SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

Home | About | Philosphy | Contact | Search

seeing, handling, actually feeling., and, therefore, by pointing our finger to the object on the Structural Differential and being silent - all of which cannot be conveyed by words alone.
In experiments with the 'mentally' ill in whom the semantic disturbances were very strong, it took several months to train the patients in non-identity and in silence on the objective levels. But, as soon as this was achieved, either complete or partial relief followed.
The main disturbances in daily life, as well as in 'mental' illness, are found in the affective field. We find an internal pressure of identifications, expressed by bursting into speech, and unjustified semantic over-evaluation of words, the ascribing of objectivity to words,. In such cases, suppression or repression of words does not accomplish much, but often does considerable harm and must be avoided by all means. Under such conditions, the use of the relief diagram becomes a necessity in pointing to the difference between different orders of abstractions and inducing the semantically beneficial silence on the 'objective level' without repression or suppression.
With the use of the Structural Differential, we can eliminate identification, and so attain the benefits, avoiding the dangers. If any one identifies, and his s.r drive him into an outburst of speech, we do not repress or suppress him; we say, instead: 'At your pleasure [since it makes him feel better], but remember that your words occur on the verbal levels [showing with a gesture of the hands the hanging labels], and that they are not the objective level, which remains untouched and unchanged'. Such a procedure, when repeated again and again, gives him the proper semantic evaluation of orders of abstractions, frees him from identification, yet without repression or suppression. It teaches him, also, to enquire into alleged 'facts', and then to try to find structurally better forms of representation. If such results are not forthcoming, we may use the older forms, but by proper evaluation we do not semantically put 'belief in these forms of representation. Such beliefs always appear as the result of identification somewhere.
The technique of training is simple. We live on the 'objective' or lower order of abstraction levels, where we must see, feel, touch, perform ., but never speak. In training, we must use our hands,. It is very useful, after the Structural Differential has been repeatedly explained, stressing, in particular, the rejection of the 'is' of identity, not to interrupt the other fellow. Let him speak, but wave the hand, indicating the verbal levels; then point the finger to the objective level, and, with the other hand, close your own lips, to show that on the objective level one can only be silent. When performed repeatedly, this pantomime has a