Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nothing To Fear But...

An amusing (to me) YouTube video, a comedy sketch from Israeli television, illustrates the multiordinal quality of human reactions, in this case phobias.

Multiordinality, in the korzybskian sense, stems from the self-reflexive capacity of the nervous system that allows us to react to our reactions.

The multiordinality of terms, reflects this capacity and refers to the fact that such terms have different 'meanings' depending on the level of abstraction on which they are used. Such terms can be applied to themselves at different levels of abstraction.

For example, I can be in love. I can also be in love with being in love. I can hate someone or something. I can hate hate. And I can fear something as well as come to fear my fear. One can feel anxiety and also anxiety about anxiety. We react not only to our own reactions but to others reactions as well. Understanding the mechanism and being able to laugh at it can make a difference, I think, as the video shows.

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