Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Paradigmatic-Syntagmatic Axes of Life

This is the prologue for the second chapter of my book (To be released) 'Tranquility: Focus'
This is an attempt to devise a plot to understand the growth of one's maturity levels as a person. To begin with, I wish to identify the paradigmatic and syntagmatic parameters (These terms are borrowed from the study of linguistics where the former speaks of a relationship 'across' a set of elements of the same type; while latter speaks of a relationship 'up' or 'down' a sequence. I shall take their help to prove the analogy between the plot under discussion and a perfect sentence) for the same and then proceed to understand the other influencing factors for the plot.

The basic blocks used to map the points on the plot being events or episodes in our life, it is easier for us to consider a single event and categorize the influencing factors for our action into ones with a paradigmatic existence or with a syntagmatic existence. There might be factors which might show traits of both, in which case we will plot their influence on both the axes while ones with absence of any such influence by either of them can be safely ignored.

For any action, it is necessary that we have the instigator, one who initiates the course of action and the sufferer, one who is influenced by the action. We will restrict our analysis to consider only the sufferer's point of view. Instigator can be regarded as a paradigmatic parameter from the sufferer's point of view since the action is important not the one who intiates it while it is the other way round from the instigator's point of view. The other important factor that influences and supports the action is the setting which is both a paradigmatic as well as a syntagmatic parameter since replacing the setting will influence the action and the impact of moving the setting during the action also influences the action.

There is a direct analogy between an action and a perfect sentence. A sentence can be framed using the subject and the predicate, here it is easy to understand that the sufferer of the action becomes the subject while the action becomes the predicate. A perfect sentence is furnished with sufficient detail to understand and appreciate the meaning of the action that it talks about, while a perfect action needs sufficient detail in regard to setting so that we fully appreciate the action from the sufferer's point of view.

Apart from the above mentioned three important factors, there are numerous factors which influence the action, degree of suffering and impact on the sufferer. In this chapter, these factors are debated and categorized into the two set of parameters that I talked about so that we can plot the level of understanding ( maturity). I hope you will enjoy it...