The Phantasia-Aphantasia Ball - Words Have Different Meanings

The Phantasia-Aphantasia Ball - Words Have Different Meanings

Larry Neal Gowdy - Copyright ©2023 - December 17, 2023

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Phantasia Ball

(CC0) Phantasia Ball

'Phantasia' descriptions of a ball on a table are almost nonexistent. An 'aphantasia' description of ball exceeds what is possible to be placed within an image.

Bizarre Social Media 'Experts'

Humorously, different people phrase their words differently, which often results in other people misunderstanding what the speaker intended to say. To people who think similarly as an uncareful speaker, the words may sound perfectly natural and coherent, but to other people who are literate and who think with experienced mental analyses, the speaker's words do not make sense.

A good example is of numerous posts on social media and in web articles that were written by individuals who believed that they were saying all that was needed to be said when the authors wrote a survey (paraphrased): 'Picture a ball on a table. Imagine someone pushes the ball. What happens to the ball? What is the color of the ball?'

Many adults are stunned at the questions' nonsense. In past years it was common for individuals and teachers to pose similar phrasing while speaking of a physics topic, but the speakers' intentions were for the listener to simply form a mental memory of data that would later be used for illustrating the physics of mass and resistance. To the adults, the authors' questions were absurd because the authors did not say what the ball's color should be, nor how hard the ball was pushed, nor what size the ball was, nor any of the thousands of other necessary details that a person would have to have knowledge of before the person could answer correctly.

After reading of the bizarre survey, I asked an intelligent 'phantasia' individual the question about the ball. Quickly the individual intelligently answered that there was no color; the ball's color was not given. I applauded the intelligent 'phantasia' person's intelligent answer.

However, laughter erupted when we later discovered that the survey authors had intended to say something like 'Imagine in your mind a fully realistic visualization of a ball'. The survey authors' words 'Picture a ball' may have made sense to people who regularly see imaginary pictures in their minds, but the words do not make sense to people who consciously think and analyze thoughts.

Unfortunately, the survey authors wrongly claimed that their surveys proved that the survey-takers who had already self-created an imaginary mental picture of a ball were 'phantasia', and thus the 'phantasia' survey-takers were of a higher intelligence than the 'aphantasia' individuals who were still waiting for the survey authors to finish explaining their words.

One author literally stated that the 'phantasia' survey-takers had formed their imaginary mental pictures "without conscious thought", which, according to the author, implied high intelligence. Wow.

"At the heart of this seminal work is the revolutionary idea that human consciousness did not begin far back in animal evolution but was a learned process that emerged, through cataclysm and catastrophe, from a hallucinatory mentality only three thousand years ago and that is still developing." (Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, ©Copyright 1975, 1990)

Jaynes' book was interestingly fun to read in the early 80s, and though the book had mistakes, still the general gist of Jaynes' ideas held merit: not all two-legged creatures have consciousness. By their own words, 'phantasia' believers admit that they form imaginary mental imagery "without conscious thought". When the 'phantasia' believers are asked to describe their imagery, the individuals cannot do so; the individuals literally are incapable of conscious observation. (The SQ project confirmed similarly.)

Tri-Polar Language

All languages have always changed from generation to generation, including English. Today's popular conversational English is often of incoherent absurdities to individuals over fifty. Examples are of the news media, social media, and individuals saying (and sensationalizing) words like 'extreme, emergency, astonishing, amazing, horror, fear' while never using words of degrees like 'interesting, curious, catch your eye, odd, cautious, apprehensive', nor any of the many, many other English words that speak of degrees of emotioned attention.

It is not always what people say that lends evidence of their intelligence, but rather it is what the people cannot and do not say. The inability to naturally use words of degrees, appears to strongly suggest that the speakers themselves do not possess the degrees of mind.

The absence of words of degrees parallels a growing tendency of people behaving 'tri-polar'. The individuals' most common mental state is of selfishness (almost as if a seething selfishness that is focused solely upon the person's ego and narcissistic desires), and if other people do not do what the tri-polar person wants, then the tri-polar person boohoos while still attempting to get their way, and if they still do not get their way then the tri-polar person's emotions leap to the other extreme of screaming at the person who did not do what the tri-polar person wanted. (People marching in protests are an example.) The modern use of English appears to mirror much of the tri-polar mentality.

From Female Four Books (Confucian)- aka The Four Books for Women - 女四書: "Happy angry, grieve laugh, it have-not expressed, call it center' (word-per-word draft translation of 中庸 Zhong Yong)." James Legge translated the words to be: "While there are no stirrings of pleasure, anger, sorrow, or joy, the mind may be said to be in the state of Equilibrium." When people do not have the firsthand experience of a thing, then their words cannot reflect nor describe what the thing is. Legge did not know what 'being centered' is because he himself was not centered of mind nor of heart.

Differences of word meanings directly reflect each individual's firsthand experiences, as well as reflect each individual's ability to consciously think.


No known 'phantasia-aphantasia' project used words of degrees. All known 'phantasia-aphantasia' projects leaped to claim 'either-or' descriptions of 'phantasia' and 'aphantasia' people.

It has always been common for unlearned western philosophers to use tri-polar-like extremes of words. Christian missionary and Oxford University employee James Legge, his translations of ancient Chinese texts are useful examples. James Legge and other scholars have claimed that Confucius said "It is only the truly virtuous man who can love, or who can hate, others." (Li Ren 3). It appears plausible that Legge's interpretation of 'virtue' implied a subservience to following a religion's commandments, and Legge's use of 'hate' may have implied a hatred for everyone who does not subserviently follow the religion's commandments. Legge did not know the definition of any word, nor could he describe what his own words meant, and yet some scholars today are trying to invent Legge as having been a "genius".

Legge's hate-filled nature was exhibited throughout all of his translations. Another excellent example is given in Analects 17:24-25 陽貨 - Yang Huo - Three Important Words:

"Zi Gong said, "Has the superior man his hatreds also?" The Master said, "He has his hatreds. He hates those who proclaim the evil of others. He hates the man who, being in a low station, slanders his superiors. He hates those who have valor merely, and are unobservant of propriety. He hates those who are forward and determined, and, at the same time, of contracted understanding." The Master then inquired, "Ci, have you also your hatreds?" Zi Gong replied, "I hate those who pry out matters, and ascribe the knowledge to their wisdom. I hate those who are only not modest, and think that they are valorous. I hate those who make known secrets, and think that they are straightforward.""

Not only was Legge's hate-filled nature exhibited throughout his 'translation', he also purposefully portrayed Confucius as being an idiot hypocrite for 'hating people who hate'. Legge was an utter imbecilic moron, and yet scholars today continue to accept Legge's translations as being valid (with most all scholars copy-pasting into their own translations much of what Legge wrote), which proves that the scholars are no more intelligent than Legge was.

Scholars are also the ones who invented, proctored, and evaluated the 'phantasia' projects. If a scholar is not mentally competent enough to mentally recognize Legge's extreme dementia, then neither could the scholar be mentally competent enough to mentally recognize differences within 'phantasia' and 'aphantasia'. No known scholar is vocal against Legge's translations, which proves that the scholars begin inventing and believing in imaginary answers that cannot be true.


It is easily observable throughout history that there are two general categories: [1] people whose thoughts make use of firsthand experiences, and [2] people who imaginatively make stuff up and then believe that their imaginations are real. ('They who can, do. They who cannot, teach.')

The two general categories use words that relate to each category, but do not relate to the other category. The 'phantasia' projects were invented by 'phantasia' individuals whose word meanings only relate to people who have no firsthand experience, nor are able to think well enough to not contradict themselves. The 'aphantasia' individuals with firsthand experiences of life, know to not speak because the only possible reaction from the tri-polar scholars is hate.

From Types A and B Intelligence: "The foundation of the type ‘A’ logic, and thus intellect, is structured upon the incorrect belief at birth that the eyes see objects and that the sense of touch is perceiving physical matter. Since the type A intellect is almost universal, so then also is language, culture, science, and education structured to support and perpetuate the type A intellect. ...The type B intellect’s logic is verified as valid by physics, psychology, philosophy, biology, mathematics, and every other field, while the same fields verify that the type A logic is incorrect. But it is the incorrect type A logic that claims intellectual talents can only exist if the talents support the type A logic. IQ tests, IQ scores, and interpretations of what marks an intellectual prodigy, are all graded upon the type A logic."

The 'phantasia' theories were created from the 'Type A' mind.

Undan hulu... under cover, or before thunder, or before beginning... whichever words chosen, reflect one's own firsthand experience while listening to an Icelandic cello. That which is seen, and that which is heard, is not what the heart feels... but the heart's song reciprocates what was seen, what was heard, and what was self-learned. The heart's glow is self-learned, and self-created.

The heart's glow is not an imaginary image.

Related articles are in the Intelligence section.