|12 Jan 2013 @ 14:41, by Max Sandor|
The modern, civilized man seems baffled when encountering ways of life different from our times. The most obvious example is that of cultures whose members seem to happily live WITHOUT making inferences like the Pirahã of Brazil (see [link] ) . Do they have a 'Grammar of Happiness' or are they non-human by inference from the viewpoint of today's linguists/philosophers? The opinions seem to oscillate between blind reverence and outright racism.
Meanwhile another native language raised some eyebrows, a language also 'suspected' to be non-inferential, and a language which treats the perspective of past & future seemingly opposite to 'our' perspective.
Linguists looked at one of the main languages of the descendents of the Maya people, Aymara, spoken by about 3 million people, and found that their speakers put their future seemingly BEHIND them and in the past BEFORE them ([link] ).
We could arrogantly smile and go on with life... BUT... what if we look for a moment at the sanity of OUR culture that puts the future 'in front'?
First, however, a small detail that usually escapes attention of professional linguists: modern western languages collapse spatial and temporal prepositions into the SAME words, as if time and space would be the same stuff. Strictly seen, it does not make sense to treat both the same.
Secondly, our own languages treats the temporal prepositions in a way that opens up the speculation that perhaps OUR OWN LINGUISTIC ANCESTORS may have had the past in 'front' and the future 'behind'. At the very least, we can construct some hair-raising combinations of spatial and temporal prepositions, as did Maynard de Aymar in the German language [link] .
So, let's have a new, fresh look at what we're looking at when we're looking at the most inferential element of our mind, our idea of our future!
Putting our vision of the future directly in front of us, as it seems the habit for most Western people, is probably the WORST of all possibilities. It collides directly and brutally with our perception of 'what is there in front of us', namely the PRESENT SITUATION. Experience shows that this way of seeing the future creates uncertainty, self-invalidation, extreme tensions and nervousness, and a general lack of persistence which is necessary to reach a goal.
In Power+Life Coaching we offer therefore the client to work with a vision of his/her projects OUTSIDE the space of 'current reality', typical at the right side of the body and UP. This works very well for most and is far superior to the 'common' view of a future dead-ahead.
What about the past? What we don't see CAN hurt us! If you don't watch the traffic around you while driving a car, your chance of having accidents rises dramatically. And to have a sense of developing trends, whether in traffic or in life, one needs to TRACK movements that extend from the past into the future.
Therefore, putting the past BEHIND oneself is the WORST option.
In our Coaching sessions, we invite the client(s) to perceive the past on the LEFT side and BELOW. We observe then our projects unfolding on a stream of time, a 'time-track', which extends from the lower left to the upper right, both slightly in front.
So far so good, but this is still not the way the Aymara-speaking Indios seem to indicate their vision of future and past.
Now, if we move our 'future vision space' on top of our head, slightly to the back, we may speculate that the researchers of the non-inferential Aymara language may have overlooked and important detail: 'back' may non necessarily indicate the PHYSICAL space behind the speaker's body but may point to the INNER space of vision of the person.
Which means, holding the vision of future in your inner (necessarily inferential or 'postulative') space, meaning slightly BEHIND and UP your head, and your past laterally visible, enables us to witness PRESENT TIME to the fullest, with a minimum of inferences & interferences.
Try it out!
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