Tabula Rasa

Referring to the epistemological (branch of philosophy that investigates the origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge) idea that individuals are born without built-in mental content and that therefore all knowledge comes from experience or perception. Tabula rasa is a Latin phrase often translated as ‘blank slate’ in English and originates from the Roman tabula used for notes, which was blanked by heating the wax and then smoothing it. The blank slate idea has a long history in philosophy that goes back to Aristotle. John Locke an English philosopher developed a theory that knowledge was formed by the association of sensory experiences and he referred to a blank sheet of paper as the start.

For years, doctors assumed that babies were born without any knowledge about the outside world, but recent research is now questioning this assumption. This new research shows that babies learn while they are still in the womb, many various things from the lilt (characteristic rising and falling of voices) of the native language that they hear to aspects about what will eventually become their favorite foods.  Babies comprehend stuff while they are in the womb, and some of this stuff they are able to remember after they’re born, and that information does prepare them for the world that they will soon experience once they get outside.  Babies begin to engage many of their senses and start to learn about the world around them during the last trimester of pregnancy and possibly even before that.

Linda asked us to picture ourselves in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.  No, I just made that up, actually Linda wants us to write about, or theme our post on the first picture that we see when we sit down to start writing. I enjoy participating in many of the writing challenges here on WordPress, like the word prompts and the picture prompts, but I also derive pleasure from starting out with a blank slate when I begin to write.  Starting out with a blank slate allows you to get your thoughts down quickly, then you can do anything that you want with them later. You are able to just start typing, with a vast expanse of space available to you. You can write whatever you choose, your options are only limited by your own creativity, as you are unencumbered by anything  else.

I wanted to end this post with Lucy In The Sky, but the best video of that is only enjoyed when you are tripping and watching the Yellow Submarine movie.  I like the picture in this mellow Grateful Dead song ‘Ripple’, as it is done with an Alice in Wonderland theme.

Written for 3/24/18 Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ Stream of Consciousness Saturday where the prompt is “to write about what we picture”.

6 thoughts on “Tabula Rasa

  1. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we used to read aloud and wondered if she would benefit from that. I don’t know is she did, but she is an avid reader. So maybe?

    By the way, I loved your line “…picture ourselves in a boat on a river with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.” I’m a big Beatles fan.

    Liked by 2 people

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