The structure of all languages have been naturally shaped by the basic form of the brain. Just as all humans have the same brain structure, so too do all human languages. This chapter will explore the Wisdom inherent in language and grammar. We will show the common structural denominators of speech - the "Grammar of Man". This grammar unites the thousands of spoken languages on our planet and allows for translation.
Language structure is derived from brain structure:
CHAPTER 1: SEMIOTICS
By Arnold Keyserling and R.C.L.
"The basic patterns of our mind
emerge from the structure of our speech."
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- CHANCE AND CHOICE
- a Compendium of Ancient and Modern Wisdom
Revealing the Meaning and Significance of the Myth of Science.
- Copyright SCHOOL OF WISDOM 1994-1999
- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
- Individual copies may be made and distributed without charge or changes to the text.
- ISBN 1-883185-94-7
- School of Wisdom 1995-1999 Copyright
- "Think Universal, Act Global"
Another unifying feature of all languages is the process of learning to speak. Mastery of all languages evolves in seven steps - from one to seven - by using system and method:
7 Spirit Poetry
6 Soul Communication
5 Body Word Power
4 Willing Grammar
3 Feeling Lateralization
2 Thinking Exploring the Acoustic Potential
1 Sensing Affective Gestures
1. AFFECTIVE GESTURES
The process begins as a baby with pre-verbal gestures. The first affective gestures are:
They have to be experienced to be conscious of the body.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Go ahead and make the four basic gestures now; really get into it, scream intensely, yawn until it is natural, weep until you have real tears, and then laugh until you realize how truly funny this is. The experience will prepare you for what is to come.
After gestures the child begins to babble to get acquainted with the possible sounds it can produce; it explores its acoustic potential. This is a basic prerequisite to the development of intelligence. The raw sound material is divided into five vowels with physiological locations and 45 consonants originating in the organs of articulation:
Head - I (eee)
Throat - E (a)
Heart - A (ahh)
Navel - O
Spine - U (oou)
The five vowels are based on natural body resonance. This was discovered by Hermann Helmholtz at the end of the last century. He wondered why out of the enormous number of vowels possible, only five are used. Using the German sounds for the vowels (Helmholtz was German) he found that the A (in English - ahh) vowel resounds in the heart region, the o around the navel, u (oou) at the level of the sacrum (Japanese Hara), E (a) resounds at the neck and the I (eee) behind the front at the place of the third eye (Sanskrit: Ajana Chakra). With the help of mechanical devices Helmholtz also discovered that the overtones and undertones of a length of around three feet, 224 hertz, make up most of human language.
In this century the French physician Alfred Tomatis has continued and expanded upon this work. We now know that the basic vowel sounds correspond to areas of the body. Moreover, there are also five basic tones - specific tonal frequencies - that correspond to the seven human energy centers, or "Chakras", explained in Chapter Seven. These prima-sonic tones do not, however, relate to the vowel sounds. This represents a fractal variation that will be explained later.
The consonants which together with the vowels make up the basic sounds of human language have five criteria in 9 places: hard, soft, aspirated, with and without tone. For example:
1 Voice H, tone
2 Throat CH
3 Larynx G, K
4 Palate R, J
5 Tongue L, TL
6 Tongue/Teeth N, D, T
7 Teeth S
8 Teeth/Lips F, V
9 Lip M, B, P
The French philosopher and historian Michael Foucault reports that nearly all philosophers of the Middle Ages based their philosophy on a numerology of 1 through 9 which was tied to this consonant structure. Thus by knowing the meaning of the numerals they were able to create incantations, and in rituals of alchemy and magic called spirits to their aid. This is the origin of magic languages of all kinds.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Translations into English of some of the works of Alfred Tomatis are now becoming available, for instance Tomatis' autobiography The Conscious Ear. But much more important than more reading at this point is to experiment with articulating the basic sounds. Try it - babble away - play with these sounds as babies do before they learn to speak. Make the different vowel sounds first, then progress to the consonants. Say each out loud several times. Pay attention to how each of the basic vowel sounds feel, to how they resonate differently. Notice the different mouth positions required to produce the basic sounds. Try this with others and notice the differences in pronunciation.
Try humming the vowel sounds out loud to amplify the resonance affects. Then do it in tune with the seven tones at the end of the PrimaSounds CDs in the fifth, sixth and seventh volumes of the School of Wisdom series: Life Tuning; PrimaSounds, and GateKeeper. There is more on this in later Chapters. Also try talking out loud in tune with the PrimaSounds, both music and individual tones. Notice how this affects your speech, how it makes your vocal cords and sinuses feel. Does this alter your perception of your voice, or change your voice, make it more harmonious? Tape record yourself talking before, during and after PrimaSounds. What is the difference between how you hear yourself in your head, and how you "really" sound, how you sound to others?
In Glossolalia one formulates a poem in a make believe language without meaning, appealing to your feeling alone. Then the threshold from nonsense to significance is crossed by translating the imaginary language poem into one's spoken language (dialect). The translation comes from lateralization, bridging the left and right hemispheres of the brain.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Sound out a poem in gibberish, pure babble, then write it down. For instance: "Gobble de gook, de la de la, so fumnead te ran de boo." Your babble poem is in your own language, go by the sounds and make it as long or as short as you want. After it is all written down, then quickly translate it. Don't think about it too much, just do it. Put your critical mind aside for a while and let your imagination flow. You will be surprised.
4. GRAMMAR - LOGIC
The fourth step is to get from spoken language - dialect - to speech - coherent language embodying a higher order. The higher ordering comes about through grammar. The nine categories of grammar have a basis in number following the geometric figure of the Enneagram, a symbol held sacred in the Sufi tradition and discussed further in Chapter Six.
Understanding this relation between number and grammar is the bridge between esoteric and exoteric knowledge, numbers and meaning. The implication of this relationship is that quantity equals quality. This is an important concept which is subtle and difficult to fully understand. The distinction between sense and meaning which underlies this concept is discussed further at the beginning of Chapter Five.
QUANTITY EQUALS QUALITY means to go beyond meaning -finding the meaning of your life - into sense - making sense of your life, by using number and grammar, the basic tools of the Wheel. You make sense of your own life, as opposed to finding it's meaning in a pre-existing order or plan which exists outside of yourself. You make up the meaning, restrained only by math and grammar, to determine whether it makes sense. Only math and grammar - making sense - are objectively true, the meaning you give to life is always subjective. If the meaning works for you, then it passes the pragmatic test. For you it is true, it makes sense. But do not follow the error of the past. Do not attempt to impose your truth, your personal answer, upon others. Please, we have enough religions already! Each individual has their own dream, their own question. We must all make sense for ourselves. No one can do it for us. By learning the nine categories of grammar, and understanding their connection with number, it becomes much easier to make sense.
1. Conjunction: And, Or. This category of grammar allows you to grasp a connection. It is that which unites or ties words with the things identified with or symbolized by the words. Alternatively, or it can unite two or more words into a larger idea. It is in essence "inclusion or exclusion."
Name - Concept
This part of speech allows for conception which generalizes from the particular.
(2) Transitive - Have
(3) Modal - Want to Go
The verb represents understanding occurring in time, a dynamic process with past, present and future.
4. Preposition, Declension:
(1) Nominative Case (Subject)
(2) Accusative (Object)
(3) Dative (Relation)
(4) Genitive, Possessive
The preposition portrays the imagined personal relations between yourself and other things, people or ideas; it is a mental representation.
(3) Superlative(4) Definite (Numeral)
(5) Indefinite (Numeral)
The adjective allows qualifications, descriptions of the noun which pertain to and allow discernment; an analysis to exact and precise forms.
6. Verbal Persons (Grammatical subject):
This is the capacity to personalize a time event or verb - the making of a statement.
(7) Question: Who or What
The pronoun modifies nouns, asserts them, by placing them in relationship.
8. Adverb, connected with Question:
(1) Where Place
(2) When Time
(3) Why Cause
(4) How often Frequency
(5) How much Degree
(6) How Manner
(7) Limiting Limitation
(8) Is it true Modal (perhaps not)
The adverb modifies a verb, explains it through eight questions that show its circumstances.
9. Verbal Forms:
The nine verbal forms place an action into perspective, like a plan.
The triangle (3, 6, 9) (verb, person and verbal forms) is composed of time words. You have to use 1 of the 3 verbs, 2 of the 6 verbal persons (gender and person) and 3 of the 9 verbal forms (time, mode and voice). This is the basic structure of every sentence. The space terms (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8) (conjunction, noun, preposition, adjective, pronoun, adverb) are complements and can be added at will. If you exclude a category in a communication, or take a category as part of the information (example: 3 Marxist dialectic, the dogma that everything is thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis), then you destroy dialogue and enter dispute. There are two ways to avoid this:
Method one: Rational. Analyze an existential statement and determine which category is missing?
Method two: Irrational. Say non-associative words, then put them into the geometrical order from 1 to 9. This removes the "writer's block".
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Try the two basic methods to approach this knowledge. For the rational method, try analyzing something someone has recently said to you, or you to them, or try a famous quote. For another more advanced rational method reflect generally upon your speech, the types of words or phrases you tend to emphasize. Analyze which of the nine categories you emphasize, rarely use, or do not use at all. For instance, is your speech peppered with adjectives? This provides valuable information about yourself. Language follows the mind. You can learn about your mind, what's missing, and what's overemphasized, by studying your language patterns. You can do the same to the language patterns of others. In Chapter Six the Enneagram will be explained further and you will see the direct correspondence between parts of speech and human potentials and personality.
Also try the irrational method. This is particularly helpful when you want to (or have to) write something and you can't get started. Use free association in the nine words, don't think about the words to select. Save your thinking for trying to place them in the nine categories. Change the form of the word if needed to make it fit a category. Again note which categories you left out, and which you emphasized.
The words you possess, your word power, determines your role in civilization. Limitations on your vocabulary will limit your potential role.
700 - minimum to get along.
3,000 - minimum to have a job.
10,000 - minimum to have a social role.
60,000 - maximum, making up the language (Shakespeare, Goethe, Tagore, Confucius in signs).
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Try expressing an idea in: one Sentence; one Essay; one Novel or Treatise. Make a conscious effort to enlarge and improve on your vocabulary. Have a good dictionary handy when you read and look up new words as you come across them. When someone uses a word you are unfamiliar with in conversation, don't be afraid to ask what they mean by that word. Sometimes you may be amused to learn they don't really know themselves. The more words you know the more tools you will have to understand and express yourself and to communicate with others.
Nuances of Communication come through emphasis on a certain part of a sentence:
I Go to the wonderful concert.
The meaning changes by emphasis on a particular word in the sentence.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Try listening to the parts of speech in a sentence which different people emphasize. What does this tell you about what they are trying to communicate, about themselves? Deliberately use the emphasis technique more in your own speech. Notice how much more expressive you can become. What does it tell you about a person who never emphasizes, who speaks in a monotone?
We are used to changing words into images. Creativity is the contrary process, changing images or visions or events into something which makes sense. Vision comes from beyond, if you open up to inspiration.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Write another poem, but this time without using the gibberish technique. Start off by selecting an image or vision you have. Make the image as clear and intense in your mind's eye as possible. Take your time. Then try and put it into words. Again, don't think about it too much, just start writing and save your critical reflection for later. Let the words flow out; later you can rearrange the order, or correct or delete parts.
If you have trouble getting started and are right handed, it may help to use your left hand to write or type. Try expressing several different images. Some creations may be easier than others. Note how the words are sometimes inadequate and do not convey enough of the image, and how at other times the words actually broaden and clarify the image. If your critical mind still wants something to do, analyze the poems for parts of speech content. Which of the nine did you tend to leave out, which did you emphasize?
Most of the above methods and experiments (1 - 7) were used in the opening class of the School of Wisdom in Florida in April, 1992. A video tape is available from the School of Wisdom to show Arnold Keyserling leading the first group through these exercises and explaining the meaning of Semiotics and the School of Wisdom.
LANGUAGE AND THE BASIC CRITERIA OF COHERENCE
The physical brain molds our speech. Our speech in turn shapes our mind and how we make sense of the world. The basic patterns of our mind emerge from the structure of our speech. The essential criteria of our mind can be reduced to the three space-like realms of language, combined with the four time-like functions.
1 Sensing gesture
2 Thinking sounds
3 Feeling lateralization
4 Willing grammar
5 Body vocabulary
6 Soul communication
7 Spirit poetry
The union of the four functions with the three realms creates the twelve basic components of the mind-map. They are shown as the twelve sections on the outside of the Wheel and serve as the primal tool of orientation.
1. Soul Willing 7. Soul Thinking
2. Body Sensing 8. Body Feeling
3. Spirit Thinking 9. Spirit Willing
4. Soul Feeling 10. Soul Sensing
5. Body Willing 11. Body Thinking
6. Spirit Sensing 12. Spirit Feeling
This language Wheel is the basic gestalt of the mind and our coherent apprehension of reality. Projected onto the heavens it forms the zodiac. Projected onto Man it is the structure of the body. By entering into language, physical man born of woman becomes spiritual man born of the divine.
The key to this doorway, to understanding the twelve archetypes, comes from understanding the seven criteria from which the twelve are built, along with the eighth concept found in the center of the Wheel on which the others turn. We call this eighth criteria Awareness. As will be shown in the next chapter on Number, the Mandelbrot set finds its coherence in Zero. Just so in language and consciousness the seven components find their coherence and holistic unity in the center "Awareness" which underlies all speech and understanding. Awareness is the dynamic state of inner silence of the listener who hears and comprehends. Awareness, together with the seven states of consciousness - the four functions and three realms - make up the basic concepts upon which the twelvefold bridge to coherent speech and Wisdom are based.
These eight are the essence; all phenomena can be analyzed and reduced to these essential criteria. Exact definitions are not desirable, but the cluster word associations which follow may help you to identify what is intended.
EIGHT BASIC COMPONENTS OF COHERENCE
8. AWARENESS: inner silence; spirit; transcendental consciousness; satori, samadhi; sacred, divine; God; Tao; zero dimension; point; inexhaustible source; infinite; 0; beyond or before space and time; dynamic nothingness; clear light of the void; mystic union; peak experience; no brain, body; Wisdom; natural numbers.
7. SPIRIT: animating vital principal; meaning; ideas; representations; quality; space-time continuum; intelligent or sentient part of a being; essential principal; significance; incorporeal; intellect; concept; thought; noetic; event; information; archetypes; gestalt; geist; abstract; ideational; ideal; neo-cortex, human brain; knowledge; subtraction. (The "mind" as the term is used here is not Spirit. The mind is the combination of all eight as a field or energy, a mood).
6. SOUL: people; psyche; person; energy; wave; time; vitality; bio-plasma; chakras; KI; vital force; ego-self; self-other; social; individual; entity; mind as in the popular expression "body-mind-spirit"; limbic system, mammalian brain; instincts; multiplication.
5. BODY: physical; solid; matter; mass; space; particle; cerebellum, brain stem, reptilian brain; conditioned learning; math functions.
4. WILLING: action; decide; do; determine; control; yes-no; on-off; accomplish; effectuate; carry out; implement; work; order; intuition; forebrain; blood circulation; attention; complex numbers and fractal scaling.
3. FEELING: love; emotions; affects; drives; fun; intensity; enthusiasm; exhilaration; moods; dreams; imagination; force; power; passion; sentiment; strength; laughter; joy; humor; playfulness; right brain; metabolism; impulses; math proportions.
2. THINKING: reason; reflect; relate; rational; logical; analytical; discursive; ratiocination; order; consider; reflect; ponder; cogitate; dialectic; symbolize; conceive; deliberate; either-or; both-and; enumerate; hind brain; breathing; language; division.
1. SENSING: perception; observe; 5 senses; unprocessed information; intake; direct and immediate consciousness; discern; sensuality; left brain; sex and excretion; sense data; addition.
METHODS/EXPERIMENTS: Understand these eight basic levels by identifying them in your experience. Notice the space-like realms and time-like functions that are a part of your normal waking consciousness. Look at each separately, one at a time, and translate these words into phenomena. Intentionally focus on one or the other; for instance, put yourself into a feeling mode; then force yourself into thinking; then just sense the world; then take action; focus only on the physical and material; then switch to the abstract, mental-ideational world; then down to the world of people and energy. Observe in the present, or recall a time in the past of pure awareness, a peak experience of detached intensity.
Think about the world around you, and the different states of consciousness which you experience. See how each phenomena in your life fits into this basic eight-fold grid of the mind. Look for experiences which do not appear to fit; could they be comprised of a combination of several more basic components?
Almost all systems of thought, both esoteric and exoteric, employ a structure of seven or eight basic concepts, but frequently employ different terminology. If that is the case for you, try experimenting with this new language system. Alternatively, you may not be familiar with the structure of seven or eight, but may use the terminology employed here to mean something else. If so, again try putting aside your old meanings and experiment with adopting the new to see if it improves your overall understanding and coherence.
Look at the differences between how you may have been using these words, and how they are used here, and throughout the rest of this book. One common difference is in the three levels which many people today refer to as "body-mind-spirit". Do you see how this language omits the world of the person, and tends to mystify "spirit" into a foreign and rare experience. Another common difference relates to the four functions which are frequently referred to in other systems (particularly Jungian) as Sensing, Thinking, Feeling and Intuition. How does a "man of action" relate in such a scheme? Is intuition perhaps a more complex combination of functions, as opposed to an essential or basic experience. Perhaps it relates to the inner side of willing. Try shifting your words for a while to see if the more traditional language used here, which is taken from centuries of Western philosophic usage, doesn't allow you to make more sense of the world.
Another way to study the seven basic components is to focus on the three realms and four functions separately. This is the basis of many esoteric systems of thought. If you know their keys, their structure, you can unlock their meaning. The Tarot is one such example, and as we shall see in the last chapter, the common deck of playing cards is another. The so called Upper Arcana of the Tarot is nothing more than the depiction of the three realms, subdivided again into seven to show the twenty one basic roles in society, the archetypal masks. The Lower Arcana is the four functions subdivided again by the seven to show the Function Archetypes. The Tarot has suffered through the ages from poor translations, superstition, and alteration of the original visual images. The following chart prepared by R.C.L. shows the original structure with a new translation to fit the times.
Think about how the different archetypes shown on these charts epitomize their structure. For instance, how one who senses Sensing is a Collector, feels Thinking a Persuader, feels the Soul is a Salesperson, etc. If you know the Tarot, compare the Upper Arcana shown here with the traditional meanings and images given for this conceptual structure. Many are the same, but many are also very different. Do you see yourself as one or more of these archetypal roles or personalities? Try making your own cards from these charts and then select one or more by random process. Choose by chance, to see what answers or messages may come from reflection on the chosen archetypes.
For further reading in the area of Semiotics, try reading some of the difficult, but rewarding books by the founder of Semiotics as a branch of philosophy, Charles S. Peirce. Peirce is also the originator of "Pragmatism" which was made popular by his friend and colleague William James. The pragmatic idea of truth, it is true if it works, is akin to Wisdom, practical knowledge. The writings of William James, especially his Varieties of Religious Experience are also helpful background reading.