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Poetry the birth place of language. 

Each of us has written poetry at some time in our lives. Some of us stopped writing and some went as far as stopping reading it, but it is the key to the development of language and culture. We can say that it comes to the fore whenever we are trying to express our unique experience. 

It is when language tries to step beyond its own limitations. It is there hidden in the metaphors that scientists use to translate mathematical, theoretical and experimental explorations into language for themselves and the rest of us to understand. It is there in both the psyche professionals' and the mystics' attempts to communicate the inner life to those of us whose only goal is peace and security. It is there in the language of politicians and other leaders when they want to move us, want to reach into the privacy of our hearts, into our uniqueness.

Poetry is born when clichés are robbed of their meaning by new experiences and/or intensities which stretch our mind and emotions (and, if it works for you, spirit). In the case of politics the most memorable speeches are those given when we face crisis, when real leadership is needed rather than management, or when the speaker captures the imaginations and epitomises the mood of the times with a beautifully crafted metaphor.

Sometimes poetry is almost, to use a metaphor, a science of consciousness or of the subjective. It is a way of feeding back to the world our explorations of our relationships in the world and of our inner life. Science depends on a community process of knowledge development governed by certain rituals - hypothesis development, experiment, communicating an explanation of the process and results for peer review. 

The subjective is the source of all experience, to state the obvious. This is not to say that the external world doesn't exist as some philosophers and traditions would have it. In a way every action is a test bed expression of how we think the world operates science ritualises this process, designed to open the knowledge process to the world. 

But the scientific process is limited because it can only test things from an external point of view. It can tell us about the brain in terms of function, physiology, molecules, currents and chemistry but the uniqueness of each moment, each thought and feeling is a different level of knowing and poetry and story are powerful ways expressing and testing this way of knowing. Philosophy and psychology are also good at examining and testing this realm but their paradigms and communication approaches are still based an external orientation.

Poetry and story try to share their knowledge from the inside out. Our culture has a very positive focus on the external point of view and a distrust of the subjective. The cultures much admire by the spiritual fraternity, the New Age and other, put the subjective at the top of their cosmological totem pole. But of course that means their power system, their politics and history, decides whose subjectivity, stories and poetry, are most important. This leads to a conservative fixed political, social and cultural structure hard to change except through violent means.

Of course the external orientation of our culture allows it to be flexible and open to change however it is easily manipulated by charisma. The external orientation means the inner life doesn't get a chance to mature and so our people don't learn to discriminate the subtleties of the emotions and passions, lack confidence in themselves, in their uniqueness, and are dependent on the group experience.

Poetry is a way of exploring the subtleties within, of becoming a connoisseur of the passions, of people, of relationships, of sensuality, of life.

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