Content Analysis

When I was in teacher training, one of our profs asked us to look at scholarly articles and see if there were certain words that showed up a lot, and whether examining all those words which were frequently used created a context for the writing.  Was the atmosphere of the writing suffused with love, deficiency, joy, comparison, openness, division or any other ways of being?

Take this paragraph, for instance:

Daily training in aikido allows your inner divinity to shine brighter and brighter.  Keep the mind bright and clear as the endless sky, the deepest ocean, and the highest mountain.  Do not be calculating or act unnaturally.  Keep your mind set on the way of harmony, and do not criticize other teachers or traditions.   Aikido never restrains, restricts or shackles anything.  It embraces all and purifies everything.

I want to live with these verbs inside me: allow, shine, keep, embrace, purify

And not these: criticize, restrain, restrict, shackle

These adjectives: inner, bright, clear, endless, deep, high

Not these: calculating, unnatural

These nouns: divinity, sky, ocean, mountain, harmony, all, everything

Not these: (Actually, I couldn’t find any)


Maybe I should do a content analysis of my heart.  How about strapping a recorder to me as I wander in the world or sit in meditation?  I wonder what would come up?  Well, I have a good idea of the top sellers:

Love, kindness, compassion, empathy, peace, integrity, generosity, humour, acceptance, spontaneity

As for the formerly strong but now middle of the road:

Fear, sadness for me, frustration, laziness, pride, competition, greed

And the ones that have faded away:

Antagonism, anger, guilt, depression, boredom, criticism, jealousy, pity, repression

Just me.  Nothing special

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