| [Freeing the Mind][Self Development Contents]
Ken Ward's Mind Mastery Course
Your owner's manual for your brain - that you never received or never read.
You may react differently to some things in the external world from how others react. Because you are interested in some things and not others, you will react with interest to some things while others might react with indifference.
What is meaning?
Your personal meaning of something is the response you make to it, both in your internal mind and in your external mind.
At first, your response is external, but afterwards the response becomes internal.
For example, you might first encounter the concept intelligence when a teacher says that another pupil is intelligent. You notice that the other people does their sums easily and quickly (and, of course accurately.) The other pupil is praised.
Abstract words are really concrete - after all!
Let us look at an example of meaning that might be thought to be difficult to relate to these ideas. Because intelligence is an abstract word, it appears to be unrelated to the world of experience.
However, your meaning of intelligence may include the pictures and sounds related to the other pupil, such as doing arithmetic well and being praised. This may produce an internal meaning of intelligence as something good.
When other people refer to intelligence, you respond internally with the pictures and sounds related to intelligence. You may also have a feeling associated with intelligence. It could be that you felt intense anger and envy towards the other pupil giving intelligence a negative meaning.
As you gain more experience with the word intelligence, then you add other pictures and sounds to the concept and you refine its meaning and generalise it to new situations (such as being good at writing).
The sensory representations becomes automatic and unconscious - as we gain experience
As you grow older, you usually do not look at the pictures and sounds associated with intelligence. You respond to the word, but you are no longer aware of the pictures, sounds and feelings associated with intelligence. It works automatically and unconsciously. This means that the word intelligence has become an anchor for the experiences related to the word, and the word recalls the resulting pictures, sounds and feelings associated with the word.
In the same way, our resulting internal responses to a spider, if we have a spider phobia, are produced when we sense the insect. We do not experience everything we have experienced with respect to the picture of the insect in the external mind. We produce the resulting response.
If we grow up thinking of money as filthy lucre and feeling envious of those who have money, then we may have a negative reaction to money. We may not be aware of our internal representation, but it affects how we view the external mind and how we react to money. People have problems with money when they have negative internal representations.
The meaning we have of a concept is our internal representations of it. And this, as we have noted, is considered to be the pictures, sounds and feeling we have when we think of the concept. At first, the meaning is external. Later it is internalised and made automatic.