Language Matters: Use of First Person Plural Omniscient
"Thinking patterns are sedimented in the body."
Terry Tempest Williams, When Women Were Birds
"I" and "We":
Intention & Language
You may notice I am using First Person Point of view throughout the practices.
This is intentional. Here is what I am thinking:
In my latest studies of the hidden influence of language upon our psyche
and Nervous System Body, it seems Point of View usage can
create power differentials rather than bridges in understanding (1) (2).
I have often experienced yoga and taught yoga in a voice
called First Person Plural Omniscient.
First Person Plural Ominiscient uses "we".
"We" is a powerful word despite being only two letters.
"We" can connect us, and it can recruit us.
"We" can intrusively assume agreement or offer a vision in partnership.
It all depends on Point of View of the speaker and the listener
as I am finding out.
Here is an example;
A First Person Plural Omniscient (we) statement:
When Yoga teaches us about compassion, we have the opportunity to
explore our capacity to understand others.
First Person (I):
Through yoga's view of compassion, I feel I have the opportunity to
explore my capacity to understand others.
You may feel this as well or have another view or experience.
The difference may seem small at first, but perhaps allow the
wording, then then your somatic response to the meaning
of the wording linger for a moment.
I ask myself, which point of view shares rather than recruits?
How does my body respond to the point of view language?
For me, the "we" is so ingrained as "yoga-speak", I am still
noticing my experiencing and translating it to "I" as a practice to explore it.
I do feel it sedimented in the textures of my body experiences.
When I find it, I know I have found an unprocessed pocket of fossilized
yoga learning, in someone else's voice usually for me.
So I ask myself:
How do I relate to this learning myself at this point?
Is this similar or different from the view of the teacher who gave it to me?
What have I learned since that time?
I am intentionally using First Person as an exploration of new possibilities.
I invite you to explore this consideration for yourself if you are interested;
when teaching others, within your internal dialogue while practicing,
and when reading writings in First Person Plural Omniscient.
1 Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Training, 2019-2020
2 Matthew Remski, Cult Dynamics in Yoga and Buddhism: Recognition, Recovery, Resilience