Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Beyond the Personal–Verbal or Discursive Frame of Mind

     A "fundamental shift in consciousness from preverbal to verbal processing" occurs in young children. 
     A "second, similarly monumental transformation from the personal–verbal to transpersonal–postsymbolic processing" can potentially occur in adulthood. 
     "People at the high end of ego development (can potentially) become aware of ... the language habit. They describe how the personal–verbal or discursive frame of mind prevents them from remaining in the open, nonevaluative witnessing stance they enjoy during peak moments and altered states of consciousness.

     Briefly, the language habit has the following attributes: 
          • It constitutes a universal, all-pervasive dimension of human existence. 
          • It is innate but needs activation and modeling by expert speakers in early childhood to emerge. 
          • It is a learned behavior that becomes automatic and unconscious once acquired. 
          • It bundles the flux of sensory input and inner experience into labeled concepts shared with one’s speech community.
          • It is so deeply engrained that speakers of any given language are not aware of the reality construction imposed on them by their language. 
          • It can become a barrier to further development if it remains unconscious, automatic and unexamined.

     Thus, the determination of how high-end ego development stages fit into a full-spectrum model of consciousness depends in part on whether people can become aware of the language habit and on the possibility of postrepresentational ways of knowing."
       Cook-Greuter SR. "Mature Ego Development: A Gateway to Ego Transcendence?" Journal of Adult Development 2000; 7(4): 227-40.

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