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Re: [xmca] Simile, Metaphor and the Graspture of Conscious Awareness

Hi Robert,

We are looking for reviews and reviewers for Vygotsky and Creativity. Do you think your publication would be interested and could you think of a reviewer?

Thanks, Vera
----- Original Message ----- From: "Robert Lake" <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Friday, October 29, 2010 6:35 AM
Subject: Re: [xmca] Simile, Metaphor and the Graspture of Conscious Awareness

Thanks for the LSV Citations David as well as this:
"But that's the whole point; the emotional substratum of language is always
there and it never goes away; there is no point of entropy where thinking
and feeling are completely merged."
*I will be pondering and savoring this all weekend.


On Fri, Oct 29, 2010 at 8:23 AM, Robert Lake <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu>wrote:

Thanks for the Citation David!

On Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 11:48 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:


Yes, it seems nonaccidental that we say "I feel LIKE my brain is an
erogenous zone" (for example) but we have say "I think THAT my brain is an
erogenous zone".  The obvious comparison is indirect reported speech for
feelings (and thus simile) but more direct forms for thoughts and words (we
can say "Richard Shweder says, 'my brain is an erogenous zone'").

But Vygotsky considers even the language of the Odyssey to be "lyrically
colored" and therefore emotional rather than ideational; when Homer says
"And they lay down by the shelving sea" or "When rosy fingered dawn touched the sky" we feel like we know what he means even though we cannot really say
that what it is.

Of course, in order to really understand this lyrical coloration, you need to be able to read hexameters in ancient Greek. But that's the whole point; the emotional substratum of language is always there and it never goes away;
there is no point of entropy where thinking and feeling are completely

The photo experiment is described in Volume Four, pp. 193-194, of
Vygotsky's Cllected Works, in a chapter called "Development of Speech and
Thinking". Here's the key passage.

“(I)f one and the same picture (let us say, the prisoner in jail) is shown
to a three-year-old, he will say 'a man, another man, a window, a mug, a
bench', but for a preschool child it would be 'a man is sitting, another is looking out of a window, and a mug is on the bench'. (...) A five-year-old
establishes a connection between words in a single sentence, and an
eight-year-old uses complex additional sentences. A theoretical assumption arises: can the story about the picture describe the child's thinking? (...)
We will ask two children not to tell a story, but to perform what the
picture shows. It develops that the children's play about the picture
sometimes lasts twenty or thirty minutes, and primarily and most of all in
the play those relations are captured that are in the picture. (...) The
child understands very well that the people are in jail: here the complex
narration about how the people were caught, how they were taken, that one
looks out
 the window, and that he wants to be free is added. Here a very complex
narration is added about how the nanny was fined for not having a ticket on
the trolley. In a word, we get a typical portrayal of what we see in the
story of a twelve-year-old. (1997, pp. 193-194)"

We did a whole foreign language replication of this experiment with using
a video clip (with an added time element) and some second graders and wrote it up for MCA, but it was (violently) rejected so we gave up. I still have a
copy of the paper if you are interested though.

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

--- On Wed, 10/27/10, Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>

From: Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: [xmca] Simile, Metaphor and the Graspture of Conscious
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date: Wednesday, October 27, 2010, 3:55 AM

Apologies for missing this, David

I suspect that the relationships between affective metaphor and cognitive
metaphor are as messy and complicated (or rich and intricate) as any other
form of (imagined) boundary between thinking and feeling.

When we use a simile I think we invite listeners/readers to colour one
concept with features of another, often (though not always) in a rather
generalised way. When we use a metaphor I think there is more of an
invitation to the listener/reader to haul up associations from the murk of personal experience (what does a hot liquid feel like, what does it make me
feel like). I realise as I write this that I am assuming that there is a
difference between a person's 'own' 'lived-in' associations with particular words/concepts and that person's sense of a 'common' or widely shared set of associations (what this can be assumed to mean to other people) - actually probably many different sets of 'common' meanings for different subgroups of
'other people' (people of my generation, people in my professional field,
'kids today', people who have adolescent children .....).

To a degree, our sense of how much like another person we are will depend
on how well that other person is able to find a fit with our own meanings. We can manage an academic conversation with a relative stranger but it won't feel the same as a conversation with a relative or with someone who likes us
enough to bother to remember how we feel about things. For babies it is
quite easy to differentiate between 'people who like me' and 'people who
don't know me' because the former engage in a noticeably more
contingent/reciprocal way (they 'like' me both in the sense of caring about
me and in the sense of adjusting to me) and this is surely a useful
distinction to be able to make. For adults it is more complicated because
there are so many gradations of liking to keep track of (guided by the steer from embarrassment when we get it wrong!) but I still think that most of us
are highly skilled in (unconsciously) picking up cues about the degree to
which someone
 is adjusting to us (how much they like us). I also think that our own
awareness of the adjustments we make when we interact with others forms an important part of our knowledge about other people (we can even make these adjustments when they are not present so that we can imagine, for example, how they would feel about something we are considering suggesting to them).

I like the word 'graspture' but for me (and for those who like me enough
to know what I am like!) simile is less 'violent' than metaphor, a black and
white diagram of the full colour collision.

I would like to read more about Vygotsky's replication of Stern's
photograph experiment - something I know nothing about - where can I find

All the best,


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of David Kellogg
Sent: 15 October 2010 04:55
To: Culture ActivityeXtended Mind
Subject: [xmca] Simile, Metaphor and the Graspture of Conscious Awareness


I agree that there is an AFFECTIVE difference between simile and metaphor. Actually, I think that the use of "like" as a preposition is related to the use of "like" as a verb; the prepositional form is an objectified version of the affective affinity we see in the verbal form. I think that the existence of these two quite different forms is a good example of the DIFFERENTIATION
and PARTITIONING that language brings about in affect (the word
"articulation" springs to mind in this context).

So I'm very interested in what you say about the "distancing" effect of
simile. Do you think grammatical metaphor has the same effect of
distantiation. Does "growth" suggest an objective view when we compare it to
"grow", because "growth" does not have an identifiable subject or object?

Of course, what Lakoff and Johnson are writing about is not affect but
COGNITIVE metaphor. The idea is that underlying a whole range of linguistic expressions is some kind of non-verbal IMAGE, e.g. "anger is a hot liquid", quite independent of its verbal expression. From that perspective, there is no difference between simile and metaphor, and there is also no difference between metonymy and metaphor (because metonymy is simply a special case of
a linguistic realization of a cognitive metaphor). All stem from a
completely undifferentiated, unpartitioned, unarticulated mental equivalence
(I think it's no accident that almost all of Lakoff's and Johnson's
cognitive metaphors can be expressed as mathematical equations, although
none of them are really reversible the way that equations are: we cannot say
that a hot liquid = anger).

Actually, I didn't say that Piaget believed that children are capable of
reasoning "What kind of thought would I be expressing if I were making the
acoustic sounds/articulatory gestures that I am now hearing?" Quite the
contrary. This belief is the core of the "analysis by synthesis" views of
speech perception, whether they originate in New Haven (Liberman) or
Cambridge, MA (Halle). Piaget holds that the child's thinking does not
achieve the Copernican Revolution of decentration until seven or eight, so Liberman or Halle would have to argue for innate mechanisms that "think" in
a decentred way quite against the child's grain.

Vygotsky has no such problem. The child is a social being from birth, and
it is some time before children actually differentiate themselves from the
"Ur-wir", the proto-we. It seems to me that this is completely consistent
with an ontogenetic "analysis by synthesis"; the child understands because the child has not really differentiated speaker from hearer. The occasional failures of this type of understanding, in fact, play a not inconsequential part in the process of the child's differentiation of "I" from "we", which
is only expressed, not generated, in the child's use of negation.

Vygotsky mentions his replication of the Stern photograph experiment,
where a three year old is given a photo and responds with a list of the
objects in it ("a man", "another man", "a window", "a mug") and a five year
old can add processes ("the man is sitting" "the other man is looking out
the window") but only the twelve year old can tell the story of how the men
came to be sitting in prison. When Vygotsky replicates this, he asks the
children to ROLE PLAY the picture. Since this forces the kids to add the
element of time, the five year olds come up with a twenty minute role play
that is fully as complex as the narrative of the twelve year olds.

When Vygotsky does this, he is trying to show that the idea that young
children see pictures as a whole and do not differentiate the life stories within it is simply wrong. But in interpreting his result, we risk falling
into a rather Piagetian analysis, which holds that speech is really an
afterthought and not the cause of the child's thinking, because the child is capable of expressing in action so much more than what he can articulate in
differentiated speech. I think this is part of what is bugging Martin.

Two ways of debugging this occur to me. The first is that if we accept
Vygotsky's account that verbal thinking (not all thinking) develops from the
"introvolution" of speech, we have to clearly differentiate between the
child's UNDERSTANDING of speech in the environment (which is semantic, i.e.
NOT entirely dependent on a phasal, lexicogrammatical, partitioning of
speech) and the child's ability to "articulate" (which is).

The second point is that Vygotsky's definition of speech changes. For the
very young child, speech includes the child's actions and in fact is more
about the child's gestures and the child's use of the affordances in the
environment than about vocabulary and grammar. Early speech is dominated by
indication and nomination; signifying comes later.

In the same way, metaphor comes first, because the child has to be able to accept that a gesture can "stand for" an object, and a word can "stand for" the idealized relationship between gesture and object. Similes are a kind of
violent graspture of the conscious awareness of metaphor. So to speak.

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

--- On Wed, 10/13/10, Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>

From: Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>
Subject: RE: [xmca] The "Semantics" of Vowels and Consonants?
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date: Wednesday, October 13, 2010, 1:08 AM

So many ideas to respond to and so little time!

Isn't it more likely that our associations between 'mmm' and baby related
concepts may be more to do with the fact that this is one of the first
recognisable sounds produced by babies? Mamas, Moms, mothers and mummies all over the world have reason to like the idea that these first sounds refer to them (fathers are left with papa or dada). But how things may have begun is
always only a part of the story - layers upon layers of cultural
associations and connotations are wrapped around the infant word as it is
used in particular kinds of situations and contexts.

A Carol pointed out, phonemes are category labels rather than names of
'things' - a way of splitting the infinite variations of sound into a
limited number of chunks. After the age of about 9 months we begin to
actively filter our perception of speech sounds to privilege meaningful
distinctions in the languages used around us so there are probably many more SPEECH sounds than any one of us thinks there are because we think only of
the sounds we are still able to discriminate.

Where J.G. differs from David's version of Piaget's view, that 'You have
to imagine what you would be thinking if you were making the noises that you
are hearing', he seems to me to be closer to Reddy's 'second person
perspective' which has been aired here in the past - babies don't have to
'imagine' or 'think' - they have only to engage or respond.

Also, while there may be some very general, physiological, associative
principles in the affective force of sounds (large, grande, enorme versus
little, teensy weensy, petit, piccolo for example, and associations with
'squeak' and 'roar') there is also space for enormous variation in the
effect that words have when they are spoken in different ways by people with
different kinds of voice and by people in different moods (you really can
hear the difference between someone reciting letter of the alphabet while
smiling or while frowning).

Here's an experiment - download the transcript of Vikram Ramachandran's
lecture 'Phantoms in the brain' from

Read the first paragraph or two before you click on the 'listen' button
and then compare the experience of your reading and hearing Ramachandran's voice (all of the lectures from this series are still well worth listening

Sounds and words may 'have' some power of signification, whether because
of their/our physiological properties or because of the layers of
association they have accumulated (some of which may be forgotten by or
unknown to most of us) but this is a thin, diagrammatic sort of meaning. It is when they are performed by a speaker (or singer) that they can serve as
an interface, allowing us to hear through them and engage with/respond to
the life of another person.

So - apologies for my thin, diagrammatic contribution.

All the best,


P.S. I still think there is a significant affective distinction between
the effect of a simile and the effect of a metaphor - a simile announces
itself while a metaphor can get to you more immediately.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of David Kellogg
Sent: 13 October 2010 06:58
To: Culture ActivityeXtended Mind
Subject: Re: [xmca] The "Semantics" of Vowels and Consonants?

We can see that J.G. really does believe that vowels and consonants are
semantic, just as Khlebnikov did. Leonard Bernstein, in his Harvard Lectures
on the "Semantics of Music" had a very similar theory about "mmm";
associating it with nursing, nipples, and micturation. It's the kind of
thing that the "perceptionists" that Vygotsky criticizes in "Psychology of
Art" believed.

Of course, there is some evidence to support this; we often find that
"milk" and "mammary glands" and "mothers" and "mommas" are associated with the first bilabial sounds that babies make: Korean, Chinese, Arabic, Tibetan
and many other languages can provide us with examples, and it's easy to
imagine a world where babies are responsible for teaching mothers Motherese
as an international language. It's our world, more or less.

But there are many languages, including English, where the /m/ sound is
associated with NEGATIVES: "malady", "malevolent", "malefactor", etc. Worse,
there are certain "things" or even "emotions" which by their very nature
cannot be directly expressed in a vowel or a consonant.

Consider the number "zero" or the grammatical category of negation. It's
really NOT possible (IMpossible, to use an "em") to express something that
does not exist by something that does exist in a direct, iconic manner.
Something that exists, exists. It doesn't not exist. The only way for it to
mean something that does not exist is indirectly, that is, symbolically.

We had a related problem in class. The kids are playing a game with cards, where they are supposed to ask "Can you swim?" and if the responder answers
"Yes, I can" (because there is a sign on the back of the card indicating
"yes") the child is allowed to keep the card.

But the teacher has to begin by explaining what the cards mean. And the
problem is that the card shows an actual child swimming, not a child who
"can" swim. So the solution is a process of what Robert Lake would call
metaphor, of having something stand for something else (e.g. "one minus one
EQUALS zero").

T: Look (indicating the card)! She is swimming. She's swimming. So...she
can swim. Now...(indicating himself). I am not swimming. I'm teaching,
right? BUT...I can swim. Can you swim?
S: Yes.
T: Good. Can she swim? Can he swim? Ask her. Ask him. How many swimmers in
this group? How many swimmers in our class?

You can see that the way the teacher handles the problem of presenting
POTENTIAL rather than ACTUAL swimming is to TRANSFER the meaning to another
situation; to have the card stand for something else.

I guess I would simply call this process semiosis, and that's why I think
that it is part of language development at every single point, bar none.
Every form of semiosis, without exception, is a form of metaphor, because
the creation of a sign is precisely the creation of something that stands
for something else that is not itself.

BUT...phonemes really do not exist, except as abstractions (in fact, I
think they do not even exist as abstractions except for people who are
literate). They are like the spaces that we IMAGINE we hear (but do not
actually hear, except in quite special circumstances) between words. Since they don't exist, they can stand for other things that don't exist. As Lear says, "Nothing will come from nothing". He forgot to add that this nothing
gives us everything!

Never mind. Let's notice the form of Mike's question. He doesn't ask
whether phonemes exist or not. He simply asks whether one can produce a
particular sound (the example he gives is only an example; it's the letter "em") without there being more than one phoneme "there". Where? In the mind,
of course.

The simple, snotty answer is YES, because phonemes ONLY have psychological
reality (and even then only in the minds of literate people, not in the
minds of illiterates and children).

So there are as many sounds as you think there are: no more and no less,
and if you go "mmmmmmm" as J.G. suggests and ask how many sounds your hearer hears, he or she will probably say "one". We can easily find people who will
say the same thing about the letter "em" in almost any first grade class.

But the complex answer is much more interesting. It seems to me that
consonants DEPEND on vowels in a way that is not reciprocally true. You CAN
pronounce the sound "a" without any vowel, and "a" is in fact a word (and
one of the most common words in our language).

At the morphological level, we see the same non-reciprocal dependency
relation: In the word "reworked", both "re-" and "-ed" depend on "work" for
their meaning, but not vice versa. Which can also be seen at the level of
relative clauses.

In an exchange (which is where I think J.G. really needs to look for the
emotional fountainhead of his semantic system) we find that we can have an
initiate ("Who are you?") without a response, but a response without an
initiate is not a response at all.

Why? As far as I know, non-human systems of communication (e.g. bird
calls, whale songs, computer coding) do not have this kind of
non-symmetrical dependency at any level at all. It's one word = one emotion,
more or less like the extremely impoverished view of language that J.G.
presents in his paper.

It seems to me that non-symmetrical dependency is an essential resource
for making a very finite group of phenomena potentially stand for a
potentially infinite one (as is polysemy, or as Robert Lake says,

This super-productivity is what allows human languages to SIGNIFY rather
than simply SIGNAL. But of course this superproductivity brings with it
developmental crises, too.

I have one other comment on the "reception by production" theories that
Joseph Gilbert, Liberman, and Chomsky and Halle are putting forward. ALL of
these theories assume a kind of RECIPROCITY, an act of EMPATHY, a
DECENTRATION that Piaget rules out until the child is at least seven years old. You have to imagine what you would be thinking if you were making the noises that you are hearing. So if Piaget is right, children should not be
able to learn to speak until they are seven or eight.

David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

--- On Tue, 10/12/10, Joseph Gilbert <joeg4us@roadrunner.com> wrote:

From: Joseph Gilbert <joeg4us@roadrunner.com>
Subject: Re: [xmca] The "Semantics" of Vowels and Consonants?
To: lchcmike@gmail.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <
Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 9:55 PM

Dear Mike Cole:
The sound of the voiced "M" is mmmmmmmmmm, commonly uttered to express
pleasure, as in the reaction to something good tasting. The name of the
letter is a peripheral issue.


On Oct 12, 2010, at 6:44 PM, mike cole wrote:

> David and Joseph.
> A question. The alphabetic character, M, may represent a phoneme. But
> one say the letter M without there being two phonemes there?
> mike
> On Tue, Oct 12, 2010 at 4:26 PM, David Kellogg <
>> I just want to pick up on ONE aspect of this (very long and almost
>> completely unsourced) document, and try to source it, because it's a
>> in our field that none of us can stand alone.
>> Even if this were not true in an epistemological sense (there is only
>> much brilliance a lone genius is capable of) it would be absolutey >> true
in a
>> publishing sense (a long document is unpublishable without a long list
>> references, preferably including all of its potential reviewers).
>> It's this:
>> "The vocal sounds express/communicate states of the emotions first and
>> foremost, and as an afterthought, so to speak, they are used to refer
>> things. They communicate emotion by moving the auditory apparatus of
>> hearer in a manner analogous to the movements of the vocal apparatus >> of
>> speaker, thereby creating in the hearer an emotion analogous to the
>> present in the speaker. Just as the touch of the hands conveys the
intent of
>> the toucher, so the vocal motion of the vocalizer creates in the >> hearer
>> emotional state analogous to that of the vocalizer."
>> This is the "reception through production" theory of speech perception
>> was popular in the 1980s. It does have BIG advantages over passive
>> of reception that preceded it(for one thing, it's much more
>> the same system can be used for receiving speech and for transmitting
>>  There are really TWO variations of this theory:
>> a) The "motor" theory, associated with Alvin Liberman and the Haskins
>> Laboratories. This theory relies on the idea of "articulatory
gestures". By
>> recognizing the kinds of "articulatory gestures" required by >> particular
>> sounds, the hearer, through an act of empathy with the speaker, asks
>> himself/herself "What would I be saying if I were making gestures like
>> in this situation?"
>> b) The "analysis by synthesis" theory, associated with Chomsky and
Halle at
>> MIT. This theory relies on pure unempbodied ACOUSTIC knowledge rather
>> articulatory gestures. By recognizing the acoustic patterns (see the
>> of "distinctive features" laid out in Chomsky and Halle, The Sound
>> of English), the hearer through an act of empathy with the speaker,
>> himself/herself "What would I be saying if I were making gestures like
>> in this situation?"
>> I think that BOTH of these variants of the theory have in common a
>> recognition that in perception we get a lot more than we hear; people
do NOT
>> rely on the stream of vowels and consonants as their sole source of
>> information. Perception is a supreme act of what Bruner calls "going
>> the information given".
>> Contrary to this, all theories of perception which are based on an
>> with the ALPHABET assume that the stream of vowels and consonants
>> does carry the information (or, as Joseph Gilbert puts it, emotion).
>> In Vygotsky's time, this theory was advocated by the brilliant >> futurist >> poet Khlebnikov, who wrote quite extensively on the "emotional >> valence"
>> particular phonemes, and constructed whole poems on this association
>> "Zangezi", which was composed after a long series of experiments on >> the
>> "semantics" of individual phonemes). As you can imagine, they don't
>> translate very well!
>> David Kellogg
>> Seoul National University of Education
>> --- On Mon, 10/11/10, Joseph Gilbert <joeg4us@roadrunner.com> wrote:
>> From: Joseph Gilbert <joeg4us@roadrunner.com>
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] The Genetic Belly Button and the Functional Belly
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
>> Date: Monday, October 11, 2010, 11:03 PM
>>                                                                 1
>>                      Language Creates Culture
>>     Language functions, in human society, as the generator of culture.
>> the effects on
>> us of the sounds we utter, we inform ourselves of the effects on us of
>> things which
>> make up our world. Since the only sense of the meaning of any thing is
>> and the same
>> as the effect on us of the thing, and since we relate to our world
>> our words, language informs us of the meanings of things. This
>> takes place when we use vocal sounds as words to refer to things.
>> We exist in a vacuous condition vis-à-vis any objective knowing >> the
>> ultimate meaning of anything. We do not know the ultimate affect on us
>> anything. If we operated by instinct, our choices would not depend on
>> knowing, as our choices do. In this culls context, we are informed by
>> affects on us of the sounds of our words of the affects on us of the
>> to which our words refer.
>>     In the vacuum of outer space, a ship can be propelled by the
>> subtle force of an ion drive. In the outer space of our cluelessness >> as
>> the meaning of anything, we are informed of that meaning by the affect
on us
>> of the sounds of our words.
>>     Spoken language is sound made by the body and used to refer to, to
>> signify, things. We must thoroughly understand the basis of language >> in >> order to understand anything else about language. Why do we use >> certain
>> words to signify certain things? Why are there similarities and
>> among the various languages in how sound is used to refer to things? >> Is
>> there a correlation between and among emotional states and vocal
>> These and other questions must be answered if we are to know how
>> works.
>>     We are born into a language-using group and learn the meanings of
>> things that
>> make up our world simply by learning our group’s language.
>>     We have a distinct and unique reaction to each vocal sound just as
>> do to
>> each facial expression and postural position. All forms of body
>> postural, facial
>> and vocal, are expressions of states of our internal goings-on, are
born of
>> those feeling/emotional states. and recreate these states by resonant
>> entrainment.
>>         The languages we humans speak currently are the results of the
>> experiential contributions of our ancestors. However they, (our >> distant
>> relatives), felt about whatever they had words for, we now feel again
in the
>> present moment, when we utter the words they originally uttered.
>> language functions somewhat as a seed: the experience of past peoples
>> represented in the words they spoke and now, when we voice those >> words,
>> re-experience what they did.
>>     Language is institutionalized perception. How we, as a society,
>> perceive our world, is
>>                                                     2
>> determined by the the affects on us of our vocal sounds, (a form of
>> language), we use to refer to the things that make it up.
>> Our actions are determined by our perceptions. If we want to >> change
>> way we act we must change the way we perceive our world. And we can
>> how we perceive our world by changing how we refer to the things that
>> constitute our world.
>>     The feelings/emotions of actors on stage and of all of us, are
>> communicated by our actions. The way someone moves tells us much about
>> they feel. Our face conveys extensive and subtle information about our
>> emotional state. The sounds of our voices carry emotional content. >> And,
>> although we normally are not aware of it, the articulate vocal sounds,
>> sounds of our vowels and consonants), are loaded with information >> about
>> emotional goings-on. The information that comes from the articulate
>> of our words rather than from the emotional overlay we place on them
due to
>> our transitory emotional states, is the same no matter what moods we
may be
>> experiencing while we speak. That aspect of information conveyance is
>> institutionalized/standardized. The tone of voice, cadence, and volume
>> dynamics can be unique to each situation without altering the
>> referential communication.
>>     One can experience the effect on ourselves of the various vocal
>> by, while in a sensitive, receptive mode, saying those sounds out loud
>> sensing their effects. I have done that and have, it seems, discovered
>> meanings. You can do that also. Doing so oneself will give one a more
>> complete sense of the effects of vocal utterances than one could
>> by reading what someone else has written about the effects of the >> vocal
>> sounds on the emotions.
>> This covert function of language must be brought to light in >> order
>> us to be able to understand the importance of recreating culture. We
>> understand that our behavior, as a society, is fundamentally linked to
>> culture, which is a result of our language.
>>     We do not objectively know the ultimate meaning of anything and
>> consequently experience our sense of the meanings of things from the
>> on us of our words.
>>     These familiar phrases suggest a perception, perhaps a mystical
>> perception, of the importance of the spoken word.
>>     The final word.
>>     What’s the word?
>>     In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the
>> was God.
>>     The tongue is the rudder of the soul. It is not what passes into
>> lips that defiles us but
>>                                                     3
>> every untoward utterance that proceeds out of our mouths.
>>     Words, as sounds, affect us subliminally, supplying us with a
>> for whatever we name. It is that feeling that we experience from the
>> of our words that supplies us with a subliminal consensus for our
>> world-view.
>> We cannot realistically expect humans to act in a way >> contradictory
>> their culture’s bias. Marx’s economic/social theory was used as a
>> standard to
>> enable regime change. After those individuals who had experienced the
>> tyranny of the czar had left the scene, the body-politic eventually
>> collectivism, (the transplanted economic organ). Russian culture is
>> fundamentally the same as it was when the roots of its present >> language
>> established and Russian society naturally reverted to its cultural
>> mode after the revolution. After a short time, the czar was replaced >> by
>> head commissar. Marx held that the economic relationships within
>> create all other human relations. It seems that culture is the cause >> of
>> nature of human relationships within any society.
>>                                                       The Culture Made
>> Do It
>> “The unrecognized function >> of
>> language”
>>     As an iceberg exists mostly under the surface of the water which
>> supports it, the fundamental consequence of language tends to be >> hidden >> under the surface of our awareness. Most crucial human activities go >> on
>> without awareness, for example, all of the bodily functions. Many
>> activities proceed without much deliberate awareness. Once one knows
>> how to drive a car, much less awareness is needed to operate the
>> The subconscious mind supports the same kinds of activities as does >> the
>> conscious mind, however with less effort. Anything that can be
>> is.  Automating essential activities frees the conscious mind to focus
>> issues about which we feel we need to learn in order to more
>> cope, (those issues that require conscious attention until new
>> patterns are in place). There is no need to be aware of processes that
>> place well enough without attention. It is only when a problem arises
>> we
>>  humans, in an attempt to solve it, focus our awareness on it. If we
>> coping well enough without awareness, why be aware? We don’t fix
>> if it doesn’t seem broken. We don’t reinvent our wheel as long as it’s
>> rolling. However, upon examination, our human condition appears to >> have
>> painfully broken for as long as we can recall, and must be repaired.
How may
>> we fix it?
>>     Could it be that our behavior is governed by something that we
>> see, something of which we are not cognizant? Is there anything in our
>> nature that would preclude such a possibility, the possibility that >> our
>> behavior may be directed by influences not within the purview of our
>> everyday consciousness? What could such a force be?
>>     The ability to produce simple vocal sounds made it’s appearance on
>> scene before our
>>                                                     4
>> progenitors made words of those sounds. The ability to vocalize
>> articulately is a prerequisite to the ability to verbalize. Words
>> when our ancient ancestors became cognizant of the relatedness of
stimuli to
>> their own vocal reactions to them. When they began deliberately using
>> vocalizations to bring to mind things, they made the transition >> between
>> deriving their sense of the meaning of things by direct experience of
>> things to deriving a sense of the meaning of things by experiencing >> the >> affects of the sounds of the words for the things. This supersession >> of
>> primal world by the linguistic world was the start of culture.
>>     Being able to talk about things was very advantageous to our
>> relatives. They could confer and plan. More important, they >> experienced
>> common sense of the meaning of the things in their world by using
>> symbols with which to refer to them.
>>     Culture was advantageous to our ancestors in the ancient,
>> pre-industrial environment. Now our technology provides us with the
power to
>> create and reside in an artificial environment, however one made
>> to the values inherent in our primitive culture. Our culture provides
>> with marching orders and our technology enables us to march very
>> Are we marching toward the edge of a precipice?
>>     All action is preceded by a decision to act, be that decision
>> consciously or subconsciously made. All decisions are based on a
>> consideration of the consequences of those decisions. These effects on
us of
>> the consequences of our actions are the same as and identical with the
>> meanings of those actions. How do we know the meanings of things? How
do we
>> know the affects on us of any thing? Do we know the effects on us of
>> directly as a consequence of our direct experience with them or by
>> experience with them by using and experiencing the words for those
>>     Language is the factory and culture is the product. Culture is an
>> abstraction and language is the physical mechanism from which it
>> Language is emotionally evocative sounds used to represent things,
>> conveying to us a sense of the affects-on-us/the-meanings-of those
>> Our sense of our own role in our culture provides us with our identity
>> therefore with guidance for our behavior. The cultural values, derived
>> our ancestors’ experiences long ago, as represented in our language,
>> instilled in us and direct our behavior today. A body continues in its
>> of motion unless it is acted upon by an outside force. Human culture
>> remain fundamentally unchanged unless it is deliberately changed; and
>> will not happen unless we feel the need to do so and know how to do >> it.
>>     Culture resides in the subconscious mind. Many others have spoken
>> the need to change the way we, as a society, think: many have tried, >> by
>> using means such as meditation, sleep deprivation, psychoactive
>> chanting, philosophical inquiry, etc. to accomplish this change and >> may
>> been successful to a degree. However, it seems they were not able to
>> lastingly infuse into society at large their newfound vision, due to
>> addressing the status quo at the
>>                                                     5
>> root/source, which is the culture. Understanding how language >> functions
>> makes it possible to change our culture.
>>                        How did language arise?
>>     How did language arise? Originally, our progenitors’ vocalizing
>> expressed internal-goings-on/emotion and did not refer to anything
>> to them. It was advantageous to members of the group to be informed of
>> emotional conditions of other members. Much later, when consciousness
>> developed enough for them to see the connectedness of the sounds
uttered to
>> the things the sounds were uttered in reaction to, they realized that
>> could bring to mind the thought of the things by uttering their
>> sounds, (names). The beginning of talking about things was the start >> of
>> culture,and the talking about things refocused the talkers’ conscious
>> attention away from the experience of the emotional reactions to the
>> of the words, and toward thoughts related to the things to which the
>> referred. While they were busy directing their attention to thoughts
>> to the things to which the words referred, they were being emotionally
>> affected by the vocal sounds they were making to form their words. >> So,
>> effects of the sounds they were making vocally were experienced
>> subliminally, while
>> consciously, they were dealing with the thoughts of the things >> referred
>> by their words. The affects-on-us/meanings-of things cannot be proven.
>> they had and all we have to go on are the effects on us of the things
>> the effects on us of the sounds of the words that represent the >> things.
>> While the effects of the things are changeable through time and
>> unique to each individual, the effects on us of the sounds of the >> words
>> relatively consistent and universal. Having nothing else to go on, we
>> the effects on us of the vocal sounds of words as
revealing/representing the
>> effects on us of the things referred to by the words. In this way,
>> is formed and passed to succeeding generations. Our world views
>> come from the sense of the meaning of things as represented by the
sounds of
>> our words rather than from the sense of meaning we may gain from the
>> experience of the things themselves.
>>     Do vocal sounds, themselves, communicate? When someone utters a
>> sound, such as a sigh, a growl, a whimper, a scream, etc., do we get a
>> of how they are feeling? If so, they are communicating their >> condition.
>> does that communication take place? Do we receive information
>> in such a manner consciously, subconsciously or by both ways? What is
>> means by which an emotion can be conveyed by sound? Can emotion, or
>> else be communicated by the articulate sounds of our vowels and
>> or do only non-articulate vocal sounds convey meaning? If we allow >> that
>> vocal sounds, simply as sounds, communicate,  then is it possible or
>> that the vocal sounds we use to make words also communicate as well
>> used as words? What would be the effect of using inherently >> emotionally
>> meaningful sounds as symbols to represent external things? Would the
>> inherent meaning of the sounds affect our perception of the things
>>  represented by the sounds?
>>                                                     6
>> These considerations may shed light on the issue of the root >> causes
>> human behavior. Naturally, those who contemplate our condition and
>> improve it if they could, would be attentive to these matters.
>>     All of life’s processes exist as movements. Emotional conditions
>> patterns of motion. Similar structures, in keeping with the mechanics
>> resonation, impart, on each other, their movements. Our vocal
>> facilitate our ability to move with each other.
>>     The vibrations made by the body convey the condition of the
>> body to other similar/human emotional bodies, and to some degree, to
>> animal emotional bodies. The more similar the other body, the more the
>> condition is transposed. Humans receive each others’ vocal and other
>> body-language communications more readily than other species receive
>> communication. Similar structures transmit their resonation/vibration
>> each other more readily than do dissimilar structures.
>> My quest for understanding of human behavior began long ago. When >> I
>> around the age of six, I became increasingly aware that the folkways
>> formal institutions of our society were lacking in humanity and common
>> sense. I asked myself why this was so. As a child, I attributed the
>> to people’s personal psychology and it was not until I was in my late
>> that I realized that the cause of the problem is our culture. It was
>> after that that I understood how verbal/vocal communication works. The
>> of The Problem seemed and seems to be the culture which is created by
>> relationship between vocal sounds and what they, as words, refer to.
>>     Some of the reasoning that preceded this realization was first,
that we
>> are not created evil, but rather simply with survival instincts.
>> that if we were able to act sanely/rationally, we would be doing what
>> produces the best results for everyone. Third, it must be something we
>> learned, some misinformation, that causes us to behave in ways not in
>> own self-interest. Fourth, when I considered the question of from >> where
>> false information came, I identified as the source, the culture. >> Later,
>> realized that we do not, for sure, know the meaning of anything, and
>> as far as we know, the only thing constant and predictable about any
>> is its name, (the word-sound we produce in order to bring to
>> whatever thing to which we choose to refer). After a time, I became
aware of
>> how the different vocal sounds we produce when we speak words, each
>> in us a unique effect and how those effects inform us subconsciously >> of >> the affect on us, (the meaning), of the thing itself to which the >> word
>> sounds refer.
>>     At this time, I also learned that the sequence of sounds of the
>> of our alphabet represents a sequential delineation of
>> emotional/experiential events. From A to Z, the succession of the
sounds of
>> the letters of our alphabet is an example of
>> the pattern, in this case, being the seminal emotional events that
>> experience during their lives, in chronological order.
>>                                                     7
>>     Emotions happen to us: They seem to come from the “great mystery”,
>> or whatever image we may use to portray a place from which strong and
>> compelling feelings emanate.
>>     Given, all the vocal sounds that people can make, how would one
>> the sounds sequentially and from what archetype, (model), would the
>> of that sequence come? Even if the originators of the present alphabet
>> deliberately imposed a pattern on their arrangement of the
>> whatever world view that existed in their minds caused them to feel
>> comfortable with the sequence of sounds they chose. The sequence they
>> must have been agreeable with the story that was represented in their
>> by those sounds in that sequence. If one admits that vocal sounds
affect us,
>> then how could a story, a sequence of affects,  not be told by the
>> in which the sounds exist? Whether or not the originators of any
>> alphabet had a conscious reason for arranging the sounds of that
alphabet in
>> the sequence in which they appear, subconscious reasons were
>> their arrangement none the less. Does this story, told by our
>>  alphabet make sense? Does it seem to be an accurate representation of
>> main events in a human’s life?
>>     We tend to cling to our culture as if our lives depended on it, as
>> drowning person might cling to a life preserver. Culture offers an
>> -in this case subconsciously apprehended-, to the question,  “What are
>> meanings of things?” Without culture, there tends to be no consensus
>> what things mean. Language informs us of the meanings of named things
by the
>> affects on us of the sounds of our words. Those who use the same
>> experience the same sense of the meanings of the things that make up
>> worlds. That sense emanates from the deep levels of their subconscious
>> their final assessment of the meanings of things results from their
>> processing that deep, culturally caused base sense of meaning through
>> lens of their perception of their own relationship to the society in
>> they live.
>> For the sake of clarity, let us consider, hypothetically, what >> the
>> result/s would be of using meaningful sounds to refer to things. Would
>> meanings of the sounds spill over into the perceived meanings of the
>> or would the meanings of the things influence the perceived meanings >> of
>> sounds? Or would neither influence the other or would they influence
>> other? Which has a stronger meaning-pressure, the sounds we make with
>> voice or the things which, with the sounds, we name?
>>     The vocal sounds express/communicate states of the emotions first
>> foremost, and as an afterthought, so to speak, they are used to refer
>> things. They communicate emotion by moving the auditory apparatus of
>> hearer in a manner analogous to the movements of the vocal apparatus >> of
>> speaker, thereby creating in the hearer an emotion analogous to the
>> present in the speaker. Just as the touch of the hands conveys the
intent of
>> the toucher, so the vocal motion of the vocalizer creates in the >> hearer
>> emotional state analogous to that of the vocalizer.
>>     Just as our becoming-human progenitors were gaining consciousness,
>> ability to
>>                                                     8
>> contemplate the consequences of their actions), they were, for the
>> time, using vocal expressions as words to refer to specific things, >> not
>> to express immediate emotional goings-on. Since they vocalized
>> under duress, their words were expressions born of fear rather than of
>> conscious understanding. The mind concentrates on problems, on issues
>> could potentially be destructive to the perceiver. When this >> fear-based
>> thinking bias becomes institutionalized in language, the language
itself is
>> a source of anxiety. The more we verbalize about any given problem, >> the
>> stressed-out we become. This reminds me of an Eskimo method of killing
>> wolf. They would smear congealed blood on a very sharp knife and set >> it
>> with the blade pointing upward, where wolves frequented. When a wolf
>> the blood, it would bleed and lick its own blood not knowing it was
>> to death. We are wolfish for knowledge and we pursue it by using our
>>  main thinking tool, our language.
>>                        The Unrecognized Role of Language
>> Culture is the hidden law-of-the-land. We are creatures of >> culture,
>> its subjects. Our culture originally  enhanced our survivability and,
in a
>> technologically advanced world, may become the instrument of our
>> destruction. Our culturally motivated ways of relating to one another
>> have once been viable, although perhaps immoral, and now, with our
>> ability to cause environmental change, are untenable.
>>      ”The release of atom power has changed everything except our way
>> thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind.
>> only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker.” --- Albert
>>     I wish to change what is in that “heart”.
>>     The referential function of human language is merely the “tip of
>> iceberg” of the role of language. Its larger and more profound >> function
>> unacknowledged: It is spoken language’s informing us of the meanings >> of
>> to which we verbally refer. We are moved in a primal way by the sounds
>> produce with our voice and, in the absence of any “objective”, >> absolute
>> information regarding (the affects on us)/(the meanings of) the things
>> our world, we accept the affects on us of the vocal sounds of our >> words
>> representing the affects on us of the things to which our words refer.
>> this way, we are informed subliminally, simply by learning our
language, of
>> the meaning of our world. How else could we, as very young children,
>> achieved a sense of how we were affected by the numerous things that
made up
>> our world?
>> This matter is of paramount importance because we act in >> accordance
>> with how we perceive our world, (with what our world means to us), and
>> sense of that meaning is derived from  the affects upon us of our
>> Much of human behavior that is commonly attributed to “human nature” >> is
>> actually motivated by cultural nature, which is created by language.
>>                                                     9
>>     How and what would our society be if we had a culture which
>> in us the values that we would consciously choose to hold? Presently,
>> simply assimilate the culture in which we are born. Once we understand
>> mechanism of cultural transmission, we will be able to change our >> group
>> program.
>> However, it seems that many of us may be too timid to venture >> forth
>> from the false security of our unquestioned and familiar values. Some
>> expressed to me that language is a product of nature and that to >> change
>> deliberately would produce an unnatural result, a Frankenstein >> culture,
>> consequences of which would probably be destructive. To those I >> suggest
>> we are inherently unable to venture out of the natural realm, as we >> are
>> inextricably woven into the web of nature. Furthermore it is entirely
>> correct and wholesome for us, with the goal of improving our
>> to choose to correct our culture at its source. Once we see how we may
>> ourselves, we would be within our progressive evolutionary tradition >> to
>> all our knowledge to do so.
>> .
>>     Vocal sounds either communicate as vocal sounds or they do not. If
>> assume that vocal sounds do not communicate, then language only >> blindly
>> unintelligently refers to things. If we assume that vocal sounds do
>> communicate something, as vocal sounds, then language does more than
>> refer to things: it also informs us about the things named. Which is
>> Do any of us believe that our vocal sounds do not express/communicate
>> anything? If we believe that vocal sounds communicate/express
>> then what is it that they communicate/express? If vocal sounds do
>> communicate as sounds, do they loose that communicative function when
>> incorporated into words or do they continue to be expressive when used
>> words?
>>     If vocal sounds that constitute words communicate something as
>> then what effect does the sound of a word exert on our perception of
>> thing to which that word refers?
>>     Many seem to have difficulty accepting the idea that the primary
>> meanings of vocal sounds, including the sounds of words, are the
>> they cause within each of us and not the things to which they refer
>> uttered as words. Another point that aided me in understanding the
>> of language is that we really do not know the meaning of anything but
>> behave as though our taken-for-granted assumptions are valid only
>> they have not been held to the light of inquiry. It is only that which
>> resides in our subconscious and of which we are not conscious and
>> consequently do not question, that we act as if we “know” for sure.
>> the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland? When asked how he managed to
>> coordinate the movements of all those legs, he became aware of the
>> previously unconscious process of walking and then could not walk. The
>> sense of the meanings of things that we dependably share with the
others of
>> our society is
>>  instilled in each of us by the relationship between the sounds of our
>> words and the things to which those words refer. Words are the link
>> our autonomic, cultural sense of meaning and the things that make up
>> world. We give things a familiarity by attaching to them sounds >> created
>> our body. Our words are related to things because the vocal sounds of
>> words are related to our reactions to those things. We may not
>> experience an emotional reaction to the things that
>>                                                     10
>> make up our world. It is during our seminal moments that we experience
>> emotional reactions to things.
>>     What meaning, if any, do things have if we are not affected by
>> things? All meaning is relative. If we were totally unaffected by
>> would it be meaningful? How would whatever meaning it may have be
>> Clearly, what we want to know about something, (anything), is how it
>> us, (what it is?).
>>      After many attempts to share these findings with those in
>> their lack of understanding, even more their lack of interest in
>> understanding the ideas I was putting forth , dampened my impulse to
>> out to those whom I previously had thought were most likely to
>> these findings.
>> I figured that what I was saying was challenging on a deep level >> to
>> most, who would otherwise gain a glimpse of it. My discovery, seems to
>> threaten the sense of security of those who consciously or otherwise
>> their culture as an idol. Some of us, especially those of highly
>> intellectual abilities, feel that security is to be had by being able
>> “explain” the meaning of things. By uttering words, (sounds), about
>> what meaning is revealed? Doing so may create the illusion of
>> by seeming to make the named things familiar. But does it, only inform
>> with the effect/meaning of the sounds of words, or with the meaning of
>> things as well? What are the meanings of the things?
>>     It appears that culture is the root of all normal human behavior.
>> all behave according to our values and assumptions and those derive
from our
>> culture. Do our academicians know what culture is, how it relates to
>> people who are instilled with it and how it may be changed?
>>     We are informed subliminally of the meaning of our world by the
>> language that we speak.
>>     Why is it so difficult for people to understand how language
>> culture? What is/are the missing piece/s of information that they need
>> order to grasp that concept?
>>     A better way is possible. We need only the vision of this better
>> as an everyday experience, in order for us to act in accord with it.
>> consciousness of how to act in order to create the world we wish must
be the
>> status quo, not the rarity that it now is. This changing of the status
>> can be accomplished by changing the culture and changing culture is
>> accomplished by changing language.
>>     Are we conscious that we are affected by the sounds we make with
>> voice? We are commonly aware that the quality of singers voices >> affects
>> We know that great orators and actors affect us with their delivery >> and
>> vocal character. Everyone’s voice affects us. We are aware of the
affect of
>> tone of voice but not of the affect of articulated phonemes per se.
>>                                                     11
>>     We have no way of knowing the final meaning of anything. We might
>> we know what a thing will do to us in the immediate future but what
>> how it will affect us much later? When we become aware of something, >> we
>> question its meaning and once something is questioned, we never gain a
>> of its absolute meaning Only that which remains in the subconscious we
>> not question. The feelings that well up from our subconscious, in
>> to various things, seems to be true absolutely. Our feelings strongly
>> our train of thought.
>>     The certainty of the uninformed is typically replaced by the
>> of the “enlightened”.
>>     Our culture/language supplies us with a sense of knowing the
meaning of
>> all things for which we have a name. This sense of the meaning of
>> helps us to feel secure in the face of an uncertain, threatening >> world.
>> gain that sense of knowing the meaning of things simply be having >> words
>> things. Our subconscious accepts the affects of the sound of the words
>> being the affects of the things to which the words refer.  The words
>> for the things we name with them and replace, subliminally, our
>> of the things referred to with our perception of the words >> themselves.
>> words are all we have to go on for the sensing of the meaning/effect >> of
>> things.
>>     Having words inform us of the meanings/effects of things seems to
>> some advantages compared to being informed of the meanings/effects of
>> by direct perception of the things themselves.  All those who use a
>> particular language have the same basic subliminal sense of the
meanings of
>> named things and consequently, are able to participate in the group
>> of their society. The words for things stay constant through time >> while
>> we are affected directly by things changes. We can share experience,
>> knowledge and wisdom with words. Without words, our own personal
>> would be all we would have and we would not be able to share it. Words
>> enable abstract thought and planning.
>>     We think, influenced by the feelings of the sounds of words for
>> and feel as though we were thinking with the perception of the things
>> themselves.
>>     Are we conscious that we are affected by the sounds we make with
>> voice? We are commonly aware that the quality of singers voices >> affects
>> We know that great orators and actors affect us with their delivery >> and
>> vocal character. Everyone’s voice affects us. We are aware of the
affect of
>> tone of voice but not of the affect of articulated phonemes per se.
>> When we utter vocal sounds that are simply sounds and not words, >> we
>> may, more easily,  experience consciously, the effects of the sounds,
>> when we speak words. When we speak words, we typically experience
>> consciously the referential function of the words and not the affects
on us
>> of the sounds of the words, while we experience the effects of the
>> sounds of words subliminally. Because we experience the one thing, >> (the
>> referential meanings of the words), consciously, and the other thing,
>> affects on us of the sounds), subconsciously, we
>>                                                     12
>> subconsciously interpret the subliminal effects of the vocal sounds as
>> being the effects of the things to which the words refer. The
>> mind supplies us with the bottom line of the meaning of whatever it is
>> are considering because we cannot reason with the subconscious mind >> and
>> can with the conscious mind. Whatever we are conscious of, we can
>> and whatever we question becomes uncertain. However we have a
>> subconscious reaction to that which the (meaning-of)/(effect-on-us) is
>> consciously unknown as long as we have a word for it, and that
>> reaction creates an experience of and hence a sense of knowing the
>> of that which, prior to being named, did not seem to be known. The
>> made of sounds of our body, stands in for the unknown thing, the thing
>> separate from our body. In the absence of any objective sense of the
>> meanings of things, we rely on our words to provide us with a sense of
>> knowing,
>>  because knowing relieves us of the stress of anxiety. We are driven
>> the perceived safety of our familiar culture, as represented in our
>> language, by the stress of the fear generated by not knowing. One must
>> willing to accept the mystery of existence in order to experience, >> free
>> the bias of existing culture.
>>     Considering words to be things in and of themselves, (sounds), and
>> only a means to refer to things, will enable us to examine them for
>> inherent meaning. The primary meaning of a word is not the thing which
>> represents. It is, rather, the affects on us of it’s sounds. We
>> consider the meaning of the word to be the thing to which the word
>> and we subconsciously experience the meaning of the word as the >> effects
>> us of its sounds. Because we experience, profoundly and consistently,
>> effects on us of our human vocal sounds while we experience less
>> and less consistently the effects on us of the things to which we >> refer
>> words, the emotional effects of the words as sounds overrides the
>> effects of the things named, and informs us of the nature of named
>>     In a similar way that explorers laid claim to land in the name of
>> monarch, we tend to lay claim to that which we name in order to render
>> seemingly familiar and known.
>>     Everything that we perceive subconsciously creates an emotional
>> reaction that may be experienced consciously and everything that we
>> consciously affects us subconsciously as well. We consciously perceive
>> sounds of spoken language and we are also affected subconsciously by
>> same sounds. In the course of verbal communication, we think of the
>> to which our words refer while subconsciously we are emotionally
affected by
>> the sounds of our words. This simultaneous occurrence of the thought >> of
>> thing and the subconscious experience of the emotion generated by the
>> of the word we use to refer to that thing, subliminally informs us of
>> affect-on-us ,(the-meaning-of), the thing. In this way, we acquire a
>> of the affects-on-us, (the-meanings-of), everything for which we have >> a
>> word. This is important because our actions in relation to the things
>> make up our world are motivated by our perceptions of the meanings of
>>  those things. Therefore, if we would change, for the better, our
>> societies’ behavior, we ought to change our languages.
>> Since spoken language is crucial in determining the course of >> human
>> events, it would be
>>                                                     13
>> better if we consciously agreed with the subliminal sense of the
>> of things which is instilled in us by our language.
>>     We humans are not doing so well with our relationships with one
>> that we should be complacent regarding the improvement of our culture.
>>     People have been attempting to address social and economic
>> ever since there were people. All the religions were attempts to
provide a
>> basis for our behavior. Marxism was/is an attempt to remedy social and
>> economic inequality and exploitation. “Hippie” communes were typically
>> instituted to provide healthy social environments. Organized politics
>> codified legal systems were/are created, supposedly, to improve our
>> condition. Why is it unclear whether any of these deliberate social
>> structures actually made/make our situation better or worse? Could it
>> that the cause of our malaise is something that is not being >> recognized
>> those who strive to improve our lot? For how many years, for how many
>> centuries and millennium will we try to fix our broken world by
>> laws, religions, political and economic institutions before we decide
>> doing so does not deal with the source of the problem? Marx’s mistake
>> believing that
>>  economics is the foundation upon which all of society’s other
>> are based. It seemed reasonable to him that since life is based upon
>> biological economics of survival, that economics must be the
>> force in society. He did not see that our culture provides us with a
>> of the meaning of all recognized things thereby assuaging the
>> that naturally arises as a result of our consciousness of our physical
>> vulnerability and that we tend to protect and defend that culture
because of
>> the perceived security which it provides. Once culture is established,
>> causes the economic and social relationships to be what they are, and
>> cannot be lastingly changed without changing the culture.
>>     The culture, created by language forms our values which then
>> influence the decisions we make consciously and  subconsciously.
>>                                                              What is
>> culture?
>>     I define culture as the common fundamental values held by the
>> of a society. These values derive from our perception of the meanings
>> (the affects on us of), the things that make up our world. “Things” >> are
>> whatever we identify as being distinguishable from other things, which
>> include feelings, thoughts, values, people and ideals. The meanings of
>> things are one with and the same as the affects on us of those things.
>> do we acquire our sense of, (the affects on us of)/(the meanings of),
>> things? Is it from our own individual experiences with things? Is it
>> what we say to ourselves and to each other about things? If it were
based on
>> individual experience, how would we achieve consensus and if we could,
>> would all cultures not be pretty much the same?
>>     Most would hold that even within a given society our individual
>> are not the same and
>>                                                     14
>> surely the popular view of what our values are, indicated by a cursory
>> survey of our behavior, seems to support that conclusion. When
attempting to
>> assess the values that underlie behavior we should consider the
influence of
>> the role that each individual sees themselves as playing within their
>> culture. Given the same subliminal, fundamental values, individuals
>> any society tend to behave not only relative to those basic values but
>> relative to how they perceive themselves, (who they perceive >> themselves
>> be), within their society.
>>     It seems that the cause of the problem of why we do so many
>> destructive and self-defeating things must be so basic, so fundamental
as to
>> escape our awareness. It must be housed in the subconscious mind since
>> our attempts to address it have been futile. It is that which we don’t
>> consciously know that we subconsciously know that sometimes makes us
>> why we do what we do. Our emotional reactions are influenced by that
>> resides in the subconscious just as they are by that of which we are
>> conscious, and often, we create rationales to explain our behavior,
>> the actual reasons for the feelings that motivate us may be other than
>> we choose to think.
>> What does every cultural group share within itself that affects >> its >> members profoundly and without their conscious knowledge? Where are >> the
>> hidden rules, by which we live, to be found? Our culture is an
>> inherited from distant ancestors, formed in an environment vastly
>> than today. Ways of interacting with one another that may have seemed
>> work then now appear to be dysfunctional. The primary example is war,
>> before weapons of mutual destruction, was rationalizable by the
victors. But
>> now, with nuclear weapons, would there be any victors? We still think
as we
>> did then but we cannot afford to act today as we may have believed we
>> then. Our technology has evolved tremendously but our culture has not.
>> are ill-equipped to cope with the situation our technology has enabled
us to
>> create. Furthermore, even if war seemed winnable, wouldn’t we prefer
>>     If we admit that vocal sounds inherently affect us, as do facial
>> expressions and general body posture, then we may ask how our sense of
>> meaning of the things which make up our world is affected by using
>> inherently meaningful symbols to refer to them. What is the relative
>> strength of the emotional effects upon us of our symbols compared to
>> emotional effects of the things to which they refer? Considering that
>> emotional effects of the things themselves vary with context and is
>> of each of us, and that the emotional effects of the vocal symbols is
>> relatively consistent and universal, can we assume that the meanings >> of
>> symbols create the perceived meanings of the things? Is this
>> the same or different within the conscious and subconscious minds? >> Does
>> conscious or subconscious mind more strongly influence our behavior?
Are our
>> behaviors affected by our subconscious minds even when we are trying >> to
>> what we
>>  consciously think we should do?
>>     We either are or are not affected by our vocal utterances. I see
>> we are. If we were not affected by our vocal utterances, we would not
>> vocalize. The whole purpose of vocalizing is
>>                                                     15
>> communication! And in order to communicate, we must be affected by >> that
>> which we use to communicate.
>>     What, we may ask, is communicated by vocalizing? What is
>> when other animals vocalize? It is clear that animals communicate >> their
>> instantaneous emotional states by their vocalizations. How is this
>> communication accomplished? The vibrating of the body of the >> vocalizer,
>> (sender),  causes the body of the receiver to vibrate in sympathy. The
>> receiver experiences the motions and consequently the emotions of the
>> sender. This simple process is the foundation of our vocal activity,
>> verbal activity, (our language), and our culture. Many of us seem to
balk at
>> accepting the idea that our lofty retorical proclamations are founded
>> such primal processes. If you are one of these, consider that our
>> blueprint is shared, in the majority, by all other vertebrates and
>> by all other animals. To those who disparage animals, please be
>> that the Grand Creator authored ALL of everything, not only us and
those of
>> whom we
>>  approve.
>>     What are the ingredients that make up the mix of influences that
>> determine human behavior? Given that we are intelligent enough to
>> and cherish the truths that are our guiding principles, and given that
>> are not born self destructive, then for what reason/s did we act as we
>> From where does the false information come that motivates much of our
>> behavior? “Human nature” does not account for our inhuman actions. The
>> of our destructiveness must exist among the things which we learn.
>>      From what ultimate source do we acquire our information regarding
>> meaning of our world? Our culture is that source.
>>     What have we got to go on in order to achieve a sense of the
meaning of
>> our world other than the words we speak?
>>     Do we have a benchmark for establishing the meaning of things?  If
>> everything is relative, what is it relative to? We need not look
>> than ourselves to find that. How could it be otherwise? We look out
from our
>> eyes and hear with our ears and think that we can objectively >> determine
>> nature of each and every thing that we examine. However, with our
>> in the balance, as it inescapably is, how whatever it is that we
>> relates to our survival determines what it must mean to us. How we are
>> affected by the things that constitute our world establishes their
>> The vocal sounds we make express and convey the different emotional
>> we experience. Our words are made up of these body-sounds. Therefore,
>> words convey emotional meaning and inform us of the affects on us of
>> for which we have names.
>>     Language exists in both the conscious and the subconscious. We are
>> conscious of the words we speak and of the things to which they refer,
>> they inform us subconsciously of the effects on us, (the meanings of),
>> things to which they refer.
>>     Does it matter what things mean? Does it matter what we think they
>> mean? Do our actions
>>                                                     16
>> relative to them depend on what they mean to us? Do we act in >> relation
>> things according to what they mean to us? How do we know the ultimate
>> on us of any thing? Is the effect on us of any thing its meaning? How
>> any thing mean to us anything other than what its effect on us is? How
do we
>> obtain a sense of the meanings of things? Do we get that sense of the
>> affects-on-us/ the-meanings-of things directly from our own experience
>> things or as mediated by language?
>> Of all forms of body language, (vocalization, facial expression >> and
>> overall body posture), only one of them,vocalization, is commonly used
>> represent things other than conditions of the emotional body. Our
>> posture is very communicative of our physical-emotional state without
>> deliberate intent and is sometimes used deliberately to convey the
>> Facial expression can be more finely communicative of our state of
>> being/feeling than is general body posture. Vocalization, while being
>> profoundly expressive/communicative, is, by civilized people,
>> exclusively reserved for uttering words. While we are not aware of the
>> affect upon ourselves of the phones we utter, we are aware of the
>> upon ourselves of the emotional embellishments we add to them. Often,
>> consciously add emotional content to our words in order to embellish
>> referential meaning. Since we are busy, often consciously, processing
>> referential meaning of
>>  our words, we are unaware of the emotional impact of the sounds that
>> them up. Each distinct articulate vocal sound affects us in its own
>> way. Understanding this is crucial to understanding the workings of >> the
>> culture-creating function of language.
>>     We not only refer to things with our words. More profoundly, we
>> ourselves of the very meaning of those things simply by using a word,
>> vocal sound), to refer to them.  This information as to the affects
upon us,
>> (the meanings of), the things which make up our world, constitutes our
>> culture. Culture is information, (in-formation). Since we are not >> aware
>> the nature of this information, it exists in our subconscious minds. >> We
>> according to a subconscious program put in place by our language. If >> we
>> understand how we receive information regarding the meaning or our
world, we
>> can change that information so that it agrees with what we believe to
be the
>> nature of our world. Our culture was passed down, from long ago; from
>> electronics, before motorized transport and the printing press. If we
>> to deliberately create our language today, would we create the one we
>> currently use? If so or if not, why? Would we know how to create a
>>  language that conveys the meanings of things that are their actual
>> meanings? If we would know, how would we know? If not, why not?
>>     That which affects us profoundly and constantly must be in close
>> proximity. Things right in front of us are often overlooked when we
>> for that which affects us powerfully. We tend to assume that if the
>> of major difficulties were so close to us, it would be obvious and we
>> have discovered them by now. Let us reexamine our major influences  to
>> for what causes us to behave as we do.
>>     Our species, is plenty smart enough to understand why our saints
>> prophets are correct when they exhort us to be “good”.  We create
>> laws that mirror our religious tenants and are
>>                                                     17
>> sensitive to any critique of our behavior. Our feelings of guilt seem
to be
>> well developed. Why then do we act as we do; making war against one
>> and engaging in all kinds of destructive activity?
>>     I have heard many claim that it is simply “human nature” to act in
>> destructive ways. Those who believe that, feel that there is nothing >> to
>> done to correct our human malaise other than punishment. Evil ones >> must
>> trimmed back, like a noxious and thorny vine. I do not subscribe to
>> depressing idea and know that the truth of the matter is that we >> humans
>> inherently survival oriented and will learn whatever seems as though >> it
>> further our survival. It is because of our native intelligence coupled
>> our survival desire that we voluntarily stretch our consciousness in
>> to glimpse a better way for ourselves to carry on.
>> What are the forces that influence our behavior? What we believe >> to
>> good and correct does not, it seems, by itself, determine our actions.
Do we
>> not fully believe that what seems to be right to us is truly right? Or
>> there some other influence that informs us of what the world and all
>> things and concepts and people in it mean to us, something else that
>> influences our perception of how we must behave in order to survive?
>>     Our behavior is related to how we are affected by the things that
>> up our world. We behave in relation to the various things that fill >> our
>> awareness, according to how they affect our survivability, (how we
>> that they affect our survivability). We perceive the world directly
>> personal contact with it and indirectly through contact with that >> which
>> represents the world to us, (our language). Language represents the
world by
>> labeling everything about which we speak, with sounds made by our
>> Those vocal sounds are part and parcel of states of our emotions. Our
>> preverbal progenitors and our children when young, make vocal sounds >> in
>> reaction to various environmental stimuli. Those emotive sounds are
>> intuitively made sense of by all who hear them. We sense the
>> and they make sense to us. The vocal sounds are made by a body in an
>> emotional state and cause that state to be reproduced in the emotional
>> of the hearer
>>  of those sounds. The sending body vibrates and the receiving body
>> similarly. An emotionally linked vibrational pattern is spread from >> the >> originator of the vocal sound-vibration to whoever’s auditory >> apparatus
>> moved by it. The transmittance of the vibrational pattern is the
>> transmission of the emotion. We are emotionally affected by the
emotions of
>> others.
>>     Language is an institution, a standardized way we move our bodies,
>> specifically our vocal apparatuses, our ears, central nervous system
>> emotions, in relation to the various things that make up our world. In
>> relation to a book, we who speak English, utter the sound, “book”. In
>> relation to a book, a Spanish-speaking person utters the sound, “
>> These two different sounds move us in different ways, giving us a
>> experience of that which refers to and represents that object and
>> consequently, of the thing referred to. The primal meaning of a word >> is
>> effect the sound of it creates within us. The secondary, more distant
>> meaning of a word is that to which it refers. The secondary meaning is
>> we commonly accept as being the one and only meaning. We are
>>                                                     18
>> generally not aware of the primary meaning, because we are affected by
>> vocal sounds of our words subliminally and by the secondary,
>> meaning of words consciously.  Awareness of the primary meanings of
>> sounds was superseded by the awareness of the >> secondary, -referential-,
>> meaning of vocal sounds used as words.
>> To understand the functionality, the “nuts and bolts”, of >> language,
>> to free ourselves of domination by culture, to be the masters of
>> rather than its subjects. We have been inextricably attached to
culture, for
>> better or for worse, ever since our use of language began. Now we can
>> intentionally create a language/culture that informs us as we would
like to
>> be informed, of the effects on us, (the meanings of), all the things >> we
>> name.
>>     Certainly we agree that we are affected by the sounds we utter.
>> then is the
>> consequence of referring to all the things to which we refer, (all the
>> things that make up our conscious world), with inherently meaningful
>> If we were able to refer to things with “meaningless” symbols, then >> all
>> would be conveying is the thought of the thing. When we refer to >> things
>> inherently meaningful symbols, we are also informing ourselves of the
>> meanings of the things to which we are referring. Is there such a >> thing
as a
>> meaningless symbol? Is anything meaningless? In order to perceive
>> including a symbol, that symbol must register upon our senses and in
>> to register upon our senses, the sensed thing must affect us. No >> effect
>> us, equals no perception by us. Whatever the affect on us is, is the
>> fundamental meaning of the sensed thing. When we refer to things, we
>> primarily being affected by the symbol which we use to do the >> referring
>> secondarily by the memory, if there is a memory, of the thing to which
>> are referring. When we refer to something with which we have no >> direct
>> experience, we have only the symbol, (word), to affect us and thus to
>> us.
>>     If there is a discrete connection between a vocal sound and  a
>> and a connection likewise between a particular vocal sound and a
>> effect on the emotions, then there is a connection between the effect
on us
>> of the sound and the thing to which that sound, (word), refers.
>>     We are aware that sound has an effect and that the word is sound
>> that the word has an effect and that the word refers to a thing. Are >> we
>> aware that, for all intents and purposes, the effect seems to be the
>> How we are affected by a thing, our perception of a thing, is accepted
>> subliminally as being the meaning of the thing. Our actions relative >> to
>> things in our world, are related to the perceived meanings of those
>>     We feel the feelings generated by the sounds of our words at the
>> time as we are deliberately focusing on the things to which the words
>> As a consequence, we associate particular vocal-sound-generated
>> with particular things. The thing does not define the feeling. Rather,
>> feeling defines the thing. The feeling of the word determines what is
>> accepted subliminally as the meaning of the thing. The word enables us
>> experience feelings of the meanings of things not present, and unknown
>> direct experience. It establishes a sense of
>>                                                     19
>> consensus which wells up from the subconscious minds among the >> speakers
>> a given language.
>>     All throughout human history, language has been playing this role
>> consensus creator based on the information we derive from the sounds >> of
>> words regarding the-affects-on-us/the-meanings-of, the things that >> make
>> our worlds. If we would rather live in a culture of our own creation
than in
>> just any one in which we happened to be born, we might consider
>> experimenting with cultural change through language renewal.
>>     I have been asked what I hope to achieve with this information. My
>> desire is that we become aware of the forces that affect us so that we
>> be able to change the circumstances that exist to circumstances that >> we
>> would prefer.
>>     Because of the inherent shortcomings inherent in existing
>> although words can be used in a kindly manner to help get us back on
>> when we lose our way, they cannot, in and of themselves, guide anyone
who is
>> determined to see things in a certain way. Only the willing can be
>> How can we help people to be willing?
>>     I observe that culture is the prosthetic subconscious of society,
>> which we who live in a particular society share with one another and
have in
>> common. It has to do with our world-view. Our world view is formed by
>> things mean to us. How do we obtain our sense of the meaning of our
>> Do we share t

*Robert Lake  Ed.D.
*Assistant Professor
Social Foundations of Education
Dept. of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading
Georgia Southern University
P. O. Box 8144
Phone: (912) 478-5125
Fax: (912) 478-5382
Statesboro, GA  30460

*Democracy must be born anew in every generation, and education is its
*-*John Dewey.
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