SILENCE: Capturing the feeling of inner quietude

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Laura Røgild-Müller
4. term, Psychology, Master (Master Programme)
Silent experiences are integral parts of human life, and despite moments of silence-phenomena may falsely be perceived as moments of “nothings”, they are in fact an essential part of human apperception and meaning-making. The significance of moments of silence (an internal, timeless state of being often perceived as solitary, spiritual-mystical, and unconscious, involuntary experiences) and silences (contextual states of temporally oriented and social experiences) is supported by the principles behind the concepts of Gestalten and zero signifiers, in that such absence can lead to greater understanding of meaning than any explicit and direct element ever could. Aesthetic experiences can in the form of poetic instants lead to moments of silence, through the human function of Einfühlung. Such process of feeling in and through the object, whether this be somebody else, an object of some sort, or a part of one’s dialogical self, can lead to instances of silence, a moment beyond chronological time trajectories. The self itself is polyphony, containing diverse I-positions which discuss and relate to each other, but each also containing multiple voices leading the self in different directions, with constant evaluation and a dialectic process. The phenomena of silence and poetic instants exist as hyper-generalized feeling fields beyond verbal descriptions. They are phenomena which as any other part of human life unfold within the present moment in irreversible time, but as well beyond such time trajectories in the depth and height of the experience. Human beings constantly feel into and through life into themselves, a process unfolding in time supporting the dialectic nature of the self. The current study investigates the phenomenon of silence in an attempt to expand the existing scholarly knowledge about this essential phenomenon of human life, which still scholarly is surround by much unclarity. It is a study of how silence is an essential, inseparable, and naturally occurring part of human life, embedded in the function of meaning-making and understanding of life. The study contains an analysis of a passage from Lev Vygotsky’s personal notebook, which in recent years has been made accessible through the translation by Ekaterina Zavershneva and René van der Veer, as well as a discussion of societal enhancement and hindrance of silence and poetic instants will support exactly this centrality of the existence of silence.
Publication date25 Sept 2020
Number of pages40
ID: 364206093