Using General Semantics

By Kodish, Susan Presby | ETC.: A Review of General Semantics, Spring 1998 | Go to article overview

Using General Semantics


Kodish, Susan Presby, ETC.: A Review of General Semantics


General Semantics can be considered a neuro-semantic, neuro-linguistic discipline. Therefore, I have found that learning the definitions and descriptions of the formulations presented in Science and Sanity, staff lectures, workshops, and other sources provides a necessary but not sufficient condition for developing a general semantics orientation. Using the following material will help you to incorporate general semantics into your everyday habitual reacting, getting it into your nervous system, and thus learning it neuro-semantically.

By using general semantics, we can learn to understand ourselves and others better. We can also learn to react-evaluate differently, if we so desire. In developing a general semantics orientation we thus can improve our functioning.

In the material on the following pages, I summarize some of my formulating on how to approach these goals. The format of presentation is:

1. A GENERAL SEMANTICS FORMULATION

Some aspects of using this formulation:

* Some questions to ask yourself, and answer, that will help you to use this formulation in your day-to-day life. These questions can serve as experiments in using general semantics: What results from asking them? What else?

Etc.

The 15 formulations which follow are:

1. Evaluational (semantic) reactions 2. Time-binding (personal) 3. Organism-as-a-whole-in-environments 4. Map-territory relations 5. Non-identity 6. Non-absolutism 7. Self-reflexiveness 8. Consciousness of abstracting 9. Multiordinality 10. Question formulating 11. Dating 12. Indexing 13. Quotes 14. Hyphen 15. Etc.

1. EVALUATIONAL (SEMANTIC) REACTIONS

* Note total organismic reacting; my and your sensing-thinking-feeling-acting-etc.:

* What was going on in and around me as I reacted?

* What was I sensing?

* What was I 'thinking'?

* What was I feeling'?

* What was I doing?

* How was I moving?

* Develop an orientation of delaying reactions:

* How can I delay my reaction?

* When I wait to react, what happens?

* Increase response options:

* How did I choose to react that way?

* Can I make other choices?

* What?

* How?

2. TIME-BINDING (personal)

* Note developmental life processes; changes over time:

* How did I get this way?

* What led to my reacting in the ways that I do?

* What kinds of response habits have I learned and developed?

* How can I learn to "date" myself? (See "Dating" below)

* What habits do I like?

* What habits might I like to change?

* How will I do this?

* What are the first steps to changing?

* When will I take them?

* Accept present, including myself:

* How can I best build on my personal experiences?

* How do I help and hurt myself and others by demanding that events, including myself, should happen differently right at this moment?

* When I don't accept events as they happen at the moment, does that cause them to change?

* How does this hinder my growth?

* What problems are created?

* Should a flower not happen as it does?

* Then how come I shouldn't happen as I do?

* How will accepting myself help me to move on?

3. ORGANISM-AS-A-WHOLE-IN-ENVIRONMENTS

* Broaden awareness of what is going on, 'inside' and 'out':

* What do I sense 'inside' and 'out'?

* What do I smell, hear, see, touch, taste, etc.?

* What else can I become aware of?

* Cope with uncertainty:

* How will having greater awareness help me to deal with whatever happens?

* How can this help me to experience more security, even when I can't feel 'certain' about anything?

* How can I learn to "index" better? (See "Indexing" below)

4. …

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