By Galen Chadwick
Readers, you simply must check out “Dunston Baby Language.” Back in January 2008, Oprah presented a most extraordinary woman, Priscilla Dunston, who gifted the entire world with a new understanding of the human paradigm. It’s that good! Please clue every new mother you know into the basics of baby communication.
Priscilla was born with a photographic memory for sound. She can hear a piece of Mozart’s music just once and reproduce all of it from memory. She is fully synesthetic. Sound comes to her with strong associations of colors, emotions, insights and memories for which there are no words. She discovered that every baby, across all cultures and linguistic groups, is born into the world talking to us.
All babies share the same needs, same physiological reflexes, and make the same five universal sounds to communicate. These sounds correlate to their body’s physical needs and seem similar at first. But when mommy is trained to listen carefully to the pry-cry part she can identify each one, address the need, and the crying always stops! You cannot master this skill upon one reading- order her DVD to practice- but here’s the idea:
Listen for an “n” sound. “Neh” is the word for hunger. “I’m hungry” stems from the sucking reflex- and you’ve got no teeth. I’m really hungry: NYehhh!
“Owh,” which means I’m sleepy and is based on the yawn reflex. “Heh”- listen for the dominant “H” part- means “I’m in discomfort.” As in “too hot, or cold, change diaper, money markets are tight,” etc.
“Eair” means lower gas, has a more pronounced “R” sound. “Eh” means I want to burp, there’s gas in upper alimentary area. “Eair Honor! It’s an airtight case for acquittal!” A brief wiki search of the Herald’s Looking Backward found a wealth of related material. “He, He, He,” (laughing gas) indicates you have a little chemist on your hand. Shade tree acousticians sum it up this way: “If nobody knows the troubles you’ve seen then you don’t live in a small Ozark town.”
Anyhow, the “E” part is more distinctive. Dunston demonstrated all this on TV with eight unhappy babies. With her right interpretation and action, all eight instantly stopped crying. Otherwise, at two weeks most babies will start screaming and not stop if they want comfort and we don’t know what to do. This is when mom’s self-esteem takes a big hit.
It’s still Babble, you know. All of our speech elements are derived from various reflexes that derive from our anatomy. But the acuity of our self-ignorance matches the fall of Babylon in magnitude. The Old Testament story’s not about a one-time deal but still creates gas in real time. That’s why it’s so refreshing to discover that some big problems can be set straight within minutes.
To paraphrase Isaiah: “Lo, My People are sleepless and irritable for lack of knowledge.” Lost to history was the prophet’s extended rant about myriads of aggressive specialists who make a good living keeping it that way, touting the false god of “intellectual property,” etc. But we’re talking stone chisels. OK, maybe papyrus for the charter schools, but none of it’s what you’d call stenography.
At this point you may be thinking, “How could billions of people, many with advanced degrees, miss something as obvious as baby language?” Well, those people who lived cheek-to-jowl with cave bears did notice. It’s why the rest of us crybabies are still here. But water’s the last thing a fish notices, right? Is there something more to know about love that we are still missing?
Probably so. The next great breakthrough will be in the process of knowing itself, in something that’s even closer and more stubbornly invisible to us. The charting and mastery of our own interiority is the antidote we have to dangerous times and not more and better technology. That’s another thing we’re good at not noticing.
Take the worship of artificial intelligence (AI). Instead of resisting our cultural neoteny (a condition of perpetual juvenility maintained by the Nanny State ) we suffer fragmentation and loneliness as a “fact” of modern life. This is not said to denigrate anyone’s job identity or intellect, but to highlight the glaringly obvious.
Anyhow, take a few moments to read the following exercise and then give it a try. Maybe it can deliver a fresh insight into our nature and, like Dunston’s baby language, get quick results even on the couch.
Gateway Exercise: Recall the sun. Perhaps it’s the moment when a sharp summer sun danced on the lake. Or, maybe a mirror suddenly blasted light directly into your eyes. Or when an arc welder fired up nearby- it’s so bright you have to turn away. Try to “see” this flash of light several times. Make it as bright as possible.
Most people can reproduce this effect with the mind’s eye. Our interior light can be made so bright that you actually wince- proof that this effect is no mere memory recall. Get some impression of where this light lives in mental space.
Next, put your hands over the eyes to make it as dark as you can get. Now bring to mind a jet black object, like a bowling ball, coal or maybe a black cat. Notice that the impression is noticeably blacker than the faint and grainy light of the mind. Try this at night when there’s no ambient light to really “see” the difference. Where is the black spot located in mental space compared to the light?
See if you can easily go back and forth from light to dark until you get a feel for locating the spaces (or directional poles) they occupy in the mind. This power of in-sight can be further directed with later exercises but for now just notice the internal shift that occurs as your attention goes back and forth.
It’s possible to “see” this internal light when the eyes are open, when you’re talking to people, say, or even while looking at the sun itself. But this phenomenon is not about thought forms- thoughts of any kind are subordinate. What we’re tracking down is the loci of several functions and powers that structure the mind-in-matter in the first place. Noticing our inner light may seem elementary, but for creating a new physics this reframing is “elephantary”
Also, there is an important caveat here. Aphantasia, or the inability to create visual images, is a condition that exists in maybe 2% to 5% of the population. American software developer Blake Ross (Foxfire Browser), for example, cannot synthesize images and falls at the low end of a spectrum with most people falling at the higher end. Neurologist Adam Zeman calls the above-average ability to create vivid images hyperphantasia. See: “When the Mind’s Eye is Blind” https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/when-the-minds-eye-is-blind1/
But not to worry if you find this exercise hard. There are equally valid approaches through sound and touch. But first let’s back up to look at what we “know” about light. Science says the Sun is the local and primary source of light on earth. If you google “What is light?” You get this definition:
Light is electromagnetic radiation which is visible to the human eye and is generated by changes in movement (vibration). The oscillation or acceleration of electrons in parts of heated molecules is like a filament in a light bulb. The oscillation of electrons in atoms (like an incandescent lamp) is the same thing at a different level.
An alternative physical description of light considers radiation as being emitted in discrete parcels of energy, called photons, which have a dual nature- that of a particle or wave. Either way, science reflexively dismisses the significance of the mind’s own light when describing the cosmos. “Virtual light” is the current term, a supposition of virtual quantum particles. The longer these quantum packets exist the closer they come to the characteristics of ordinary particles.
Noteworthy is that quantum events are not ascribed the same mass as the corresponding real particles, although they always conserve energy and momentum. We, however, are approaching physics from the inside-out, at its infancy, as a new science of mind.
For insight into sounds of discomfort read Vogon poetry (https://hitchhikers.fandom.com/wiki/Vogon_poetry) Oh, would you look at the time! Gotta go.