Rich and Poor


Rich and Poor


The name of this short article is, “Rich and Poor,” a topic often on people's minds these days.


Let’s start by doing our usual bioenergetic analysis of the 2 keywords. “Rich” begins with the letter R. As we know from our bioenergetic letter studies, this letter is our seesaw or balance letter.  The letter R indicates a throaty possible threat, like the incipient growl of a  bear.


The R is followed by soft short i sound, which as we know it is one of our main pleasure sounds.


So the first part of the word rich sort of generally gets us going, raises our heartbeat and sense of anticipation. The feeling of pleasure that follows is thus augmented. So the sound of the word rich has already created a strong feeling of well-being in us.



The CH letter combination that ends the word leaves us with a wide broad expanse of feeling, just like the CH sound itself. Say cheese.


So, bioenergetically/affectively the word "rich" or rather it’s sound, does exactly what it's supposed to do, that is, convey a feeling in us–that is, via our bodies, subliminally, that corresponds to the cognitive meaning of the word.


Now let us move on to fhe word “poor." The p sound that begins the word starts us off subliminally with a sense of, potentially, somewhat pleasurable forward motion, immediately followed by it’s questionable opposite, "oo" arguably translating cognitively into "something that might have turned out well didn’t."


So as you can see, the affective impact of the sounds of these two words more or less shape and reflect their cognitive meaning. Therefore, subliminally, before we have even hardly begun to formulate whatever it is we think  we have to say about the subject of ” rich and poor,” we’ve already set up within our bodies a sense of their meaning.


Now, since this is the middle of the night and I’m pretty tired, the easy way out of this article is merely to say one factor determining the truism that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is at least partly linguistically indicated and promoted. In other words, every time we say or think the words,  we will reintroduce our prejudices about them. So, given this is just a test of my IPad Dragon dictation application,, I think I’m going to end this little article here. One thing I think I have learned tonight is that the faster I say sentences, the more likely they are to come right on the page. But I am  still batting only about 80% accuracy. Which means that, barring other problems, I’m still better off using Dragon with the microphone on the PC then with the  I Pad  on the Mac.


Contiinuing on briefly in regular typing mode, though, let me just add that, once we surely know all this about word meaning, word sounds and our subliminal feelings, it would arguably be easier to change the way we say things to come more in line with the goal of changing our behavior. But to do so we may have do more than just wish to do it. And first, we may well have to take ourselves on, body-psychotherapeutically, with some regularity, focus, awareness, and concentration, before we can begin to develop a more open, humane, and intelligent capacity for word choice.


The general rule of thumb here, I think, no matter how simple or advanced our vocabularies and grammars, is that we generally tend to feel the way the words we speak or think make us feel, no matter how much we may consciously want to feel differently. This is because our language is so deeply embodied in us, not just figuratively but literally, across thousands of years and countless generations of social evolution.


A simple, potent example of how this can work is to use the word “prosperity,” rather than “rich”or “poor.” Bucky Fuller did this, consciously or otherwise, years ago. “Technologically, we now have entered a world where, if can just we put our minds to it, we can all be prosperous.” Bucky, just saying this, or something akin to it, back in the ‘70s, moved a lot of people. Not enough, unfortunately, but a lot. This is to a significant extent because when you or I say or think the word “prosperous,” bioenergetically it already makes us feel prosperous or that we can become prosperous,  or something like that—analyze it yourself to see how that works for and in you. Conversely, when we use words like “rich” or “poor,” it tends to automatically divide us—gosh, we got to be one or the other, don’t we? “Prosperous” (not to forget how Shakespeare somehow figured this out and twisted its force by changing just a letter or two to turn it into irony), on the other hand, well, normally, it’s sounds as well as it’s cognitive meaning, can bring us all in, happy together.


One of Bucky’s favorite world scenarios, win-win, fits in well with all this too.


So, if enough of us could just apply this general idea to the way we use language, we could probably change the world very much for the better, starting out by changing our own thoughts and behaviors, in just a few generations. But it won’t be easy and we need to be very smart about it. Choosing which words to avoid, modify, coin, or even maybe just mostly throw out altogether is a tough challenge for anyone, particularly since so many words can mean so many different things to so many different people and speaking so many different languages.


But again, if we all just hold onto that central notion, that our words subliminally tend to make us feel emotionally what we cognitively use them to mean, gradually we can change it all for the better.


Why not try it? It may seem like a long shot, but probably not such a long shot as trying to live on the moon.



Lee Strauss Copyright @ 2019