[xmca] L. I. Bozhovich and perizhivanie

From: Dot Robbins <drobbins72000 who-is-at yahoo.com>
Date: Sun Dec 02 2007 - 07:23:28 PST

Hello again,
  Having received questions on "verbs" and "still point transformation" related to perizhivanie, may I try again? In trying to establish a new discourse for myself in the 21st century, perizhivanie is the word that captures my inner feelings...it cannot be "pinned down"...I am not viewing it literally, as I don't view "word meaning" as being really literal, it is an unspeakable force that somtimes allows me to try a new dialgoue with myself. It is like capturing the understanding of "consciousness is reflected in the word like the sun is reflected in a drop of water..." Edward de Bono speaks of new forms of logic....he talks about "rock logic" (if you put three rocks together, what do you have? Many "rock" answers). If you put three waters together, what do you have? He is not trying to replace rock with water logic, but he wants us to expand our thinking into more fluidity.....I so hope you will allow me to enter this discourse on a real level.....it is all about a newer
 (well older, becoming newer) understanding of "internalization"....
  *In the movie Harold and Maud, Harold (very young) and Maud (very very old) stand by a pond, and he gives her an engagement ring, and she holds it tight. Then, after a pause ( the "still point"), she throws it back into the water, saying something like "now I will have your ring forever." (something has shifted in consciousness)
  *Another example, Alexei Alexeevitch gave me a small booklet of his translations of poetry, and I kept it with me always, until the Language in Action conference in Finland, 2006. Alexei Alexeevich and Kari S. had planned the conference to celebrate A. A.'s 70th birthday, but A. A. died in 2004. At the conference, Kari S. was in the hospital and he was dying. I could only speak to him on the phone, and had to give him the most meaningful thing I had. Once I handed the booklet of poetry to Riikka A. for Kari, there was a still-point transformation, a catharsis, and I knew that I would always have the book.
  *Helen Keller and A. Sullivan are my real heroes, and I think of them every day. In fact, the concept/word "water" for me represents a strong sense of perezhivania. While looking at Vygotsky documents in 2006 at the Kravtsov home, Elena handed me an article to see. It was an article Vygotsky had written, and it was in English, with a note....the note was written by Helen Keller, and there was a moment I could not breathe, the still-point transformational moment. I wanted to photocopy the document, but could not. Now I will always have it. The Still-Point Moment, of course, must be accompanied with displacement, or dereflection (Frankl), or a form of disobjectivation (A. N. Leontiev), through the magic of catharis to a new "converted form" (Mamardashvilli).
  *Our orphanage in Vyschgorod (120 km from Moscow) once received a group called "Maria's Children." Maria is an artist and she has an art center in Moscow for orphans from various orphanages there. One of her close friends is Patch Adams, who used to come to Moscow yearly to visit hospitals. Maria's children also have learned how to clown in orphanages and hospitals....In Vyschgorod, we are in the middle of nowhere, with a school, a building housing staff, and a building where the children live, and woods.One afternoon Maria's Children (+adults) came to visit, and they were all dressed as clowns. For one hour they did not speak, but played simple games in circles, painted faces, there was juggling, etc. Our children could not connect at first, they had never experienced anything like it. Slowly, the older children brought the younger children into the circles of activity, and the clown healers started speaking in a low voice. Maria's husband had a large map, and started
 asking the children where elephants live, etc. After 30 minutes, we all went into the gym for snacks, to just interact. Everyone started talking, talking, laughing, it got very loud, and it was the first time I had ever seen the children and teachers smile and laugh. I was so overcome with emotions that I had to go outside alone, and just cry. It was a still-point moment, it was Perezhivanie, with a large "P." Later, now bonded, our entire group went to the building the children live in, and together, everyone painted the walls of the main hall, one large, connected painting with all types of pictures flowing together on the walls. Maria's children came to us, gave so much, and just left. We will always carry those moments in our hearts.
  *This morning it is finally winter in Missouri....it was raining, and I just went on the deck in the rain, and it was pure "perezhivanie" (with a small "p," but really good).
  So, to close, the new discourse I am discovering is to try and become a "verb" and not just describe what a verb is....verbs need to be grounded in nouns, all of which is grounded in a changing/fluid dialectic (tri-lectic, etc., meaning there are tons of realities experienced at once)....Hopefully in our new century we will start to view Vygotsky and many others within the context of a "verb" (please don't take me literally). As I now state over and over, in 1999 Lev Kravtsov said it the best for me: His hope is that people will stop trying to prove the correctness of individual views and theories of Vygotsky (i.e., he was a Spinozist, no he was a semiotician, no a Marxist, etc.). It is Lev's hope that we can all start to view problem solving, theory creation, etc., THROUGH the eyes of Vygotsky. Perzhivanie, like the concept/term "water, for me is magic, including all aspects of life. To become who we really are, like Patch Adams did.
  Wishing all of you a blessed and joyous Perezhivanie!

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Received on Sun Dec 2 07:25 PST 2007

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