what language wires in to us

Another very interesting interview with Moshe Feldenkrais:

When the brain comes into the world, it is fit to do only what any animal brain can do: it attends to breathing, to digestion, to the automatic processes of the body. Beyond that, we must “wire-in” that brain to relate to the environment into which it comes. At the outset, the brain doesn’t even know how to stand. It cannot read or whistle, or tap dance, or skate, or swim. The brain must be adjusted and connected in order to fully function.” (p.180)

Each child born must explore and learn his or her own body.” (p.180)

The most important thing is not that we learn, but how we learn. After we are born, what language do we begin to speak? Naturally, it is the language that is spoken where we are born. Therefore, we’re wired-in by that accident of birth, not by our choice, not by our capacities, not by our talents. Each language embodies cultural traditions and attitudes from thousands of years of development. Consequently, that language wires in to us a lot of notions which we don’t want, which we accept merely because of learning the language. We learn a lot of old nonsense which perpetuates itself.” (p.181)

“I don’t treat patients. I give lessons to help a person learn about himself or herself. Learning comes by the experience of the manipulation. I don’t treat people, I don’t cure people, and I don’t teach people. I tell them stories, because I believe that learning is the most important thing for a human being. Learning should be a pleasant, marvelous experience. Very often in [-p.186] the lesson, I say, “Look, would you stop? So many of you look so stern, as if you were trying to do something terrible, difficult, and unpleasant for you. That means you’re tired, you won’t understand any more. Break it, go and have a coffee, and stop it. Or let me tell you a story so that I can see the brightness in your eyes and a smile on your face, and that you’ll listen and find that what I say is important to you.” (pp.185-186)

Ref: (emphases in blue bold mine) ‘Movement and the Mind. Interview with Will Schutz’ pp.179-189 Ed. Elizabeth Beringer (2010) Embodied Wisdom: The collected papers of Moshe Feldenkrais. Somatic Resources: San Diego, California


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
This entry was posted in Literate Contexts, Metaphors and Narratives around children and learners, Mono- Bi- and Multi-culturalism, social and political contexts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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