Structural Differential — Alfred Korzybski.
Tim O’Reilly: Let me go back to George Simon because a lot of what he taught was a kind of mental discipline that was rooted in a model of how consciousness happens. It was framed somewhat in the language of Alfred Korzybski’s general semantics. Korzybski drew this wonderful diagram – it was actually a tool he used to train people – that he called the structural differential.
Korzybski’s fundamental idea was that people are stuck in language, but language is about something. And so, he represented what he called the process of abstraction so that people could ask themselves, “Where am I in that process?” So, the first part of the structural differential was a parabola, and the reason why it was a parabola is because reality is infinite, but we can’t take in all of reality.
And so, hanging from the parabola was a circle, and the circle was our experience, which is our first abstraction from reality. And then, hanging from the circle are a bunch of label-shaped tags – multiple strings of them – and these are the words that we use to describe our experience.
Korzybski’s training was for people to recognize when they were in the words, when they were in the experience, and when they were open to the reality. George mixed that in with this work of Sri Aurobindo, who was an Indian sage, and had come up with a model that integrated a spiritual view of this, and a practice which was just listening and being open to the unknown.
Maybe not everything should be privatized.
The Jacobin magazine response by Matt Bruenig is worth reading:
Nice response, but I think he has a misguided approach to ownership. This bit got me blogging:
Listened to the meeting: Yanis Varoufakis with Shami Chakrabarti (2018 Event) found it uplifting.
Just ordered it from Scorpio
On the first day of training in Imago therapy Maya Kollman characterised a couple relationship as “A microcosm of the universe trying to repair itself.” In different words psychodrama includes the same idea, the therapeutic tele is distributed in the group, it’s not just in the director.
And there is qualitative evidence for this… A group, or a couple, once the connection is established and there is a warm up, will hum its way to more and more enabling solutions. I see it so clearly in psychodrama groups – each drama assists the whole group in a quest that is finally resolved. The terminology of ‘disturbing motive’ and ‘reactive fear’ is used to describe this process. Even this naming implies that it is the ‘disturbing motive’ that arises first and the the ‘reactive fear’ is simply the obstacles of the cultural conserve (CC) that need to get out of the way. CC is a term from the psychodramatic theory Canon of Creativity
An earlier post grapples with the same idea. https://psyberspace.walterlogeman.com/2018/the-survival-dance-that-gets-in-the-way-of-the-encounter/
There is a layer of conserved coping that is somehow “man made”, the reactive fear, which is usually followed by flight or fight i.e. Criticism and blaming or avoidance. There is another layer – the universe trying to heal itself. Lets just call it eros or love. Gt the crap out of the way and the love will come through.
Both psychodrama and Imago have the philosophy that the therapist is the catalyst, simply providing tools, like dialogue, or the 5 instruments so the eros can emerge.
I’m reflecting on the relationship between letting it happen and making it happen.
The inevitable can be helped along.
We are agents in the healing of the universe. i.e. in its progress. Towards eros.
We can make it worse or better. If this is a dead end it will proceed towards the omega point in some other way. The universe does not care, but it won’t stop its evolution, its development, its progress. These words are teleological.
We make history but under conditions of our choosing.
Surfing. We can but catch a wave or miss it.
Anyway, if we assume that a group or a couple is “A microcosm of the universe trying to repair itself.” then we are assistants to that process.
Thats what Marxists are too.
Strange that the right who advocate market forces somehow believe in the benign power of the market. Leave alone. Marxists might trust the market too if it was alive in a society that was free of the distortions of the capitalists. It would tend towards each to his needs. Just like in couple therapy – in my room I have to be a strong dictatorship of the eros forces. We fight the cultural conserves (part of the current cultural forces) of blame – attack and control.
See more search the Tag – theory of change https://psyberspace.walterlogeman.com/tag/theory-of-change/
We binge watched Wild Wild Country with great interest.
I have been intrigued by Bagwhan since the 1980s. I went quite a few workshops in Freemantle, Western Australia… but never drank the cool-aid. No orange or mala. I knew there was controversy in Oregon. Just how awful it was is news to me. What went wrong? Guns for one thing. I hated that turn of events. Sheila?
I watched a short Osho video on YouTube and saw it clearly… Bagwhan is not really the problem as a person either… it is his philosophy!
What a lovely response to the journalists question “what is the purpose of all this?” Anything that has a purpose is mundane. His answer is really an deep reflection on ends and means. The philosopher shines thorough.
But there is an ugly side. He becomes a little scathing of the questioner. He is not “one of my people”. He is an outsider. And there it is, disdain for outsiders. With all the ‘enlightenment’ they could not relate to 50 locals. They took over that town in an arrogant way akin to the way those people had taken it from the native Americans. If they are not “my people” then they are not people at all.
That is the lesson for me in the whole thing… I know I can have that sort of disdain.
Very impressed by this guy.
Listened to him being interviewed here:
This all sounds too good to be true. But I do trust him!
Looks like we can manage the anthropocene.
Just watched the last episode of season 4 of the Peaky Blinders. Loved it. I hear there will be a season 5, and the show is set up to deal with British politics in the 1920’s . Got me looking around and found this piece – a good bit of background reading.
I had to do a big thing. The whole of this blog was corrupted. Nothing. With long guides about how to reinstall and reconnect to the database I did it.
I was scared of loosing this. I realise how much I love it when it is gone. Like Christchurch after the earthquake – I was not really home here in Christchurch till now when it is just a mess.
Pleased to see my post about wisdom & consciousness come up. How against the grain that is! I wonder why so may of the people I know who are “idealist in the philosophical sense” don’t dispute my outrageous claims against the received wisdom that is the engine that drives psychotherapy and pretty much all of self help and liberal politics.
Never mind… I’m saying nothing original, just marxism and Moreno stuff that no-one seems to get. I’m curious… is this important? I don’t think liberal tolerance of liberal ideas is a healthy thing. But then it does not really matter… that is the point, reality will win out no matter what stories we tell.
Bear with my reflections…
The ideology does not matter, but being in touch with what reality is up to… that does matter. Who can really figure What is to be done at this time? Wishful thinking wont help much.
Anyway, pleased the blog is back
Later, Tuesday, 17 October, 2017
“Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past.”
“It is not the consciousness of men that determines their being, but, on the contrary, their social being that determines their consciousness.”
… every culture is characterized by a certain set of roles which it imposes with a varying degree of success upon its membership.
Moreno Who Shall Survive? p. 88
Two forms of the cultural conserve are referred to in my writings: the technological conserve, as books, motion pictures, robots, and the “human” conserve, the conserve which uses the human organism for its vehicle.
Psychodrama v. 1 p. 123