Exercise 198 Understanding Any Spoken Language

A phenomenon know as glossolalia takes place when you suddenly speak an unknown language or dialect that formerly you had no knowledge of. In charismatic Christian circles this is called "speaking in tongues." In other religions, it is called other things, but in all cases an altered state of awareness is seemingly achieved prior to the phenomenon. The operations of the conscious, willful side of the brain are suspended. As far back as Vergil (70 - 19 B.C.), there have been references to the tongues speaking with the Sibylline priestess on the Isle of Delos. Speaking in tongues is found among Mohammedans, Eskimos of Greenland and many African tribes. Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, taught his followers to speak in tongues by telling them to "Arise upon your feet, speak or make some sound, continue to make sounds of some kind, and the Lord will make a tongue or language of it."

Coupled with glossolalia is the occasional phenomenon of xenoglossia or spontaneous interpretation of the unknown tongue by certain witnessing individuals present. ("If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; ..." 1 Corin. 14:27, 28) Many people have experienced this same phenomenon to a lesser degree when they visit a foreign country and they listen to an unknown language. Suddenly they seem to understand what was said at times, but they don't know how they understand it. Is there an intuitive part of the brain that can act as a universal translator without the cognitive process of knowing how to speak the language itself? Xenoglossia has also been reported among Muslims in India where certain individuals have recited portions of the Koran in its original language, Arabic, without having previously understood Arabic.

The ability to understand any language or dialect can be practiced with the following exercise: Assume a comfortable, relaxed seated position and take several deep, abdominal breaths. This can be done in a group situation or by yourself, so arrange all chairs to face an appropriate TV screen. A prearranged video cassette should have one minute blurbs spoken in various foreign languages by different individuals on subjects with emotional impact. (Emotions are already a universal language that cut across all mental barriers.)

Look at the TV narrator's face and listen to the sound of what he is saying and the way he is saying it without trying to analytically interpret it. After his monologue, take one minute to write down what you intuitively thought he said or meant. While doing this, have the video go into a one minute musical mode with soothing largo movements of baroque composers (see "Exercise -- Rhythmic Memorizing"). Then have the same person on the video give the English translation of what he said in the foreign tongue. Move onto the next one minute monologue in a foreign tongue with a different language and narrator. Go into the musical mode and write down what you think was said. Then have the English translation given on video by the same person. Continue with these one minute foreign language blurbs, one minute write downs and follow-up interpretations over and over for one half hour per day -always varying the foreign language or dialect and differing the content of the monologue.

Since the analytical side of the brain cannot interpret any of the content at all, the non-analytical side of the brain has to make the adjustment. By applying a relaxed "letting go" process (achieving an alpha/theta state is ideal), the subconscious will tune into the language and you'll be understanding it without understanding how you understand it. It's like thinking with intention instead of words. Researchers have found in people that have had their corpus callosum severed that their right brain has recognition abilities of language but simply cannot verbalize it. It might take many sessions and a lot practice, but this spontaneous interpretive listening can be mastered in time. Also, the feedback of the English translation after each monologue allows you to monitor your progress.

As a variation to the above and for the more visual minded, have the one minute foreign language monologues piped through a tape player's headset while you look at the foreign language written on a sheet of paper in front of you. After a one minute pause where you write down a translation of what you thought was said, the interpretation of the passage is then given in the next interval. Select passages that have emotional impact for better interpretation. Many colleges have not only foreign magazines and newspapers that would suit this purpose, but also appropriate interpreters as well.

Just as a child understands a mother's language before actually speaking it, future humans may also learn to understand each other's dialect. Perhaps this was always ancient man's inherent ability, and that which was referred to in the biblical story of Babel. Maybe when God smote the people, he didn't afflict them with different dialects. He simply took away their ability to understand each other's dialect.

(Genesis 11:7 "and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.") After mastering this exercise and "Exercise -- Speed Reading At Over 2,000 wpm," you will quickly learn how to speed read any foreign language text with complete comprehension as well. You may also be able to apprehend and discern the meaning of ancient tablets of unknown hieroglyphs with equal ease.

The portion of the human mind that allows this process to take place may also be linked to the same faculty that allows telepathy to take place?! As you learned in the telepathy exercises, when you read another person's mind who thinks in a foreign language, you are really reading the thought intention of a transmitter's words, not the words themselves. If you have mastered lucid dreaming (review "Exercise -Lucid Dreaming: Conscious Awareness of Your Dreams"), you may also be surprised to learn how understanding other languages in the dream world is quite easy when language tapes are played during the sleep-learning process (review "Exercise -- Sleep-Learning").

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