoing somewhat serves as small introduction to what is obviously one of the chief and central elements of our species.
This central element has to do with the rather mysterious fact that our over-endowed species does exist on Earthside. But it is principally and unmistakably existing not simply as a biological organism, but completely and unquestionably existing as a quite remarkable, even elegant intelligence-system.
Indeed, if this aspect is SUBTRACTED from the marvelous bio-bodies, then not only is mere survival of the latter brought into serious questioning, but one can well wonder what would be left over after the subtraction might somehow be effected.
There are, believe it or not, some indications of what might be left over -- in that certain societal systems make efforts to erode and suppress intelligence, thus enabling us at least some insight as to what could be left over.
There is, of course, some confusion as to whether body-system or intelligence-system is the prime factor of the human species.
The human body-system is undeniably astonishing. And it is true that its elements are more clear-cut than the human intelligence-system.
But, it is also quite obvious that both somehow fit within each other, and this factor obviously has some fundamental kind of importance.
However, the nature of the fitting cannot really be achieved via over-emphasis only on the physical body-systems. Even if the physical emphasis would be expanded to its largest degree, still the only thing that would result is one-half the picture -- and one-half a picture is smaller than the full picture to be sure.
Within this confusion, however, the evidence is quite good that human body-system subtracted from human intelligence-system leaves the former flopping about and usually in deplorable, disgusting and sad ways.
Thus, it is possible to assume, hypothetically anyway, that our species intelligence-system attributes constitute its prime principle.
This can be put another somewhat more personal way -- in that it is possible to suggest that WHATever specimens of our species might think, it is most likely that they CAN think that is our species prime principle.
But here we indeed run into the first of a series of major problem-situations -- in that our history demonstrates that it is difficult even to approximate what a biomind intelligence-system consists of.
Even to begin getting into this topic, it is necessary to distinguish between:
(1) the inherent existence of the human intelligence-system per se, and:
(2) whatever descends out of it as thought-products.
This distinction is to suggest that the human intelligence-system is a THINKING THING out of which, and because of which, thought-things are produced. In this sense, then, the intelligence-system is greater than what it produces, no matter how much the products are held in esteem.
One important factor that can be noted regarding the above is that many maps have been made of what the intelligence-system produces. But the actual nature and basic configurations of the intelligence-system itself has more or less remained unmapped.
Moving briskly along beyond the above quagmires combined, it is now meaningful to make a distinction about our species which has not been made in the past with any enduring clarity.
This distinction is a subtle one, and has to do with the differences between (1) what our species IS, and (2) what our species CONSISTS OF.
While (1) and (2) can easily be intellectually collapsed into each other and be taken as meaning much the same thing, there are in fact some important nuances between them.
For starters, in the past the concept of our species was assumed to consist of, and be defined by, all physical bodies that could interbreed with each other -- or at least had the potential if not the preference to do so.
This is to say that all human bodies WERE our species in its greater collective sense.
However, an important and concept-shifting nuance regarding this has entered into the overall picture, due to advances in the genetic sciences.
In a more strict sense, and in the first instance, our species is no longer really comprised merely of all physical human bodies, but of the genetic pool out of which each physical-body specimen emerges.
This might be put another way. Our species IS the genetic pool (the GENOME) of our species, of which each individual is a manifesting, down-loading intelligence-system encased, as it were, in its particular bio-format. The particular bio-format is referred to as a GENOTYPE within the GENOME (the entire gene pool).
Technically speaking, and specifically with regard to the genome, each manifesting biomind individual is a quite small part -- if compared to the greater genetic whole which incorporates billions of smaller parts.
As a somewhat grumpy aside here, it bruises the ego of many to consider themselves merely as a manifesting smaller part of the greater on-going genome. However, this psycho-factoid might explain something as to why many biomind specimen members of humanity seldom care to consider humanity as a whole.
Indeed, it can be noted, with some factual accuracy, that the concept of humanity, as traditionally mounted, has always been more idealizing and abstract than functionally meaningful.
One understandable reason for this is that the individual biomind specimens that descend out of the generic genome of our species are not exact duplicates of each other. Each is different in any number of outer surface aspects, and which range along a scale of lesser-to-greater differences.
The differences are more obvious than the species sameness aspects -- since the samenesses (and their extent) are sort of cloaked behind the differences.
Throughout recorded human history, some few astute observers have noticed that the samenesses are probably more important than the surface differences -- if only in that the samenesses are enduring and transcend the generations.
But in large part, the differences are what people deal with on a day-to-day basis, whether these are natural or artificially encoded in social behavior.
Because of this it is not too much to say that the matter of the differences has frequently been elevated (or inflated) to the sometimes giddy heights of philosophical, theological, scientific and sociological importance.
Indeed, in the past this author was told by three important scientists that the study of differences was the principal path toward accelerating progress in understanding the human framework -- and FURTHERMORE, that the study of the samenesses was merely a study in redundancies.
Differences clearly have importance and meaning. But this is no real reason for not undertaking, or for culturally suppressing, in-depth studies regarding the samenesses upon which the backbone of our species is clearly founded.
Here again, if one over-emphasizes the differences, one is dealing in one-half the human picture -- and one-half is a smaller picture than the whole shebang is.
As an aside, though, there does exist one-behind-the-scenes reason why the matter of human differences achieves over-emphasized importance.
Most social structures depend on differences with regard to a number of factors -- one of which is that differences contribute to social stratification, and to the ease the stratification can be maintained even if only artificially so. This may be one reason why our species sameness factors are marginalized, if not completely ignored altogether.
If one delves into the sameness factors of our species, one can easily begin to comprehend that the difference factors are, so to speak, the frosting on the cake while the sameness factors are the cake itself.
At the individual level, one can expect to encounter various kinds and designs of the frosting. But the deeper one goes into the sameness factors, one can begin to discover the central frameworks upon which the species is built, and which ALL specimens of our species directly share in.
A central clue here is that the sameness factors can and do differentiate into various kinds of differences. But by far and large they do so mostly because, as it were, of cultural-social nurture rather than because of all-encompassing nature. There is a saying I read somewhere now forgotten, but easily remembered: "Nature provides; men demarcate among what is provided."
Another clue is that if one begins to become somewhat knowledgeable about our species sameness factors, it is possible to begin comprehending that those factors trend toward the awesome, toward the amazing and the utterly remarkable.
As but one very significant example, all human specimens of our species are born with the language factor. This language factor is operative and ready to function from birth, and infants aggressively begin coping with at some point quite early during their first year.
To speak language is clearly taken for granted, and is usually assumed as representative of one of those "redundant" samenesses that are of little interest.
However, the inherent, or indwelling, language factor is present in all specimens of our species, and thus must be assumed as representative of one of our species prime backbones contributing to the vast distances between ourselves and all other Earthside species.
For additional clarity here, within all social contexts, as different as they might be, the language factor is universally considered as the ability to communicate.
This is obviously the case -- but with one important proviso. The ability to communicate is down-loaded FROM the language factor. It is not the factor itself, and this is now scientifically understood beyond any doubt.
There is quite an awesome story involved here. But little of it depends on what had been understood about languages before rather recent times.
The July 1993 issue of LIFE magazine featured a write-up regarding "The Amazing Minds of Infants." The magazine's cover announced in bold print that "BABIES are SMARTER than you THINK. They can ADD before they can COUNT. They can UNDERSTAND a hundred words before they can SPEAK. And, at three months, their powers of MEMORY are far greater than we ever imagined."
The article itself consisted of a brief overview of what had recently been learned about infants in the research fields of memory, mathematics, language, and physics.
The article is quite short, but liberally laced with thought-stopping statements. For example, in the physics category, Cornell University researcher Elizabeth Spelke "is finding that babies as young as four months have a rudimentary knowledge of the way the world works -- or should work."
Furthermore, "Researchers speculate that even before birth, babies learn how physical objects behave by moving their body parts, but Spelke believes the knowledge is innate."
The concept of "innate knowledge" pre-existing within infants is touched upon with regard to each of the four categories -- even though the modern idea of knowledge refers to having acquired it by experience and study AFTER birth, and then only by kinds of logical reasoning that start concretizing later in childhood.
Indeed, in the modern cultural West, the working definition of KNOWLEDGE is given as "the fact or condition of knowing something with familiarity or understanding through experience or association."
Thus, there is a nervous discrepancy between (1) the definition of knowledge acquired through experience or association, and (2) the concept of innate knowledge.
The discrepancy centers on the definition of INNATE, the first definition of which is "inherent: belonging to the essential nature of something."
A second definition is also usually provided -- "originating in or derived from the mind or the constitution of the intellect rather than from experience or association."
The subtle magnitude of this nervous discrepancy has two major parts, both of which can become visible only to those somewhat familiar with the serious denial, during the modern twentieth century, of innate KNOWLEDGE.
During this epoch, the possibility of innate human instincts was occasionally, although usually grudgingly, admitted. But the concept of innate KNOWLEDGE was a topic too close to the forbidden topics of inspired, received, clairvoyant, telepathic, intuitive or extrasensory knowledge -- all of these tending to manifest in the absence of experience and association, and even in the absence of logic and reason.
Second, the concept of innate KNOWLEDGE arouses the tremendously complex problem of how and why KNOWLEDGE, of all things, should have been innately installed in the human species in the first place.
Returning to the LIFE magazine article, the squib regarding LANGUAGE was short, but quite a show-stopper.
First, it must be established here that the origin of human languages has always been a very great mystery. During the modern scientific period, it was often pictured that language originated from cavemen grunts and gesticulations -- followed by the concept that over longish periods of time these gradually evolved differently in different parts of the world into many different language formats.
However, according to the LIFE magazine article, something else is involved that can strategically alter the above picture if one takes time to consider it.
The "something else" is that psychologist Patricia Kuhl of the University of Washington in Seattle indicated that from birth to four months, babies are "universal linguists" capable of distinguishing each of the 150 sounds that make up all human speech. (NOTE: UNIVERSAL in this sense means present in everyone.)
During this period, and before they begin learning words, babies are busy sorting through the jumble of the 150 sounds in search of the ones that have meaning. By about six months, they have "begun the metamorphosis into specialists who recognize the speech sounds of their native tongue."
This process of "sorting through the humble of 150 sounds" sounds something like a language analyzer or decoder more than it sounds like a language learning process.
To get at the import of the above, one needs to consider the following with some attention.
That all human languages (Earthside) are made up of 150 sounds has been understood for some time. A fair share of these sounds are utilized to build up the speech sounds of a local language system.
The long-held conventional idea then has it that the babe learns (in-takes, acquires) the sounds by repetitive exposure and practice and begins to duplicate them. The babe is thus seen as learning from external local language factors -- and in this sense languages are local affairs.
Now, from a superficial viewpoint this explains why there are and have been so many different local languages. But it doesn't really explain why language is a universal principle within all specimens born of the human species.
Different local languages constitute smaller-picture aspects of great and awesome language penchant of our species. The information that all languages are made up of 150 sounds helps enlarge the picture. Thus, if the language formats are indeed different in different sectors, the sounds of which they are made none the less constitute a universal language factor that is neigh on identical throughout the species.
That all babies possess some sort of a system that is capable of distinguishing each of the 150 sounds literally means that babes are not principally learning language from external sources, but rather are merely distinguishing which arrangements of the sounds are being spoken external to them.
This is almost the same as saying that babes don't LEARN a language system, but merely recognize which language system is going on about them.
The language factor within the species entire could thus be described as a system of sound recognition that is recombinant regarding at least the 150 sounds all human speech consists of.
It now needs to be emphasized that while languages are different, each human specimen possesses in a same way one of these recombinant sound-recognition systems. Furthermore, in each specimen the system is automatically active at birth, perhaps even before (as some researchers are beginning to suggest.)
One neat way of putting this is that each language is but a software program installed into the built-in hard drive language system that is innate in each individual. The hard drive language system is the same in every one, or at least relatively so.
For the purposes of this series of essays, it could be said that all software programs are smaller-picture kinds of things -- whereas the hard drives that they get installed into constitute rather larger pictures.
Another grumpy observation: regarding this, it rather has to be admitted that all social systems tutor their inhabitants to think in terms of their different smaller software pictures -- and thus it is easy enough to be oblivious to the rather majestic nature of our hard drive capabilities.
Analogous to this, it does need to be understood that smaller pictures ARE smaller not because of what they contain, but what they DON'T contain.
The "universal language" factor of our species is some kind of a example lesson in point here -- in that it is capable of containing and dealing with ALL human languages (including dialects, etc.) of which there have been many, many thousands. The languages are smaller-picture components of the larger-picture universal linguistic system.
In any event, for the purposes of these essays, it is apparent that our species, in its hard-drive sense, universally is made up of an intelligence system, and which in turn clearly functions in tandem with a universal language system.
However, if we conceptualize an intelligence system, it is possible to conclude that it would need at least two other universal, hard-drive systems in order to be more completely functional: a system of sensing mechanisms, and a system of meaning recognition.
These two additional systems could not possibly be composed only of software programs locally decided upon, but, in some kind of fact, would need to consist of hard-drive factors that incorporates both the species entire as well as all of its down-loading individual specimens.
The REAL universal existence of the (hard drive) meaning recognition thing has been deduced by virtue of studying language in babies.
As psychologist Patricia Kuhl pointed up in the LIFE magazine article, "long before infants actually begin to learn words, they can sort through a jumble of spoken sounds in search of the ones that have meaning."
How meaning recognition works in the pre-verbal level is not as completely understood as is the universal sound thing. This is to say that while all languages might be composed of 150 sounds, the same can't really be said about all meanings.
None the less, the implication is that each specimen of our species has some generic kind of hard-drive meaning-recognition system.
This system functions in tandem with the hard-drive intelligence system, the sensing mechanism systems, and the language system. All four of these supersystems (as it were) can be seen as universal to the species, AND to each individual born of it. And these are very astonishing samenesses, indeed.
The whole of this is quite awesome -- if one can grok it. But the grokking can sometimes be difficult in this regard -- because of smaller-picture interference patterns.
These not only lurk about just about everywhere in societal force-fed kinds of ways, but are sometimes mistaken as big pictures, even if unthinkably so.
If one is interested in learning and development, it is not unusual to suppose that whatever seems to be interfering should be deconstructed and gotten rid of.
Indeed, if the superpowers of the human biomind belong to the universal supersystems and not to some local, smaller-picture concept, then one might undergo the urge to reject, abolish or demolish the latter.
But there is a problem here. Rejecting some smaller-picture thing is itself a smaller-picture phenomenon. It might stretch some mental muscle to consider it, but it can easily be demonstrated that smaller-pictures can universally be identified by what they reject, don't include, omit, jump over, rationalize away, or simply by what is not known within them.
In other words, it is difficult to achieve bigger-picture awareness by following the pathways that lead to smaller-picture constructing.
And here we encounter a somewhat amusing, but none the less great oddity of our species.
Our species is awash in smaller pictures, and many piss and snarl because of it. And so many make rather invidious efforts to trash whatever this or that they consider a smaller picture.
The oddity here is that smaller-picture trashing can be akin to jousting with windmills -- IF one doesn't know much about the criteria for smaller-picture constructing. This is to ask WHY IS a smaller picture a smaller picture -- and how can a smaller picture be recognized as one.
After all, if one wants to escape from anything, one needs somewhat precisely to know what one is desiring to escape from.