Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts on Liber III vel Jugorum, Part 1: Control of Speech

The monitoring of speech seems to involves three distinct phases:

1. Being vigilant and thinking of what you are going to say before you say it.

2. Actually monitoring what you are saying while you are saying during the moment. Already I have caught myself while speaking about to say the forbidden word and instantly switching the word out for something else or ending the sentence abruptly. I am also quickly noticing a cheat where you begin to notice certain sentence patterns where you would normally use the word that serves as a sudden warning flag to draw back and pay attention to what you are saying.

3. You find yourself constantly reviewing the last sentence/s you just uttered again in your head looking for the word in case you made a mistake. You will often do this if you begin speaking rapidly without thinking.


The chosen word was the first example given, "and". The punishment was
a stinging snap of three thick rubber bands to the inside of the
wrist. The maximum allowed was 10 errors per day. Upon reaching ten,
efforts were discontinued until the following day.

Record of Liber III vel Jugorum: Part 1: Speech - "and" First Attempt
Day One: 7 - Discovered the difficulties of practice.
Day Two: 10 - Shameful loss of control.
Day Three: 10 - Improved control, accompanied by improved monitoring.
Day Four: 0 - Surprising control.
Day Five: 5 - Lapses and exhaustion.
Day Six: 4 - Slight improvement.
Day Seven: 4 - Steady.

The first day I discovered just how difficult this practice was going
to be, more so than even I imagined. The second day my mind rebelled
and complete failure came quickly. The third day, also a complete
failure, sense of far greater control, but consequently greater
monitoring of the speech which resulted in a count over the maximum.
Strangely by the fourth day the practice suddenly became easy with a
hyper awareness of speech that resulted in perfect control. By the
fiftieth day I encountered the shear exhaustion of maintaining the
level of awareness needed. Everything in me screamed to be able to
speak freely and quit. I truly hated it. The sixth and seventh day
moderate control returned, but still not to the degree I want or
demand of myself.

Your first reaction to this practice is finding yourself trying to avoid the issue by speaking less or only when you absolutely have to. It really begins to dawn on you just how much useless chatter you use on a daily basis. Talking just to talk, filling the silence between yourself and others. Next, you begin to realize how many repeated sentence and phrase patterns you regurgitate over and over again without conscious thought or notice. Not only of the chosen word but discovering a host of repetition with words and phrases, like a parrot or a bad eighties sitcom character with a catch phrase. Finally, precision of word choice seems to be a natural result of this practice.

You truly fail to see the beauty of this practice until you actually attempt it. You must be fully conscious and aware at all times to achieve even the most modest success at it. You cannot allow yourself to sink into automatic stimulus / response consciousness. Once you have extended this awareness to action and thought the results would be god like.

I have noticed the record of my results becoming worse rather than improving. I believe this is due to improved monitoring and vigilance of speech rather than a break down of control resulting in errors. Regardless of observable improvement, the practice does far more than assist control and would be invaluable to anyone.

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