Lipton’s Journal/February 10, 1955/555
But what I want to try to get at now is the business of thought—what is thought? etc. Having gotten into the habit, particularly under Lipton’s of keeping a very sharp sense of my “mental state,” I have come to the conclusion that “thought” as such is without words. There is truly a razor’s edge in the mind between the “thought” and the words—even though unsaid—which come to give it shape and one-ness. I realized this in a peculiar way.
I found myself having the old fantasy of an electric pad on my brain which would carry my unspoken words into a tape recorder. And at that instant I realized that I was truly thinking without words, for what came immediately after—and the thoughts had been beautiful and very clear—was that to think of capturing the thought immediately aroused “words” in me, and though the words were good, and still nominally “thought” since I did not speak them, I could sense immediately that the thought had been chased away, and I was left only with word scraps.
So, I want to formulate it like this: the universe which is always within us delivers matter—that is, a part of what we have “taken” floats into consciousness; with words we seek to give it form, we are attempting to convert what we have taken—and so long as it is still “thought” we are still “taking” it—into an “Idea”—something we may give. So, form, idea, word, are sup-things; matter, thoughts, feeling are from the er.