The sensory development notes published on this website are prepared in collaboration with an on behalf of Developing the Self Developing the World and to accompany the book “Spirit-led Community – healing the impact of technology” by Lisa Romero. The complete document complementary to the book can be opened here.
The sense of word is to perceive the being of language as a vehicle formed by the thoughts of another human being. We perceive and make connections to words, differentiated from other sounds. The way we perceive words has a particular relationship to the development and sensitivity of the sight sense and the movement sense. Typically between sixteen and seventeen years old, we notice a greater ability to filter what is intended for ourself, and the relevance of things to ourself. This contributes to being able to recognise archetypes in communication and only connect with what is relevant to us, without being as affected by someone else’s direction or mood.
Hyper sense of word
A person with a hyper sense of word can be sensitive to words and risk becoming caught in the detail. Although they may easily perceive words, they may also become fixated on some words, thereby missing the meaning that the other is trying to convey or they fall into the other’s words, into the art or the drama that they are watching. They can read something and gather the form. But they can also become agitated by some of these things. Their sensitivity may cause them to avoid some methods of communication or they could become caught up in what is going on outside of their self. They may have an affinity with words that leads them to develop a large vocabulary that allows them to refine and articulate communication. The familiarity with language can be according to an individual relationship to particular words.
Hypo sense of word
If a person is using their word sense in a hypo sensitive way, they will have difficulty connecting to other people’s words, and may miss the point. The process of recognition and response can be slow while they gather the word by repeating what has been said. When one is hypo sensitive, the impression occurs without recognition. Communication can be overpowering. So before they know it they may have taken in too much and need to abruptly halt the conversation or task at hand to regain their self. The younger the person, the more likely they are to do this in an anti-social way. The extrovert may become disruptive whereas the introvert may close down communication.
How to harmonise and support the development of the word sense
Everything that harmonises and develops vocabulary, is health giving for the word sense. Harmonising the movement sense and sight sense also harmonises the word sense. Speech exercises and stimulating conversations keep the mind flexible. It helps to use a wide variety of words around the developing child: choosing different words to express the same thing, as well as playing with words, can help to expand the word sense. When someone connects to the meaning and thought living behind the word or gesture before speaking or acting it out, the word ‘lands’ in the other like a gift. To support the word sense to develop, stories and conversations need to be enlivened by living in the heart of the speaker and growing as it is spoken, rather than purely recited from memory. A conversation or lesson is made digestible by using descriptive words that have within them freedom for the listener to catch onto the rhythm and form a living imagination. Keep in mind to use words that are true for the whole, leave an impression of beauty, and demonstrate goodness in the world. Words can otherwise land in the other undigested, or we could leave the other un-free.