Last Updated on Sunday, 27 October 2013 20:37
Written by Pere Segura
In this article about the consideration and study of the language, Pere Segura discusses the appearance of the language from various points of view, including those of evolutionary psychology, neuropsychology, the own dysfunction in psychopathology and the comparative study with other species from the biology.
I. - LANGUAGE: DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES:
The consideration and the study of the language opens perspectives and diverse angles of consideration as much in psychology as in educational sciences.
Some of these perspectives: The appearance of the language from the point of view of the evolutionary psychology, the aspects of the language considered from neuropsychology, the own dysfunction in psychopathology, the comparative study with other species from the biology, etc.
There are other points of view, centered in the content, the style, the presentation, the expressiveness. They grant to the language several qualifying classifiers. We see it differentiated in the attributes "scientific", "philosophical", "ideological", "mythical", "popular", etc. There are anthropological and/or psychological aspects that determine these adjectives. The functions we know from typology may condition the appearance of differentiated languages. It is possible that the functions as to thinking, felling, sensoperception intuition, may condition such differentiated languages.
The diverse moments of a certain evolution of the forms of life and culture, also have something to do with the diversity of the language.
The more collective, should respond to the mithologematic creativity, while a later group and communal diversification should favour the access to languages with diverse conceptual frames, ideologies, ways of thinking, in correspondence with differentiated world views. And if these moments are followed by an individualistic "Babel moment" ("there each one...", and "each lunatic to their topic", orphan of collective relating), then environments of individual liberalism show up. Each one moves among minimum conditions, easily infers the coincidence and the understanding, or rejects it, promoting, thus, narcissistic closeness. But then, if that keeps on this way, the own popular language will look for contributing again to create bonds and communication, to make evident the "none is an island." And possibly the cycle restarts again, and then, the creation of bonds would obey to the searching of relating mythical. May be we are speaking about three moments of a process, but also, about three concentric identities in the resonance.
We can also observe that those who deal with the language have dynamic or static perspectives. Sometimes they classify it in seemingly closed and differentiated compartments, or sometimes they consider the processes, as "process contemplators".
In any perspective we will always see it extraordinarily "psychic": obeying to the creative flight of the humanity in the desire of saying. Saying what is thought and lived, thinking and living in the saying. Extraordinarily creative effort: somebody emphasised how in the absence of an own somatic apparatus, you end up nevertheless building a function so distinctive in the human being.
II. A DIFFERENT ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE
Studying language we can try out a different perspective. Let us see coincidences and significant slopes that offer other diverse perspectives and angles. That, if we think of the origin of the human phenomenon and the speech; and if we put beside the communication processes, the development of the personality processes and their incorporation to the mature life, the groupal processes and the initiation processes.
We distinguish three stages in the process conducting the incorporation to the, so to say, maturity or adult life.
1ª: educational stage: in which prevail formation and learning processes.
2ª: community stage: integration processes in a fair, participatory and integrated coexistence.
3ª: professional stage: here, matters the specialised, research and creative exercise.
We also distinguish three stages in the groupal processes:
1ª: formation stage: where prevail the interest of individual location.
2ª: internal consolidation of the group stage: the community rols prevail.
3ª: Stage centred in the objectives and purposes of the group.
We distinguish three stages in the initiation processes:
1ª: catechumenal stage: personal interest and entrance in the group of those that get ready as neophytes.
2ª: community life stage: integration and participation in the internal services of the community, in their rituals and celebrations.
3ª: external realisation of the individual charisma stage, as correspondent of the own community.
It doesn’t look like we force the outlines if we find parallelisms and three basic moments in the three processes:
A first moment of prevalence of individual aspects where the receptivity and the exercising stand out. A second moment with prevalence of relationship, bond living, coexistence and participation aspects. A third moment where the exercise of the freedom and willingness in the gift and in the service, in the exercised mission and in the courage that accompanies profession, prevails.
We can think that there exist in the language comparable aspects to the three pointed out moments: we see an outline where we propose the possibility to distinguish diverse languages again.
III. THE LANGUAGE ASSOCIATED TO THE DEVELOPMENT, GROUPAL AND INICIATION PROCESSES.
The first column contains the three fundamental stages. The rest configure suggestions and comments that are written following horizontal lines in the schema. Let’s see some notes regarding each section:
III.1. The "emerging" language:
The imagination risks hypothesis about the origin of the language, and its human invention. And if also here, like in other vital environments, we compare filogenia and ontogenia, we find interesting suggestions.
The language in its engendering (father-ing), in its conception, contains those "concepts", (note the word "to conceive") more original, more primary. We can find them in the most original, more firstly marked words. And we can find the biggest likeness among diverse languages in such words "original." "Mare", "Mére", "Mother", "Mutter", "Madre",... The M and its buccal emission so related with the nutritious origin. And in the concept of origin related with diverse aspects that refer to origins: "Matter", "Material", "Mar" (sea)...
The etymological consideration, although offers certain complexity, presents us the words like authentic syllabic ideograms, in correspondence with the visual ideograms from other cultures, and helps us to get back the sense of the words. What’s genuine, what belongs to the origin, presents an extremely interesting identity.
The etymological research doesn't have to stop, for instance, in the immediate Greek or Latin, Germanic or Arab origin, it is convenient to look for the origin of the construction of the word in its more remote origins, for example through an Indo-European etymological dictionary. Also the endolingüistics opens to us the exhaustive comparison among the different languages, and it facilitates, thus, the question of the origins. Such studies ask to combine the demand of objectivity and the possibility to allow and set free the intuition, its observations and the remark of significant coincidences.
Let’s give an example. With no doubt would be profitable, particularly for certain discussions, -often "politicised"-, to stress how the Indo-European dictionary clarifies that the "Self", -the root of all what is authentic -, the "nation" -natus: to be born-, and the "language", they have the same linguistic origin: s(w)e -, reflexive pronoun in the third person, that with lengthening and suffix produces "sel-bho-", from which derives the Germanic "selbaz": oneself. With suffix swedh-no -, from which derives the Greek "etnos": nation, town, race (people from the same nature than oneself). And again with lengthening and suffix swed-yo -, and to the Greek "idios": the own thing, the personal thing, and so the "idiom", "language": each nation with its own language.
In other teaching chores, it is also stimulant the etymological knowledge. For example in observing that the "dignity" is directly related to the will of learning, that "to study" means to have liking for something, and that is "docta" -doctor...-, (normally understood as learned, erudite, well versed in…!), the person that showing something stimulates the will to know.
Certain etymologies of particular complexity can be wonderful: to see how the Spanish word "mismo" -"same"-, as the Italian medesimo and the French même, comes from the Latin superlative "memetipsimum." Compound word from the reflexive "Me", from the mysterious "met", (that keeps relationship with the German "mit", and that somebody has related to the Hindu "atma" ), from the strong "ipse" in superlative similar to "optimum"... . The Catalan and the Occitan language use "mateix" coming from "metipse", renouncing to the superlative... Well in these languages something as an almost delirant "the most self of myself".
We can observe the manifestation (epi-fania) (epyp-phany), in the boy, the infant (in-fante: the one that doesn't manifest), of the expressive language, and to see his expression together to his "ex-positions"= "para", that are projected ="bolein", parabola, palabra, word. And we can observe how the motor function has an important role there as well. We know of the taking care of the dyslexia by means of the care of the expression and the corporal balance.
We can find an emergent language in the adolescent stage, in the stage where the searching and care of the own identity emerges. The adolescent builds easily his own language, with its own sentences, and with invented, transformed and imported words. It also traces this way its differentiation. And it’s also a language participated among the ones of his group in a culturally initiation form, and that gives a sense of membership.
The initiation language opens the door to the group, gives a sense of membership, of belonging to a community. In the adolescents with no doubt, but we can observe it in diverse groups as well. We can find it, , in marginal groups, in institutionalised groups, to give an example: among prisoners. We also find the initiation language in the professional field. That prestigious surgeon that, a bit ironic, noticed the first day he gave class: "I won't speak of digital appendixes, I will speak of fingers."
Somehow, all emergent language involves a news ("notus"), a first knowledge, a first one "entrance", a "begin", a novelty (nouvelle, news). Not in vain the news pick them up and edit the "in-formation" means (the mass media). We are "novices" . The news confers internal formation, in a way it tends to "con-form us." Christianity speaks of "evangelium", that can be translated for "good news". And it was a news destined to produce an important change: a conversion, "metanoia." The attention to the news moves among the exercise of approach and the possibility to introduce changes. For that reason the power instances have so much interest in the control of the information. And that’s why also exist so many educational reformations looking for the control of the information sources in the diverse means.
The pointed conclusion: Let us see if the language that started somehow new with analytical psychology, produces "metanoia", conversion, changes, in us and in our encounters… or speaks only to a brain…
III.2 The language dialogic
Dialogue means an encounter in which the participants found themselves immersed or implied in a searching of sense ("logos"), mainly through the expression and the word. The dialogic language approaches the processes of communication and coexistence with its peculiar aspects of content and form.
To begin with we connect with what has been said about the news. The demagoguery, as the publicity looks for moving people. "Gogein" has to do with conduction. "Demagoguery" means the conduction of the people. In this sense all leadership consists on influencing and moving, so in a way, involves demagoguery. The publicity is interested in capturing the attention and producing the motivation. At least there is a necessity to assist. But the publicity seduces more than it drives. "Se-duction" similar to "subducción", to drive from below, and if it is possible in a subliminal form, below the frontier of the conscience. It is not the same than the "sug-gestive" language that doesn't eliminate the conscience, but calls to use the intuition, and therefore an invitation to go further on, under, the sensorial perceptive appearances.
The colloquy, as the dialogue, represents the exercise of the opening to the "other", characteristic of all communication, all conversation, in a common search of sense. This search knows that the things grow fond of reality through the encounter between the one that emits and the receiver. The things are not just like they are said but the things are juast as they arrive. The one that emits has under consideration the receiver and the receiver the one that emits. Otherwise the "nonsense" is prevalent in form of prejudices and mixing-up. In the communication, the word, every thing’s name, the "onoma" of the Greeks, it is the object at stake. By means of the "onoma" we communicate our knowledge on the things, the knoledge we have before the encounter. As well as we participate in a "dia-lexis" discursive-arguer. The word always contains a seed "parusía", "Pascua" and "Easter", appearance, and therefor, a joious exchange that opens the route to bigger fullness and encounter, and that it is worthy of celebration.
When we speak to each other, in the flowing of the con-versation, of our verter (pouring) in company, we in-fluence, we open up and we become beloved. The language is made container of the sense of humour, opens up to the "cordura" (good sense)–(from cor, cordis = heart), and is a container made of emotions and feelings. The language creates linking, communion. The "communio" requests for the ritual that has a meaning and establishes a setting. Antoine de Saint Exupery, wrote that wonderful book "The Little Prince." When he introduces the beginning of an intimate friendship between the little boy-princep, the Puer, and that small fox, representative of Wisdom, he proclaims the necessity of elaborating rites and containers.
We have pointed out the relationship between communion and celebration, feast. The unequivocal and identifying element of the celebration is the exultation, the joy. "Happiness, Joy, that you are from the gods, spark generated in the sky." Europe chose the song to happiness, with the music of Beethoven like its own hymn. And which is the language of the gods? The question invites me to remember a suggestion that I received with a book-gift: "The books with blank pages are so that in them the gods write, you just listen". When writing in them with authenticity we let them to take form, to be embodied, and we give, we serve, a concrete form for the coming suggestions of the dialogue I-Self. C.G.Jung (1959) in his work "Aion", locates the God-Incarnated Christ like the Self’s archetype. And in a dialogue that looks for sense, the one’s in dialogue, if they don't get lost in crossed competitiveness and if they know how to be with themselves when being with the other one, they are payees of joy and contribute to a paschal feast.
The welcoming retirement and the silence represent the best circumstances to write in such books of blank pages. These books are mediators of inspiration and access the logos. They confer support to the necessary taking care of oneself and the own music. "I saw music in me, and I dedicated my life to serve it" left written in his biography Pau Casals. The service to the interior truth involves enthusiasm. "Enthusiasm", eloquent word in its Greek origin that comes to express the "to feel like a god", even better, in god, deified. "Happiness you belong to the gods." The enthusiasm, as a choral joy belong to those who introduce the sense of community in life.
The joy of an authentic feast beats in the agreement and the consent of all the individual musics. Then the presence of symbols becomes unavoidable, obvious "sim-bal.lo": the connection and the prospective, gathering and integrating all the elements and uniting them in the own dynamism of life. Community is engendered this way. Like in the rituals of the town’s days of feast and celebration. As in the explosion of a Gothic architecture, Chartres, Notre Dame or Amiens, with its labyrinths, with its alchemy, or its splendid eclesiología.
The language of the town and its poets stands out words that shape the meaning of the coexistence. Let us put certain mottoes for example, as the one of the castellers, "força, equilibri, valor i seny" (strength, balance, courage and good sense) When they build their "human castles", in their uprightness, inflation doesn't exist. It will be the little boy or girl, the "enxaneta", the one that will crown the construction. And the little boy or girl will be able to ascend thanks to the "pinya", to the potent criss-cross of so many in the base of the "castle." The small one, when indicating with his flight expression (he/she raises his/her arm up in a fast movement, like a waving and flying arm) that he/she has arrived to the summit, it is a wonderful plastic expression of that "the more you’ll be yourself the more you will know how to be people with people." In countless dances, like in the catalan "sardana", mandala circles are created and configure an special way of living fraternity and internal resonance at the same time in being linked.
A pointed conclusion: Let us see the the language in analysis no only the appropiate for an encounter of You and I, but also for a place where the sense of community increases.
III.3 Anagogic language
Anagogía means conduction of life, the reference here of what we call anabolism in biology, constructive synthesis of the vital material. Let us see the anagogía belonging to the spirit. In the biblical stories of the origins we read how the Spirit laid on the waters pouring life, how breath was made to insufflate life, soul, in the clay with which the first Adam had been modeled. "Souffle de vie", "Breath of life", here’s the name, the expression for the psychology, "psique"-butterfly for the Greeks. Soul-butterfly, symbol of the transformations that promotes the spirit in our way towards individuation.. The spirit that blows in freedom. When taking care of the spirit, psychology, means something else than only the study of the mind, it rather means soul sense, welcoming of the spirit, expression of life. It’s convenient to recover the ancient triad "soma", "psyche", "neuma", body, mind, and spirit.
The spirit transmits wisdom. And, as we know, wisdom has to do with life experience, through the "pathos", through the supported emotion, "so-portar", "sub-fero", suffering that is sustained, is contained and "suffered". With the patience, comes the understanding, advice, science, strength, devotion, mercy and a respect. Patience knows how to be marvelled.
When the psyche-soul is not under conditions to contain the suffering it passes this to the soma. Suffering becomes a psychosomatic trouble. The Ego needs to know how to confront ambivalence. Through the soul we know how to be with the shadow, in the twilight, when it is not daytime neither night-time, in the chiaroscuro transit.
Anagogía means openess to the sense of life. Víctor Frankl promoted "logotherapy", the therapy based in this looking for sense. Jung said that the aim of psychotherapy is to have enough courage and patience to live joy and suffering. "Psychotherapy" then, for us, is not reduced to the cure of the mind. Psychotherapy is cure with soul, and through the soul., as well as hydrotherapy is cure through water, or ludotherapy through game, and musictherapy through music. The psychotherapy requires technique and method and a pondering about what makes sense. But also requires the "deloun", insight, interior seeing. And in this way it’s an art directed not just to the mind, but to the life experience of the individual (Mermall, 1978). Then the psychology opens roads of individuation, creativity and harmony in each individual being.
Let us remember that distinction of Karl Popper (1977) between the "world 2", the world of sensibility and conscience, and the "world 3", the world of the creativity that results from mind and consciousness. According to Popper the conscience of the limitations, of the suffering and death, opens our way to the proper human culture of the "world 3". We can affirm that this culture resides in the cultivation of fundamental values, such as the search of the truth, the expression of the beauty, the generation of those bonds or ties based upon learning to love. The culture of the pleasure, or of the power, or of the prestige, they don't represent the world 3. That triad mentioned previously, soma, psyche and neuma of the ancients has a certain parallelism with the three worlds of Popper. Through that triad we can restore an axis that may vertebrate an appropriate consciousness about the evolution of our time. We need a psychy opened to world three, the penuma world. We need the courage of spirit to search the meaning of our life, opened to truth, beauty and love.
Let us refer here to "Research." And let us see research side to side to prospective and teleology. We Jungians knou how much strengh we put on prospective against the point of view reductionist. The word "teleon" points to final cause.
Teleology in research means not only the question about efficiency but also the questions related on where we go, and about what are we going to find at the end of our ways. There can’t be a heap of knowledge without heap of questions and queries. Opening to new "questions/subjects." The more we get rid of folly, of the lack of sense, better the conscience overcomes the pendulous enantiodromía (See Mattoon, 1992). It exists in us the function that transcends the blocking, Sisifo’s movement, the expectant oscillation or the lacking of opening. The transcendent function searches the creative synthesis of life’s spiral. Mysterium conjunctionis. We advance in the constant dynamic balancing that looks for the synthesis of those "contrary", through a movement of energy that flows among unlike poles. Sometimes in the hegelian spiral of thesis, antithesis and synthesis. Psychology locates us in front of polarities. Conscious/unconsciouss, introversion/extraversion, instinctive guideline/archetypical imago, logos/eros, masculin/femenin, puer-senex (see Hillman, 1989), etc. Working with them, the research, investigation, outlines matters and questions and goes forward, opens roads, through answers opened to new questions.
Research, for many, means the objectivity linked to a science primarily extroverted. We Jungians have a responsibility on tie research to a scientific subjectivity.
The opening to the spirit renovates us and locates the importance of the subject and the subjective themes. The subjective experiencing gathers wisdom and view.
Research faces themes and theories. Let’s not forget that in its etymology and for the Greeks a "thema" was an exercise of style and theory a truth worthy to be contemplated. The music helps us to experience the subjectivity and its sense, the sense of a "thema", and the sense of contamplation. A musical sentence usually leaves an initial and initiation impulse, the "arsis." Usually remains, then, as suspended in contemplative ecstasy, even when it is for some instants, relaxing in the joy, or playing, delighting with the musical drawing overdraft, with no avidity, rocking the experience, and it is loosened descending, in the search of the welcoming "thesis". We see there something more than the energetic enthropy and negenthropy. And in a concert, there is the silence and fullness from the auditors, preceding the applause and the expression of satisfaction and joy.
The second movement, the one of being suspended, in a sort of ecstasy, must not to be forgotten. The pillage, the appropriation, the reactivity, or eventhow the hedonic desire to relax, they forget it. The second movement, represents the balance point not to allow the "setting the desire free", not to fall in an exacerbated hedonism, to know how to accept the descent, the distension. And at the end of a contemplative silence there is the later applause, from those that have attended the expression of a symphony. Silence and communion, and festival shock.
The activism or the wild search of pleasure carries the human being to enormous ambitions, to absurd competitiveness, to rivalries, to the loss of subjectivity, to the "cosificación" of the "other", (treat the other one like an object), etc.
The space of the welcoming and container silence, it is the bigger producer of the subjectivity, the one that drives to the discovery, to the "ah!" from the wise, the "eureka, I found it." It is the moment that propitiates the culture of the coexistence in sharing and communicating.
The subjectivity discovers and rediscovers the joy, the inspiration, the hope. The psychology that has so much spoken of depressions, anguishes, anxiety, fear, defens mechanisms, etc. will do well in carrying out an effort to light positive emotions, as points Verena Kast (1991), without qualifying them of unbalanced euphoria, unrealistic optimism, or naive infantilism. With the subjectivity we discover also the fidelity to own acorn as Hillman would say.
The psychology of the courage, perhaps it still remains without being written, insufficiently studied yet, perhaps hoping to be discovered. If you visit the house of the alchemist Jacques Coeur, at Bourges, you will see written on the walls: "a Coeur vaillant rien est impossible". Let us think, for example in Erich Fromm: he made an approach to the language corresponding to such a psychology, when he wrote "The art of loving", or "The fear in face to freedom"... The art of loving: some acquire it with hedonic purposes. There are the statements: to love somebody you need to feel responsible, to treat him carefully, to have respect towards him and will to know him. And, then, it’s required to practice everything with concentration, discipline and patience. With no doubt courage it is needed for all of it. Let’s think, to give another example, in Gandhi, in his biography titled "My experiences with the truth", without a doubt the courage of his "active non violence" is present there. When in front of a certain commitment, academic or religious, in certain atmospheres it is intoned the "Veni Creator Spiritus", a song impregnated of contemplation and the force of the spirit, the courage is recited.
The spirit carries us to maturity in understanding the path, opens us the capacity for the human prospective, to transcend the sake of convenience, the immediate. To exercise professionalism requests spirit. Each one takes care of their own gifts, that each one exercises their own charisma. With committed responsibility. The language of the committing it is in diverse environments. In the scout promise, for example, or in environments of bigger transcendence, in the baptismal promises, in the sacramental formulas, in the Hippocratic oath, in the taking up the post of certain positions and responsibilities, in the exercise of ministries, services.
Charisma, comes to point out a gift of the spirit. Let us give an end to this rehearsal with an etymological experience, leaving it open to the reader’s meditations: "charisma" comes from the Indo-European "gher-", to find pleasure, to want, to desire. The dicctionary marks here: "*ghr-i - " goes to the greek "jaris", grace, happiness. And "charisma": divine gift; "eu-caristia" (Eucharist): sacrifice, - to do the sacred thing, (to do the good)good -, from the thanksgiving."
Third pointed conclusion: Let as live the language in analysis as appropiate for our living a charismatic gift form the spirit, the pneuma.
An analytic process entails moments of announcement, coexistence’s communication, exercise of the art encouraged by the spirit. The patient discovers an analyst with which is rediscovered himself, the dialogue that looks for sense settles down and confirms in the sessions. The discovery of the own gifts it bears taking care of the individuation process.
At sight of all what I have try to expose there is a desire: That we can think with more looseness how the singularity of the analysis transcends the common psychotherapy and it claims a bigger formation in the analyst, and a responsibility, an answer, to the singularity of each person or of any human group that claims for our presence.
© Pere Segura 2001. All rights reserved.
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M. Ann Mattoon (1992). The trascendent function. Individual and Collective aspects. Proceedings of the XII Congress for Aanalytical Psychology. Chicago.
J. Hillman. (1989) Puerpapers. Spring Publications. Dallas
Verena Kast (1991). Joy, inspiration and hope. Texas A&M University Press.