By Ken Solberg
“We are not stuff that abides, but patterns that perpetuate themselves.” – Norbert Wiener
Reverse Speech is offering incredible opportunities to increase our awareness about personal and corporate patterns that perpetuate themselves. When that happens we are given the responsibility to make new choices and decisions about patterns that are now contributing to aliveness, energy, balance, and integration.
Before I explore some possibilities regarding Reverse Speech, let me first set the stage and put a little more grounding in the words Reverse Speech by stating the theory as presented by David Oates, an international expert in the art form of Reverse Speech.
“Human speech has two distinctive and complementary functions and modes: The Primary mode is spoken forwards and is constructed by conscious cognitive processes. The Secondary mode is spoken simultaneously with the primary mode, is a reversal of the forward speech sounds, and is constructed by automatic cognitive processes.”
“These two modes of speech are dependent upon each other and form an integral part of communication. In the dynamics of interpersonal communication, both modes of speech communicate the psyche of the speaker – conscious and unconsciousness,”
Alford Korzyski in his book entitled Science and Sanity has coined the phrase “general semantics.” Semantics is a study of the development and change of the meaning of words. General semantics, it seems to me, would be the study of the appropriate use of language. This has been a neglected area in our culture. Now with Reverse Speech on the horizon the study of general semantics is far more demanding.
Language is a process that shapes our reality. It literally not only contributes greatly to the development of our brain, but affects and shapes our whole body. Language affects human structure, the depth of our breathing, and the tension level of muscles. Language is shaping our attitude and response at any given moment.
The dynamics of language increases many fold since we now know that languaging includes reverse messages. The potential for learning and human development is unlimited. Carl Jung, a scholar and student of mythology, has, with his theory of the human mind being divided into three distinct levels, given us unlimited possibilities for human growth and development.
The levels of Reverse Speech according to Jung’s model are as follows:
The first level he describes as consciousness. These are conscious thoughts and emotions, or those just below conscious awareness. Reversals are normal everyday English usage.
The second level he describes as personal consciousness. These are thoughts, emotions, and personality matrices that are below the level of conscious awareness. Reversals are metaphors and shortened sentences.
The third level he describes as the collective unconscious. These are a variety of patterns and issues from the core of our being. Reversals are archetypes, strong metaphors, and occasionally old styled English language, such as King James.
A definition of metaphors as used in Reverse Speech and defined by David Oates is as follows: “A metaphor is an unconscious representation of a feeling, belief, or behavioral pattern. Metaphors are symbolic words. Some have universal meanings in Reverse Speech and others are representational to the individual only. The key to their interpretation lies within the complementarity features between the forward and reverse dialogue.”
David Oates defines archetypes as follows: “Archetypes are like metaphors in that they are also unconscious representations of a feeling, belief, or behavioural pattern – yet the patterns, feelings or beliefs that they represent are more firmly entrenched into our being. They are more universal in their significance and stem from deeper parts of our psyche, possibly the collective unconscious as detailed by Carl Jung. They use words that contain strong religious or mythological symbolism and tend to contain more life that metaphors which are primarily static in their nature. Archetypes give the impression of a live drama being re-enacted in the depths of the mind.”
To the extent we are conscious as to how we use language, both forward and reverse messages, we can determine how we experience ourselves and the world. Now that Reverse Speech has added octaves to our languaging process and has opened up levels of communication beyond our imagination, we can no longer afford to ignore its reality and put up with sloppy use of language. Reverse Speech gives us the opportunity to pay attention to the metaphors and archetypes that describe our reality.
Reverse messages demand that we be awake at deep levels of our being. It demands that we get on with the job of grounding our speech, both forward and reverse, and give meaning to generalizations such as metaphors and archetypes. It is a process of becoming whole; that is, integrating forward and reverse messages, and integration the conscious and below consciousness. Since reverse messages are often full of ungrounded abstractions as well as forward messages, we now have the mandate as Reverse Speech analysts to pay attention to what’s meaningless and bring it down and down until it is anchored in life and in present reality.
This is a challenging work as Reverse Speech is mosaic in its nature and multidementional in its characteristics. Consider not only the three levels of reversals as previously outlined, but also the reversal catagories that have been identified to date by David Oates. They are as follows:
Complementary reversals directly confirm the forward dialogue.
Some reversals are expansive in that they add to the information of the forward speech.
Reversals can be contradictory to what the forward speech says.
Other reversals can communicate to the other person.
Reversals can be an internal dialogue, giving information or instruction to oneself.
Mirror image reversals have the same meaning in both forward and reverse statements.
Sentence building reversals will complete a forward statement.
Semi-formed reversals are when the last part of the last word is missing.
In double emphasis reversals the reversal phrase will be repeated twice.
Single word reversals usually communicate a strong feeling or desire.
Non-related reversals seem not to be connected in regards to content but in regard to the emotional set of the person.
Link reversals happen when two people strongly connect in their communication. Each person contributes to the one reversal.
Out of the previous list of catagories, it is possible to see that Reverse Speech has the task of restoring integrity to people and our culture I believe this is the right work at the right time, considering the need for wholeness, wellness, and completeness.
Dr Buckminster Fuller, a modern day thinker has challenged us with his insights He saw history as coming in ‘waves’ The first wave was the age of agriculture, The second wave was the age of industry The third wave we are still experiencing It is the age in information The fourth has arrived and is in its early stages It is the age of integrity It is time to integrate It is time to connect. It is time for Reverse Speech
We are the right people at the right time at the right place with the right skills We come with a fresh approach to facilitate connectedness and integrity to a fragmented society.