Sunday, 3 January 2010


I am very aware that the language of Sophrology and its specific vocabulary can appear at first to be a bit off-putting, it certainly scared me; add to that the fact that Professor Caycedo has “invented” words to describe certain of the phenomena that we live in Sophrology.
In my role as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, I try to explain that words are labels for ideas, feelings, sentiments etc… in other words for things that we experience, the phenomena that we shall be looking at later. How could you explain the words “hot” or “cold” to someone who has never experienced them? The vocabulary that Professor Caycedo uses is in the same vein; such things have to be experienced to be understood. That is where the quote by Aristotle is so appropriate. So do not be put off by such words as “vivance” “phronic region” etc, don’t try to understand them, just live them, and the understanding will follow.
Whilst I was learning, some words were forbidden; the word “but” for example. “Yes, but…” How many of us have been guilty of that! Or quite simply; “but no!” My way round it was to say, “However” ……it’s amazing the different dynamics that the change in word brings it. It is less negative; it is giving an opening rather than a closing. In French, the impersonal “one” is often used. For me as a non native speaker it is much easier to conjugate than “I You and We”. However, it is impersonal, and it was also banned from our vocabulary. No longer was it the “one”, the “other” but “I”. And that means taking responsibility. For me, myself, I.
Some words were added for example “yet” I can’t do it…yet! Here again, an opportunity to start a new road, rather than sitting down and refusing to go any further.
Translation from the French gave me quite a few headaches. “Je suis conscient” I am conscious, or I am aware? Apart from the fact that the latter makes many think of a particular film star, it seemed to me to be closer to the mark. I have also come across the word “mindful” which has a similar ring to it. And then, I realized, that what I had to do was to explain what I meant by the use of the word, and I could use the former, to englobe the latter, and to remain closer to the original semantics. That particular aha moment came on the return of the first trip to Andorra, as I woke out of a slumber…..An example of the sophro liminal layer bringing forth the answer.

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