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RE: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
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- Subject: RE: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
- From: Rod Parker-Rees <R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk>
- Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2012 11:45:43 +0000
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Many thanks for this, David - a really valuable clarification of the relationship between perezhivanie and activity. I wonder what you would have to say about the extent to which your second type of reflection is actually a culturally mediated process of mediation. In other words, when we practise the activity of reflecting on a 'second-hand' experience, in order to colour it with the 'body and vitality' of our own spontaneous concepts, are we 'borrowing' processes which we have picked up, absorbed or internalised from our experiences of engaging with others (and negotiating the sharing of feelings as well as understandings)? When we reflect in tranquility on observed second hand (second body) experiences do we not have to draw on internalised sociocultural processes to be able to do this?
All the best,
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [email@example.com] On Behalf Of David Kellogg [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 18 March 2012 03:33
Subject: [xmca] Reflective Meanings
We have been worrying about how to correctly render the word "переживаний" in Korean, and above all how to link it to "activity" (because it is clear to me that Vygotsky saw the one as a reflection upon the other). At the same time, I have been following the news from Syria, where I witnessed, in the early nineteen eighties, a similar bloody uprising against the current leader's father.
It has been estimated that by the time a child is twelve or thirteen years old the child has witnessed, on television, several hundred, possibly many thousands, of simulated murders. We didn't have a television when I was a kid, but when I first witnessed real murders as a twenty-year-old I remember thinking that it was "like a movie".
Of course, when you say that, what it means is that you are undergoing the visual experience of observing something but that the acutal переживаний, the lived experience or the feeling of what is happening to you, is somehow missing. It means almost the same thing as when you say that something is a dream (I still dream a lot about Syria, and sometimes I dream things that are very disturbing, but I know that the dreams feel very different from the way the reality felt).
Here, it seems to me, we have an almost complete contrast of the two meanings of reflection. For on the one hand, the scene that you see before your eyes is a clear reflection; when you say that you feel like a particularly gruesome or traumatic scene is like a movie or like a dream, you do not in any way have the sense of watching a movie or dreaming. What you mean is that you are seeing the sights but not feeling the feelings of what happens to you; you are lacking the переживаний.
And it seems to me that there are two ways to interpret that lack that corresond to the two meanings of the word "reflection". One is to say that you are not feeling and thinking the experience because you are too busy directly experiencing it, reflecting it like a mirror or a TV screen or a flickering image on the back of your dreaming eyelids.
But the other is that you are not participating in the experience, and that your first reaction is that you yourself are neither the murderer nor the murdered one. In other words, it is an experience, but it is not an activity. And an experience that is not an activity is not a lived experience: it is like a movie or like a dream.
It's that SECOND meaning of reflection, which I am almost sure really is a type of activity, even though it involves no actions and only indirectly involves verbal meanings, that converts an experience which is not an activity, into переживаний, or what Wordsworth would call emotion reflected upon in tranquility.
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
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