Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mentalese and Music: A Harmonic Correspondence

The other day, I had a fascinating conversation with a wonderful family where one member was a musician, another an actor and a third a linguist/artist.  The conversation touched upon an broad range of topics, as one may imagine, but I had an opportunity to explain one of my theories and I was pleased to find them thoroughly intrigued.

The theory I mentioned is presented in my novel Nunatak.  I admit without hesitation that I simply use the story line as a thread upon which I string a number of beads of ideas.  This is typical for all of my stories, particularly my novels.  Among the numerous ideas I present through the character Tuesday Paz, this family found one particularly interesting.

For most of my life I have been intrigued by the means of communication, both in humanity and other organisms.  Regarding humanity, I have enjoyed clarifying for people that our spoken and written language is the second most important means through which we exchange information.  The first being the genetic code which is exchanged principally through sexuality, although technology is allowing us to exchange this information through other means.

In Nunatak, I present what I propose will be the successor for the second most important means of communication between human beings, and this successor will be music.

There is a mystery as to why instrumental music is one of our most powerful means of evoking emotions.  Neurologist, psychologist and cognitive theorist have not been able to pin-point a reason for this.  I have long proposed that the reason for this is because instrumental music has the closest resemblance to the processes of thought which occur in the neurological network of our brains.

The rhythms of music correspond with the oscillating activities of neurological processes.  The harmonics of music correspond with the simultaneous and synchronous activities of numerous specialized regions of the brain.

In this, when we are "listening" to music, we are actually sharing the process of thought with the composer and musician through one of the most direct means.  Most of our means of communication are actually symbolic referencing system.  In fact, even the genetic code is a type of symbolic referencing system which we do not completely understand.  The information represented in the code provides the instruction for the performing of various physiological processes.  Music is in fact a means of directly sharing physiological processes between human beings, and other organisms, as they occur in the most complex systems of interaction between energy and matter in the known universe, that is our brains.

In time, we will be able to refine and develop our abilities to compose music which will allow us to increase the complexity of our interactions so that they more closely resemble the complexity of activity that is occurring in every individual mind.  Then through this, there will be a continuity of the processes of thought from one individual to another, not only facilitating greater understanding, but also facilitating greater complexities which will allow us to increase our understandings of the boggling complexities of the universe in which we exist.

Of course formulating this type of music would not be easy.  A comparison that I could draw upon is considering the complexities and dynamics of harmonic correspondence which Bach composed for his Fugues.  Then multiply this by at least a billion, and then we will be beginning to reach the complexity which will allow us to achieve this in a sophisticated basis which will not only evoke primordial emotions, but also the subtle and intricate sensations of thought which allow some of the highest abstractions and arrangemetns such as those capable by people such as Einstein, Mozart, Euler, Marie Curie or countless others.  In fact, every single one of us are capable of some of the most astonishing complex activities within our own minds that our simple day to day activities confound our greatest technologies.

Some of the implications of this are truly astounding too.  By bypassing the symbolic systems of most of our languages and directly communicating through a continuity of the processes of thought, we would achieve a more universal comprehension of thought.  That means, not only would we able to directly communicate with every person of every culture without need of a translator, we would be able to communicate with every living organism on the planet, and quite possibly other planets as well.

There are many other implications of this, which I have explained to some extent in the novel, and illustrated through various events of the story.  There are countless others which I have not mentioned as of yet in either.  But I thought some people may find it interesting to consider.