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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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24
I. PRELIMINARIES
that the objective level, including, of course, our un-speakable feelings, 'emotions'., is the most important, and that the verbal levels are only auxiliary, sometimes useful, but at present often harmful, because of the disregard of the s.r. The role of the auxiliary verbal levels is only fulfilled if these verbal processes are translated back into first order effects. Thus, through verbal intercourse, in the main, scientists discover useful first order abstractions (objective), and by verbal intercourse again, culture is built; but this only when the verbal processes affect the unspeakable psycho-logical manifestations, such as our feelings, 'emotions',.
Some extraordinary parrot could be taught to repeat all the verbal 'wisdom' of the world; but, if he survived at all, he would be just a parrot. The repeated noises would not have affected his first order effects - his affects - the.se noises would 'mean' nothing to him.
Meanings, and the meanings of meanings, with their inseparable affective components, give us, therefore, not only the non-elementalistic foundation on which all civilization and culture depends, but a study of the non-el mechanisms of meanings, through psychophysiology and general semantics, gives us, also, powerful physiological means to achieve a host of desirable, and to eliminate a large number of undesirable, psycho-logical manifestations.
The physiological mechanism is extremely simple and necessitates a breaking away from the older elementalism. But it is usually very difficult for any given individual to break away from this older elementalism, as it involves the established s.r, and to be effective is, by necessity, a little laborious. The working tool of psychophysiology is found in the semantic reaction. This can be described as the psycho-logical reaction of a given individual to words and language and other symbols and events in connection with their meanings, and the psycho-logical reactions, which become meanings and relational configurations the moment the given individual begins to analyse them or somebody else does that for him. It is of great importance to realize that the term 'semantic' is non-elementalistic, as it involves conjointly the 'emotional' as well as the 'intellectual' factors.
From the non-el point of view, any affect, or impulse, or even human instinct, when made conscious acquires non-el meanings, and becomes ultimately a psycho-logical configuration of desirable or undesirable to the individual relations, thus revealing a workable non-el mechanism. Psychotherapy, by making the unconscious conscious, and by verbalization, attempts to discover meanings of which the patient was not aware. If the attempt is successful and the individual meanings are revealed, these are usually found to belong to an immature period of