The Wright Way

The Wright Way

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Iceberg of Language

Language is an amazing phenomenon, a fantastic vehicle of conveyance – and it can take many, many forms. The vehicle has a whole variety of component parts comprising a huge and wide-ranging inner language and an outer language of bodily expression.

Part of that bodily expression is represented by sounds formed by the different shapes of our lips, mouths, throats and lungs. And we learn the ability to refine those sounds using a coded set of meaning and expression – verbal language.

Now extensive and diverse as verbal language can be, it is like the visible part of an iceberg. And as with the iceberg, there is a much greater part of language below the surface. The bit we can see (or hear) is only a small part of the entire structure of this amazing vehicle.

We need to remember that non-verbal and sensory languages make up a much greater part of the iceberg.

The Iceberg of Language
  • Spoken and written Verbal language
  • Non verbal and Sensory language
  • The Language of Time
  • Our own unique Inner Language

Now an entire iceberg is suspended in two mediums – air and water, and where those two mediums meet, connect, interface, is the surface of the water.

Spoken and written Verbal Language is almost exclusively above the surface.
Also, it is – in chronological terms – the newest and youngest part of our iceberg of language.

We are born with the other languages already in situ – and we have to learn our Verbal language. As we learn it and once we learn it, we then find ourselves increasingly capable of translating our Sensory Language, the Language of Time and our own unique Inner Language into words in order to convey meaning. That meaning we are either conveying to other living things outside of us, or back to ourselves on the inside.

Our Verbal language is like a particular of a specific gravity, or perhaps more of a currency. And the ways we spend that currency can work both in our overall favour and also very much against us.

When we use the gravity, or currency, of Non-verbal language, the meaning we wish to convey is NOT translated into words. Non-verbal language comes direct from the source – be it Sensory, Time, or Inner Language. When Non-verbal language is used then, since words are not in evidence, there is nothing lost in translation.

Sometimes our bodies can say one thing and we can speak another – yet the REAL meaning is always what the body says.
We can tell untruths and our bodies will give us away. We will get a “gut” feeling about someone, although our verbalised understanding of them might be quite different.
When we blush, our bodies have expressed some meaning, a sensory response to certain stimuli. 
We “know” if something doesn’t look right, sound right, feel right, taste or smell right – yet how do we know? It’s an innate “knowing”, evidenced to us through Sensory language. Yes, we’ll perhaps verbalise it afterwards, but that’s merely a translation into words after the event.

Some of our general Worldview has moved on in the 400 or so years since Descartes’ Cogito Ergo Sum led to the view that Body and Mind are separate entities – and yet there is a lot of vestigial thought and language that maintains that paradigm.
I happen to hold firm to the view that we are each unique beings with integrated bodies and minds.

However, what seems to make it feel to us that perhaps Descartes was right is that although we might recognise the thoughts that drive our experience in the Mind, we then go and interpret the experience in the Body.
This almost constant and regular occurrence is already giving the impression to us that Mind and Body are separate.

I think in the Mind and I experience in The Body.
And - because it is OUR body we make the assumption that the experience must be REAL, ignoring what has actually driven that experience.

The next stage in this illusion happens when we start to think about our experience and allow those thoughts to expand through more interpretation into further experience. And so the loops and the cycle continue!

And all the while Language is conveying information and meaning, although at this stage how aware are we as to which part of the Iceberg it is from?

What seems to make it feel on occasions that there are some parts of us in conflict with other parts?  The familiarity of certain phrases like -
“I can’t seem to stop myself”
“Another part of me seemed to take over”
“I need to explore my inner child”
“I looked at myself in the mirror and I didn’t like what I saw“
would seem to bear this out.

However this is still all down to the nature of thought, and our interpretations of thought conveyed via the diversity of language. The pivotal point to remember is that any interpretation involves language of one kind or another.
This is crucial.

Part of the nature of all living things is the phenomenon of transmitting interpretations of the power of thought. The vehicle by which thinking is transported is Language.

Our language expresses the gravity of our thoughts.

(The Iceberg of Language is taken from my book "Navigating The Ship of You.")

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