Аннотация: This Research Article was written as an assignment for college sociology class "Human Relations" where Author was studying to kill the time, being unemployed. It covers different aspects of Communication in the world where Humans exist. It has reference sources that might attract attention of some readers. Article updated on May 6, 2010. Sorry for errors: English is not my native language.
WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?
Bryant & Stratton College
SOSC101 Human Relationship
March 22, 2010
This Research Article has been written as an assignment for college sociology class "Human Relations". It covers different aspects of Communication in the world where Humans exist. It has reference sources that might attract attention of some readers. Article updated on March 29, 2010.
What is Communication?
"Communication - the transmission and sharing of information between people or groups so that each party understands what the other is trying to achieve."
HAM radio operator contacts with other operators around the globe using sophisticated equipment, microphone or telegraph key, Morse code and special abbreviations. HAM-radio operator allowed to exchange information, only related to technical data of HAM radio equipment, weather condition, radio wave propagation, his signal call, name and location of his radio station, - all limited by so-called Q-codes and HAM-radio codes.
HAM-radio operator is not allowed to discuss personal, political, social or other questions, non-related to HAM-radio specifics because HAM radio communication is considered to be as a kind of sport hobby activity: more contacts with more different radio stations have been done, higher score the operator got. There is a number of different contests take place in the air, organized by International Amateur Radio Union (IARU).
Is this activity can be considered as a Communication?
When we are driving a car and stop in the intersection on red traffic light, then go ahead after light changes to green, - can we consider this perception of information as a communication? Probably not because there is no human inside of traffic light apparatus. What about entering and retrieving computer data? Is this kind of data exchange communication?
Someone in workplace in order to get benefits tries to show his loyalty to employer and reports to his manager on his fellow co-worker's wrongdoing without taking a chance to talk with that guy first. Can this kind of "sharing of formation" be considered as a human communication, or business communication, alienated communication or miscommunication?
If you read a book of Ray Bradbury "451 by Fahrenheit", you might noticed his nostalgic idea, expressed by one of his heroes: It was time when people liked to sit on their porches and talk with their neighbors... That time has gone. We even do not know now who lives next door from us. We do not want to communicate with people. We prefer to communicate with computer, sitting in the basement, ignoring our abandoned children and spouse.
"Communication is the process of sending ideas, thoughts, and feelings, and having them received in the way you intended."
Does this definition of Communication sounds better?
To understand what is Communication, let's look at the bottom of this question: what is elementary data is being used in our language of Communication.
For instance, if we turn on and turn off a switch in our room to have lights on or off, do we have a communication with a bulb? If the switch is "OFF", we have logical minimal data equals to "0"; if switch is in "ON" position, minimal data equals to logical "1". Using logical "1" and "0" brings us to the "Rule of Boolean Identity" - basics of digital electronics and computer technology.
People use computers as a devices that help them to communicate with each other through media, well known as the Internet. Therefor if there are at least two humans on both ends, then such information exchange can be considered as Communication, even if it is very limited, like in case of HAM-radio sport activity. Therefor it is also Communication because, first of all, this information exchange takes place between humans, and, in second, because both parties use the same language, even if it is being converted to Morse code or to logical "1"s and "0"s.
Thus we come to another important question: what is a human language, being used in communication?
"Language - is a system of phonetic, verbal and grammatical means, objecting a mental work,
and is a tool of communication and exchange of thoughts of people in society".
We know now that there are specific languages designed for communication between computer user and computer itself; Morse code can be considered also as a media, used to turn on and off a transmitter like in example with a switch and bulb; traffic light is also can be considered as a primitive language. What is common for all languages? We can answer this question easily now: all languages use a some kind of media or symbols that have a certain meaning for people.
Even animals have their languages and some of them, dogs, for instance, are capable to understand human words, usually commands that can be considered in this case as symbols or signs but not as a language.
Regarding to Ferdinand De Saussure theory, symbols and signs, using in languages, have two basic components: Significant and Signifier. These components can be compared with a Dividend and Divider in mathematical fraction. First one - Significant is an ideal part of linguistic sign, that relevant to a subject of the object which linguistic sign names. Second one - Signifier is a material career of the sign, media, or its body: written word, line of phonetic sounds of word, colors (traffic light), shape (hieroglyph) et c.
Returning back to our research about communication, let's look at such words: "War", "Slavery", and "Hatred". Significant in these words is a correct definition, or what these words really mean. War is a fatal fighting between people. Slavery is long time humiliating dependency of certain people from other people who has a power and authority above them. Hatred - is a sinful feeling, based on wish of evil for someone. Signifier in these words, as it was described above, is their physical body. We can compare a linguistic sign with a human that has a body, with legs, hands and head, and invisible non-material essence - ego, soul, or spirit. We can state that both components in the linguistic sign at the same time are immanent and transcendental to each other, like human body and soul .
Some linguistic signs are very concrete and can be expressed by simple fraction: 1/1. For instance, such technical words like: transistor, relay, bulb et c., special technical terminology, or colors of the traffic light. Nevertheless, all signs have these two components that constitute a linguistic sign as a sign. Both components linked together dialectically. Linguistic sign can't exist without one of its component. It can lose its meaning for us (if we hear foreign word and we don't know its translation), or it can disappear from language physically, getting obsolete. Normal linguistic sign can be expressed like this: Significant / Signifier = 1 / 1.
Nevertheless, besides "healthy" signs, with both components that tied together, there are null-signs that have an existence in the language that people use for communication.
These null-signs have a Signifier (Divider, media, or material body) but do not have a Significant (Dividend, or meaning), or their Significant isn't related to the subject that this sign supposed to name. Following our theory, such signs can be expressed as a "fraction" like: "0 / Peace", "0 / Freedom", "0 / Love". Signs without Signifier nevertheless possess with a strong negative power. These signs are the words that ancient sophists used to persuade people that white color is the same as black color, or that 2x2=5. These null-signs are being mostly used by contemporary politicians in their speeches and in their propagandistic activity; by sale people, that try to make you to purchase their goods; we can also find them in repetitive TV commercials, in communication between managers and employees. These null-signs can be compared with alien parasites that penetrated into a body of a "healthy" word and converted its internal meaning to opposite one, or changed it to something different.
Thus, following to a "theory" of George Orwell who wrote a book "1984" where he gives us "prediction" of our "future" society (which has already fulfilled in certain and wide extend), and where he warns us that there will be a so called "New Language", with words-parasites, or signs, hiding inside of the body of regular words, like "Peace", "Freedom", "Love".
Certainly, in Orwell's "New Language" - language of propaganda - these words are being converted to opposite ones: "War", "Slavery", "Hatred", following to this formula: "0 / Peace = War/War = War", et c.
In other words, if nothing exists behind empty words, empty room is being occupied by improper invisible reality, with opposite meaning that converts healthy word into a kind of "placebo." That is how we can see a slogan like: "Freedom is a comprehended dependency" what literary means that freedom is the same as non-freedom; then any non-freedom can be either: dependency or necessity, or even slavery. If you see a word "FREE", written by huge letters, in grocery store, expect to find additional words, written by tiny letters, changing the meaning of word "free" to opposite.
Thus if a politician said : "Peace", he might mentioned "War". "Love" to certain people can be mentioned as "Hatred" to other people; "Humanity" is being interpreted as "Cynicism", "Democracy" or Fighting with terrorism" easily go to "Trading and limiting civilian's freedom" et c.
Our task is to recognize whether we participate in human communication or in alienated communication, depend on whether we hear human healthy and normal words, or words-parasites, null-signs, with opposite or corrupted meaning. "Reservatio mentalis" ("Mental Addendum", from Latin) of inquisitors allowed to members of Jesuits Order to practice a so-called (in Latin) "considentia oppositorum" ("tiering together opposite things" - Thomas Aquinas' philosophical terminology), or by other words, to make a pragmatical deal with their souls, or consciousness, and their temptation to have a "good business" and well social being, and to be in power, and to execute decedents by, sending them into the fire.
Is any communication possible between our mentality and our consciousness? If it so, what kind of communication it might be? Later on we will talk about Eric Bern's theory, about subjects, hidden in our subconsciousness: Libido, Mortido, Id, Ego and Superego and about other three parts of our Ego: Parent, Adult and Child.
Author of this article assumes that his readers familiar already with Eric Bern's theory, considering that Eric Bern's basic ideas have been described well enough in many books for students that study social science and psychology. Therefor we skip explanation of Bern's theory and just refer our readers to his popular books.
As we can see from Eric Bern's theory, it is not easy to distinguish communication from miscommunication even inside of our Ego. You might be a good listener but if your supervisor intentionally uses null-signs, for instance, saying a phrase: "Frankly speaking, your attitude is no good..."; - then, understanding a context of situation (you do not work well in warehouse because you was hired as a computer specialist), you can end up such game from the very beginning, answering: "Sure, my attitude cannot be the same in warehouse and in computer repair shop where I supposed to work". Answering that, nevertheless, you must know that people who likes to play games, regarding Bern's theory, don't like to be a looser; then you can expect more miscommunication with your supervisor and even possibility of growing conflict. Should you play that game? This is a moral dilemma situation that we face up very often in our communication with some people.
Playing by words leads to social games, well described by Eric Bern in his transactional analysis theory. Thus, an actor who used to play a certain role on the stage in some critical circumstances might easily begin to play the same role in his own and other people's life. When people loose ability to distinguish a difference between null-signs and normal human words, whole society is degrading slowly, being manipulated by powerful politicians, business sharks, and monopolies.
Eric Bern's theory is a second level of understanding of human communication and miscommunication, above the theory of linguistic sign of Ferdinand De Saussure. Eric Bern's major components of his theory: "Parent", "Adult" and "Child"; his transactional analysis: how these components communicate with each other and with other people's the same components is the essence
for understanding what is social communication.
Nevertheless Bern's analysis and the role of humans' "Mortido", "Libido", "Id", "Ego" and "Super- Ego", opens for us a bottomless field for research of what is a real human communication. For instance, Karl Jung, a well-known philosopher, developed Eric Bern's theory with some shocking ideas, about his "images" and about "meaning of human life". " Who hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Can our Ego communicate with our Libido or Mortido or with Super-Ego? Probably, not well enough. Then how well we can communicate with other people if we failed to communicate with our internal multiple personality components?
Let's leave this field of sociology an psychology for a while and have a look at Nature that we are all, as humans, belong to.
Regarding to theory of Russian philosopher Vladimir Soloviev , there are five Kingdoms in Nature:
Kingdom of Mineral, or non - organical nature;
Kingdom of Plants;
Kingdom of Animals;
Kingdom of Humans;
Kingdom of Spirits, or Kingdom of God.
Each of them has a very poor communication with next level of its evolutional stage.
For instance, minerals can't communicate well with plants, flowers or trees because of significant difference of their nature that placed their Kingdoms in philosophical category of transcendency. In opposite, trees, flowers and plants are utilizing minerals for their own life: they suck mineral ingredients through their roots and consume them. In their turn, they have better "communication" with minerals: they can consume them, or "comprehend" them. Birds not only find a shelter under the tree branches, they also eat their fruits, therefore, they also "comprehend" on higher level. Wild animals stay away from human, because there is no good communication has been established between humans and wild animals; because human always utilized animals as a source of his food. Human communicate with animals, making turning them into pets. Animals can do that with humans only in fantastical movies. All nature hierarchy of five Kingdoms is corrupted and if we can't find a good way to achieve communication between human-to-human, first we should look at our corrupted relationship with all nature, and with our lower level brothers - animals, plants an even minerals.
Why minerals? We exploit them so hard in industry and we don't recognize that the same minerals, molecules and atoms are everywhere in our physical body. One day they stop "communicating" with us, and our relatives push us to a nursing home or directly to a cemetery. Our relatives, our children are too busy to take care of us when we are alive. They don't understand what Ray Bradbury tried to say about those people who would like to sit on their porches and to communicate with their neighbors, and to read a non-electronic books...
Then crawling away from mineral Kingdom, we came to a Kingdom of animals that people exploited all the time and will continue to do that; then we came to a Kingdom number four: Human Kingdom...
If level of communication between any kind of Kingdom level would not be biased, aimed, from upper level to lower level of Kingdoms, may be Humans could find a way how to communicate with a fifth Kingdom, which is a Kingdom of Spirits, and a Human belongs to this Kingdom as soon as a Human has his own spirit inside of his body, so that all Humans belong to both Kingdom partially: physically - to Kingdom number four; and spiritually to a Kingdom number five, which is a Kingdom of God. Human can better communicate with a lower level of his evolution predecessors: for instance, a dog understands commands of its master much better than his wife. Can her husband grow up to the level Five?
There are completely different communication skills required for level Five. This kind of skills isn't for everyone. Knowledge how to obtain that skills is an obstacle for most of people that believe only in a visible world of nature. How they can communicate with Kingdom of Spirits if they do not believe that they have their own, immanent to their mentality, spirit? Such communication is impossible as impossible to communicate with someone over the telephone that has a broken speaker on one hand set.
Have you ever observed attempts of the flies or Lady-bugs to escape from your room? They walking up and down over your window trying to get out until they become completely exhausted and then die. Have you ever thought that even they live in triple dimensional world, like we are, they might comprehend their world as flat double dimensional world? That is why they can't turn around and fly away from the window glass and find other way to escape. Do we, humans, can comprehend that we actually live in multidimensional world? How to communicate with invisible dimension?
God and Human at the same instance are transcendent and immanent to each other. There is only one problem exists in such trans-immanent communication: God has a choice who He is going to communicate with, Human can only pray. We skip here multiple references to synoptic Spiritual Scriptures; nevertheless refer our reader to apocryphal Scriptures. Let's just slightly touch a most recent one which has been discovered in Egypt place, called Nag Hammadi, in 1945; therefore all manuscripts that found there altogether, called as "Nag Hammadi Scriptures".
"Jesus said: "A lion is being blessed if a man has possessed it, therefore a lion is being converted to a man."
This message, sent to us through a history, has overcome dark middle ages when apocryphal books and entire libraries of ancient manuscripts having been destroyed by orthodox clericals and inquisitors as we can see a in famous movie "The Name of the Rose" where best actor British Academy Award winner Sean Connery plays a role of a spiritually advanced human who saves couple priceless ancient manuscripts from fire to deliver to us a valuable information: how really we can communicate with God regardless what and how church teaches us.
"Lion" and "man", both become as a "One" in process of Holy Communion.
This is a sacred mystery action is taking place in every Christian church; "Communication of Saints"- words that we can find in "Apostolic Symbol of Faith"; then a sacred mystery of Holy Communion when wine and bread are being converted into Blood and Body of Jesus Christ...
What is Holy Communion? It is also Communication. It is Communication through symbols that have a shape of wine and bread; it is immanent Communication that can be compared as an act of love between two loving parties: man and woman; or an act of Communication between Human and God. Linguistic analysis can help us to understanding meaning of both words: "Communication" and "Communion" have the same derivation, or the same root: "common" that means that both parties have something in common, or the same: their media: bodies and souls - if we are talking about man and women; or soul and Spirit in the act of Communication with God both become as a One Common Media of Spirit. Definitely this kind of Communication is a non-verbal Communication.
Then what is real or ideal Communication?
Ideal Communication, by our definition, is process that has a goal to overcome transcending barriers between two loving spiritual beings, and as result of such process - a complete spiritual union when two become an immanent and common one whole unit.
"Jesus said: I am Light that is on everyone. I am Whole: everything descended from Me, and everything has been returned to Me. Cut wood, I am there; lift up a stone, and you find Me there." This words we can find in NagHammadi apocryphal scripture and in another wonderful movie: "Stigmatas", that explicits highlighted above questions of Communication.
Does it mean that all levels of natural Kingdoms have something in common?
What we usually mean under the term of Communication, becomes so poor and irrelevant if we start to understand a derivation of meaning of this word.
Like minerals can't comprehend well plants, or plants - animals, and animals - Humans, the same way a Human has a poor communication with Kingdom of Spirits. Human from point of view of minerals even does not exist; and from some people's point of view God also does not exist. Nevertheless minerals do exist from Humans' point of view, and Human does exist from God's point of view.
How we can establish a connection in our communication with God? What media we can use for it? Besides different symbols that we can find in the church (icons, religious ceremonies, prayer, mythes that in special coded literal and historical forms of scriptures bring to us revelations of some spiritually advanced people, traditions, et c.), most common media is for this communication is our soul, as we mentioned already. Understanding that our soul is the same as God's Spirit essence opens for us a door for spiritual revelation. "To reveal" means the same as "to open". Revelation of Spirit can happen only if we reveal Spirit, if we open the door in our own spirit and let both to communicate, and eventually to become as a One Unit. This kind of mysticism - is a highest level of communication between Human and Spirit, real Holy Communion of both when Two become as a complete and Whole One.
When we turn on our computer, it starts booting: loading into its memory operating system software, that consists of "0"s and "1"s, symbols and codes, sequence of different programs. Then computer prompts us to enter a password. As soon as we entered our password - we are connected with whole world of Internet. Do we know similar symbols, codes, special programs and personal password that we can use to establish communication with world of Spirit? Those symbols, codes, programs and password are known to people from ancient time. They are religions symbols: icons, cross, symbol of fish - IXTIS, et c; programs - is number of prayers, written by saint people. In human meditation programs-prayers supposed to be installed in his memory so that eventually they open a valve, located in our subconsciousness which allows information to flow from the dungeon of our body into free spiritual world, and back us so that eventually our subconsciousness opens for flow spiritual data. If it happens ones, such experience unforgeable. What is our personal password? It is a name of God, known to everybody, and an admission to Spiritual Kingdom is free of charge. It might take a lot of time to learn how to upload these programs so that they would turn the valve in proper direction; someone might find number of rusty valves that must be lubricated first, or cleaned from dirt that covered them completely; probably, it will be required to repeat our "password" a number of time, until proper memory allocation will be set and permanent record burnt in BIOS chip, located in our brain. A technique of repetitive prayers is known in religion as a school of hesychasm. Regarding to this religious school, Gods Name is not just a word; word is only a symbol, or a sign, that names a reality; than, pronouncing a word we communicate with that reality directly. Our task is only to believe that this is a real communication with a real reality. Word, or Name, having been repeated multiple time, first penetrates in mental memory of the enthusiast; then it fills his physical brain with certain essence of spiritual reality, pushes away any non-related thoughts; makes enthusiast's brain clean and empty. Only when this stage of spirituality has been achieved, Spiritual Force flows to enthusiast's heart and possess of his personality so that his personality and Spiritual Reality became the same Whole One.
Returning to social communication between people, we would like to refer to the book, written by Dale Carnegie where he proposes a kind of system and practical tools that can help people in their communication, and teaches "how to win friends and influence people", using his "bag if tricks", or how he names it: "accepting a new life style", in order to achieve a successful pragmatical goals. Probably, every manager has read this book and many of them use it together with tricky language of
null-symbols in order to achieve their pragmatic business goals. Can Carnegie's fundamental techniques in handling people be considered as real human Communication?
Leaving this question opened, we conclude our work with words of Nil Sorsky (1433-1508) who promoted a school of hesychasm and eremitism in early modern Russia.
Regarding to Nil Sorsky, an ideal communication with God is "when a monk does not allow any distraction to disturb the mind, such that can draw the mind away from silence. Silence brings peace and tranquility, since God is peace and is beyond all agitation and noise.".
In our work we reviewed Communication from different aspects. What is really communication? This is a very wide opened question. People communicate with each other because they possess a knowledge of language, that has a very complicated functional structure, based on symbolic nature; because people exist in the world that consists of hierarchy of five Kingdoms, beginning from subatomic level of communication between elementary particles and continuing beyond Universe and Spiritual Kingdom of eternal life where we believe in reality of "Communication of Saints", and Holy Communion with God. We could continue our research, observing a new physics theory, a "String Theory" that explains a possibility of existence of multiple endless parallel worlds. Then we could try to find a role and possible nature of Communication that could exist between parallel worlds. Due to complexity and lack of resources about "String Theory", we have to refer our readers to NOVA, that made an interesting scientific film, that has a popular explanation of that theory from point of view of modern physics.
Why we dig so deeply, trying to comprehend what is Communication? Someone might say that question of Communication is strictly sociological and psychological issue. Are sociology and psychology conformal disciplines, or scientific? If they are more scientific, then they must have a deep fundamental roots and connections with other human fields of knowledge, either it is psychics, religion, linguistics, or Arts. Therefor in our research we tried to show that question of Communication can't be limited by conformal definition, and can't be resolved by handy tools that gives to us, for instance, Dale Carnegie or Eric Bern.
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