Thoughts possible without Words?

Here’s a jolly good Christmas story for all you fans of this annoying website.  Of course coming from me, it’s got nothing to do with Christmas, but more to do with [Nothing].


Early last week, a friend of mine showed me a cute documentary on “Clever Monkeys” – by David Attenbourough.  And when I say cute, i do mean adorable.  My good friend with his western accent “Them monkeys were just plain old good eatin’! Yeeee Haaaw”  Hee hee hee hee.

No… actually they were communicative and extremely human-like.  Sure they were socially deceiving, cunning, planning, stealing and murdering in the name of survival, but they also showed other sides of their humility, like affection, caring for their young, rules of combat and engagement when children are on-board and another qualities similar to myself… like hyperactive scratching and over-communicating.

clever-monkeys250x188They were united by their ability to communicate.  United Nations of Monkeys if you will… so many languages, types and breeds… all lived together in harmony.  From grounds all the way to tree tops… each lived on environments suited to them and each were specialists in their tasks… altogether 42 types of monkeys.  Ground monkeys watched for tigers while tree top monkeys kept their eyes out for hawks and eagles.  An almost impenetrable fortress of safe and organised social order… almost.

What really caught my attention was when Mr. Attenbourough showed how scientists studied and analyzed their linguistic patterns.  Now languages are made so that we can make notes for ourselves and describe things to others of the same linguistic frequency.  But as un-universal as languages went… UN monkeys understood one another perfectly.  When the word “Tiger” was called out… all monkeys reacted accordingly.  Not in a fearful or running scared kind of ways.  Ground monkeys would climb up higher while tree top monkeys proceeded to the cliff face and sent a hellfire of rocks down to meet and greet Mr. Tiger.  Like I said… they were organised.

By then my room was packed with 2 monks and 8 novices who were also interested in them delicious monkeys.  But unlike the monkeys, only 1 out of 10 understood English.  They were begging me for a CD copy so they could watch it later from the very beginning.

As this was happening… Mr. Attenbourough took it one naughty step further… explaining sophistication of monkey minds.  Claiming that “Without words… thoughts would not be possible“.  “Huh?” I said.

To burn a CD, first you have to have a blank CD. 
of where the blank CDs lived came to me in pictorial format. 
so refined, elaborate and pictorial beyond words… no words were used nor even required.

I looked at a novice… pointed twice, first to blank CDs, then second to the computer.  The young novice was confused.  “Stick that into that”  I said according to the wordless thought, while pointing again at both locations.  Although I knew what I was talking about, the young novice was once again confused and drawing blanks… not a blank CD but rather a blank look on his face.

In the end, I got up and did it myself.
Them novices… they’d be good eatin’!” My good friend once again in western accent.


In Right Mindfulness… the mind knows every thought without fail.
Not because it has to, or ordered to… but because it likes to.
Thoughts with words, and those without.

Knowing isn’t thought, yet it is a black-box functioning of the mind.
It knows that all things cannot remain in one state for too long…
Or they’d suffer if they do and change is inevitable.
Seeing all things materialise and disintegrate on their own.
Knowing every thought to be a CON.
That “me” is in the thoughts.
That There is no “I”.


In Dhamma – a burning idea like the rest.
Phra Mick Ratanapanyo Bhikkhu.



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