SCIENCE AND SANITY - online book

An Introduction To Non-aristotelian Systems And General Semantics.

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structural adjustment of language and s.r, and a structural enquiry, resulting in understanding. It makes shallow infantile 'rationalization', 'wishful thinking', and apologetics of different brands impossible, but leads to a higher order of adult intelligence, based on proper evaluation. In mere 'rationalization', we often have clever, but shallow, infantile evaluation, based on the ignorance or disregard of structural facts, which alone make up the content of all 'knowledge'. In a -system, by eliminating the sources of infantile evaluation and reactions, we supply the nervous system of the infant with uniquely appropriate material, so that it may develop into a 'normal' adult. In the older system, instead of helping, we hindered the development of adult standards of evaluation, with well-known results. There is nothing wrong with 'human nature' or the majority of nervous systems as such, but there is something definitely wrong with our educational methods inside and outside our schools.
There is another point which is still more convincing and, perhaps, even more decisive. The above-mentioned older objections are due to s.r based on the play upon elementalistic terms and are a neurological impossibility. The organism works as-a-whole, and in the cyclic nerve currents it is impossible, by any known educational methods, to abolish 'emotions'. But what can be accomplished is this: By training in silence on the un-speakable objective levels and in differentiation between different orders of abstractions, we automatically abolish the infantile identifications and evaluations; we introduce a 'delay in action', which is the physiological means for getting our 'emotions' under control and for engaging the fuller co-operation of the cortex. Infantile 'over-emotionalism' is abolished in the adult. Infants would behave as infants, but this infantile behaviour would not be carried into the period when adulthood should begin. The 'emotions' are not abolished but 'sublimated'.
It is true that many standards would be changed. For instance, we might roughly say that an infantile type is often bored by a symphony and that jazz satisfies his infantile make-up. If we were to take such an infantile grown-up and compel him to listen only to symphonies, this would not be kind, nor would it transform his infantile s.r into adult reactions. But, if unhampered by inappropriate semantic and so neurological training, he would be free to develop normally into an adult, and his own preference would be toward a symphony rather than toward primitive throbbings, his enjoyment, then, would not be diminished, but, perhaps, made fuller.