On learning languages

“From the moment I could talk I was ordered to listen…” This song by Cat Stevens illustrates which parts of us are activated when learning to speak another language. Recent research shows that when we learn our mother tongue not only the language centres in the left brain are active, but that learning to speak is also connected with areas of our right brain, which mirror the Broca and Wernicke language areas and cover the understanding and expressiion of emotions. Our language creates our communication in many ways.
A similar process start when we’re meeting people from different cultures and different languages. We not only learn new words, we also learn new emotions, emotions that may be repressed or inhibited when we were young. If we don’t pick up that part of a language, we’ll always speak the language with an emotional distortion that’s more recognisable than the strongest accent. If you learn a language practicing Logosynthesis – or if you practice Logosynthesis while learning a language – this part of the process will cerate completely new challenges. Learning the language is a metaphor for how you learned your mother tongue. Not only that: I can offer a corrective emotional experience for what happened when you learned your mother tongue, and in any case it can help to become aware of what happened in that crucial stage of your life.
Traveling as a Logosynthesis trainer or trainee offers many opportunities to learn, not only the theory or the technique. You’re together with other people who won’t speak your mother tongue, and they will activate archaic material: in the workshop, in the breaks, at the dinner table. You can re-experience what happened when you learned to speak, by exploring your reactions: Do you feel seen? Do you feel listened to? Do you feel invited to talk? Do you feel understood? Do you feel rejected? Do you experience the others as patient and interested when you try to talk? Are you confused or irritated? How do you expect others to react to you?
This is also relevant from the other perspective, if you are teaching the language by being together. Do you feel open when someone is learning a language and are you interested? Are you curious about the world he comes from and do you want to know more, or do you consider him as an intruder to your world? Do you secretly think he’s stupid? Do you correct him in public? Your attitude may mirror your parents’ when it was you learned to talk.
The most important diagnostic question on both sides is: How comfortable do you feel when someone speaks another language? The discomfort of learning a new language, or being with a person who’s learning, is only the surface. It mirrors deep relational templates from your childhood – as an introject of as a reaction.
Being with people from other cultures offers a wealth of opportunities for discovery and thus for identifying and resolving blocks in your life by practicing Logosynthesis. Think about coming to the 2014 Logosynthesis Summer Academy in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. Of the 24 participants there this year were 3 native speakers, and everybody left with a better understanding of people from other languages and cultures. Here’s the flyer and here’s the application link.