SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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activities and processes of the human nervous system. The imposed and delusional dogmas are themselves the result of pathological evaluation in their originators; a necessity, perhaps, on a primitive level, but profoundly semantically harmful under the complexities of life-conditions 1933.
As it is impossible to eliminate the influence of the higher order abstractions, we should investigate whether or not we can control these processes and the related s.r. We can learn to regulate these processes, which otherwise may become pathological, and to redirect the currents into constructive survival channels. I can state definitely that this is possible. We can control physiologically the s.r through the elimination of identification, by training in order, in consciousness of abstracting, and similar disciplines, and thus eliminate the pathological semantic disturbances of confusion of orders of abstractions. Such training, whenever possible, has seemingly a beneficial influence even on the more extreme pathological states listed above, and suggests general preventive value.
Let me briefly restate the fundamental differences between lower order abstractions and higher. The lower order abstractions are manufactured by the lower nerve centres, which are closer to, and in direct contact with, actual life experiences. These are non-permanent, shifting, vague and un-speakable, but often very intense. They play a most important role in our daily lives. They cannot be transmitted, as they are essentially of a non-transmittable character, and have a private, nonpublic character. All 'sense' impressions, 'feelings', 'moods'., are representative of them. We should remember that, detached, they are fictions, manufactured verbally, because our language happens to be el. Actually, these lower centres are in the cyclic chain and so influence, and are influenced by, the full cycle, including the higher order abstractions, whatever the latter may be in a given individual. The main point is that they are shifting, changing, non-permanent, non-stable - 'moving', so to say - and remain un-speakable.
The higher order abstractions are abstractions from the lower order abstractions, being further removed from the outside world, and are of a distinctly different character. These are static, 'permanent', and cannot be entirely eliminated from any one.
From the point of view of sanity, the problem of how we can handle these functions becomes paramount. In the cyclic nervous chain, we always must translate one level into the other. Obviously, if, in the higher centres, we elaborate shifting, changing, non-permanent material, this material is not appropriate for them; they cannot work properly, and some pathological processes may set in.