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An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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GENERAL CONSIDERATIONS                       317
Pavlov shows, in an unusually impressive variety and numbers of experiments, how 'order' and 'delay' (four-dimensional order, in the language used here in this connection) are intimately related with most fundamental processes in the higher nervous centres, and how, by the changes or interplays of them, we can produce or eliminate pathological states of the nervous system.
In the human field we find a quite similar situation, unanalysable by older methods, because all order involves asymmetrical relations, which, as we have already shown, cannot be dealt with by A means.
The issue is clear and definite: either we persist in our old A habits of speech, in which case asymmetrical relations and order evade our grasp, and proper evaluation and sanity are physiologically impossible, or we build a ^-system free, or at least more free, from these evalua-tional limitations, which allows us to deal with order, and sanity becomes physiologically possible.
'Stimuli are never "simple", and, by necessity, involve fourfold space-time structure and order. Survival values involve, also, this four-dimensional order. For instance, the natural survival order is "senses" first, "mind" next; object first, label next; description first, inference next,. The reversal of the natural order appears pathological and pathogenic and is found as a symptom in practically all forms of "mental" ills, as well as in most human difficulties and disturbances which, at present, are still not considered abnormal. Thus, objectivity is ascribed to words, "mind" projected into "senses", inferences evaluated as descriptions ., - quite common "symptoms" . . . Observations on human levels show that we still copy animals in our nervous responses, confuse orders of abstractions (non-existent for the animals), leading fatalistically to the reversal of the natural order and to pathological results, making the great majority of us un-sane.'*
A structural non-el enquiry into the objective world shows quite clearly that no event is ever 'simple'; it is, at least, a limited whole of interrelated factors. The eventual 'simplicity' is manufactured by a nervous process of higher and higher abstractions.
In our consideration of 'order' and 'delay', and the role they play in connection with the activities of the nervous system, we must first discriminate sharply between the objective level which is unspeakable, because anything that can be said is not the object, and the verbal level, on which we can, at will, concentrate attention on similarities, or differences, or both. Secondly, we must pay special attention to structure -
♦From - Discussion by A. Korzybski. Proceedings of the First International Congress of Mental Hygiene. New York, 1932.