The Humanity Of Words - online book

A Primer Of Semantics

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gS                    THE HUMANITY OF WORDS
the silent objective level. When we see, we see something. When we enjoy, we enjoy something. Etc. We must be aware of the objective nature of firsthand experience, Korzybski says, in order to have the proper orientation to life. Such an orientation he calls extensional as contrasted with the intensional orientation that emphasizes wrords, "thoughts" definitions, ideas and ideals, but apart from the world of people and things.
But this silent level is neither suppressive nor repressive of words. This is the deep living level which is not words and which cannot be reached by words alone. Korzybski says that most of us have difficulty in reaching the silent level of wordless experience. We are verbalizers. We are "thinkers." And so we vitiate the un-speakable level of the pure experiencing of a sunset, a symphony, companionship, etc. We forget that between the silent level of actual experiencing and the verbal level of description there is an unbridgeable gulf.
Note now the level of bone3 on the vertical index.
It is quite possible that Rebel will respond vigorously when you say Come} boy! I've got a bone for you! Rebel will understand. He may even "speak." The label "bone" bone3has meaning for him. But Rebel doesn't know how intelligent he is. He doesn't know he is abstracting the similarities of the class of bones and leaving out all of the differences.
But Rebel is done with abstracting at this point. He cannot move from his firsthand experience with the thing to more general "bone" contexts. He cannot move, for instance, to the broader context of the bone market; thence to the broader context of bone monopoly; thence to the broader context of international trade in bones, etc. (eacl level of which subsumes the lower levels).