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Mental Clarity -- Not Verbalizing

I went to college and earned three degrees -- an undergraduate degree, a master's degree, and a law degree. That is no big deal, but it did give me many opportunities to read books, lots of books -- tons of books.

When you read a book, do you hear the words? Do you verbalize the words as you read them? Are you doing that right now? Are you hearing these words? Dog, cat, chicken, goat.

It is hard not to verbalize words as you read them. But I found that such verbalization limits the speed at which you can read -- you can only read as fast as you can verbalize. In graduate school, I found that if I tried, I could read without verbalizing. It is a little strange at first and you might think that you would not be able to remember anything. But actually, it is not that hard. You just turn off the "inner voice." You read the worlds and process them without verbalizing them.

Recently I had a strange experience. I was writing a letter and noticed that I was not verbalizing as I was writing. I was writing without saying the words in my mind. They were just appearing on the screen as I typed them.

I know that this happens when people type. A person can type a page without really reading it.

But I was drafting the letter, not merely typing it. I was drafting and typing without verbalization. It made it much easier and faster.

I cannot do this all the time. And for certain things I read, I prefer to verbalize and visualize.

But at times, I can read and write without verbalizing... sometimes.

You probably can too.

Here is the point (I really had a point in writing all this). In Karate, my mind feels the same as when I read and write without verbalizing. It is a funny thing. I cannot describe exactly how it feels. It would be easy to say that it feels "clear" but that is not quite correct. There is content, but no words or symbols. The information simply is processed, whether it be words or movement.

For me, my mental training in school and work, and my physical training in Karate, go hand in hand. They are not separate. If I improve in Karate, I improve in other aspects of my life. If I improve in other aspects of my life, I improve in Karate.

As you know, I am 50. At 50, I am training harder now than ever. I do not only mean physically -- I mean in terms of being a well rounded person. There is no end to training as long as we keep trying.

But despite my training, my shingles, which have gotten much better, still itch!


Charles C. Goodin