sometimes satiation isn’t a good thing

I absolutely can’t figure out how I found this yesterday. Link to link to link…

But this is such an important concept for so many areas.

So somehow I came across this term in something that I read online–semantic satiation.

Sounds interesting, you say? Here’s what Dr. Wiki says about it:

Semantic satiation (also semantic saturation) is a psychological phenomenon in which repetition causes a word or phrase to temporarily lose meaning for the listener, who can only process the speech as repeated meaningless sounds.

(You can find that here.)

Happens to me all the time, along with the inability to recall words. I’m sure they’re related.

But I’m sure that has to do with my parents trying desperately to make me right-handed, which caused major confusion in the part of my brain that deals with language.

Or so I tell myself, since I’m the only one who listens to such, um, a tale.

But [getting back to my subject] doesn’t it matter with everything that we do repeatedly?

Let’s suggest a list where this could play out:

  1. giving advice/directions/feedback to children
  2. to co-workers
  3. to relatives of all levels
  4. to spouses
  5. to G-d.


Oh you saw that coming, didn’t you?

It’s about anything repeated too often. It can lose its meaning. It’s like the mwaa-mwaa of Charlie Brown’s adults. (How would you spell that?) It becomes noise and signifying nothing.

Maybe full of fury but always full of sound.

Definitely told by idiots.

So the only answer is not to make it so meaningless, to figure out a way to invest it (whatever you’re saying–substitute any of the above, but certainly for prayer

Or for any conversation, really) with concentration.

On the other hand, sometimes as I pray I just get something I never thought of before and it is indeed meaningful. Since in Hebrew,להתפלל the verb for prayer is reflexive, it really is about how we are approaching and reflecting it back to ourselves.

So we shouldn’t be idiots.

But if the xkcd:Skynet is apt, then there is indeed a problem with becoming too self-reflexive, too caught up in yourself.

Yup, that works, too.

Remember your goal. It’s not about you.

Psalms Chapter 16 תְּהִלִּים

ח  שִׁוִּיתִי יְהוָה לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד: 8 I have set the LORD always before me.

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