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Is communcation possible?
11/30/15 9:53 AM
I've had quite a painful realization lately.  Anything other than extremely basic communications will be misinterpreted by the listener.  I have to assume that I misinterpret others too, though I certainly make every effort to find the speaker's own meaning for his words (rather than my meaning superimposed).

If I asked "so what am I saying in this post?" I'd get a few responses and it would be extremely unlikely any of them would match what I'm really getting at. 

My written English is fine, and yet communication seems impossible.  Spoken communication is even worse - I might as well speak in Greek.

Have any of you ever thought about asking someone "how would you summarize what I just said?".  It's a horrifying experiment.  You can do it at work, if you give presentations.  Or you can do it with clients, or partners/spouses/friends.  It's like playing chinese whispers.  The responses you get back will often bear no resemblance at all to the original massage.

RE: Is communcation possible?
11/30/15 2:00 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
It's in the process of having someone reflect back what they think you said, and then clarifying and correcting, that real communication does happen. 

Communication isn't a one way street. There is always a give and take, a back and forth between the parties involved. Even if I'm reading a book, or perhaps more obviously, viewing a painting, I'm still actively involved in the geneation of meaning. That's a big part of the project of art, actually: That each person brings their own stuff to the piece, and the piece really doesn't exist on it's own, but rather in the exchange between the piece and the viewer/listener/reader/whatever. 

So, if it's really important to me that my own meaning is expressed, then it behooves me to do the sometimes-painful task of asking, "What do you think I just said?" and then clarifying and correcting. 

This is why a big part of effective communication involves the listener pro-actively saying, "Okay, this is what I think I heard," and then listening to what the other person has to say in return. 

RE: Is communcation possible?
11/30/15 2:36 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
Yes, communication is possible. It can be difficult, it will require effort. In systems terms, it may be an iterative process which narrows the range of interpretation to find the original party's intent or message.

RE: Is communcation possible?
11/30/15 4:56 PM as a reply to This Good Self.

I remember having similar thoughts some.years ago, probably in 2008. I had just around that time went through a phase I have later learned corresponded an A&P event pretty neatly. While being at the time very enthusiastic about my realizations and extremely interested in meaningful communication with other people I remember having very painfully stumbled onto the problem of impossibility of communication. I remember talking about how any communication is plain impossible, how language doesn't do any good etc and all this was really felt in my bones, viscerally, not just intellectually. I just coudn't get how people are suppised to be able to talk to each other.

Seven years has passed and I no longer feel the same. I don't feel the frustration or anxiety or helplessness. I know that all communication is subject to so many unknowable factors that it is a miracle when two people can connect on a level that feels somehow meaningful. It requires effort and genuine willingness for understanding from both participants, most likely. And I know majority of all my communication efforts are not going to succeed, ever. Looking back, I can say I have adapted to and accepted this fact accidentally, without much effort from my part, it seems. It just happens to be like this now, pretty ok, and I remember that it was definately not ok seven years ago. 

I haven't asked people to explain what I just said. I can see it without asking, when things start spinning really wildly into unexpected directions. Just me thinking about it is making my head hurt. For me, however, it is even worse with written communication. But like I said, I've learned to accept and be equanomous about it. From a certain aspect it doesn't even matter that nobody understands anything, everything still keeps on rolling <3

I wish I could say more but you know how it goes with this communication business ;)

RE: Is communcation possible?
11/30/15 6:08 PM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Thanks everyone.

I understand the process required for communication to occur.  It's just that so few people ever make the effort to clarify actual meaning.
So many topics are 'difficult' because no one seems capable of objectivity and self-honesty. 

The people here at dho are a bit different in that regard, which is some relief. 

RE: Is communcation possible?
12/3/15 9:51 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
From my interpretation, that is in part what they mean when the say enlightenment is like 'in the seeing, only the seen.'  I interpreted it to mean that with enlightenment you do not have a huge foggy 'me' filter anymore that all perception has to filter through.  The 'me' filter was adding a huge crap ton of my own issues onto everything that went through and also was blocking a bunch of other stuff that threatened me.  For example, maybe if you said, 'I'm sick of doing this project,' it might remind me subconsciouly of someone else who said the same thing in my past who was a big pain in the butt for various reasons, and then my mind would sort of add some of that memory onto my perception of you and make some assumptions about you and your motivations and personality that were probably not correct.  But I would respond to you with those assumptions now attached.  Instantly, I am no longer seeing the situation clearly as it is, but through my own filters.  And once the filter kicks in, then other things you say after that which do not fit with the filter might not be noticed. Also my filters also consider what is interesting and boring to me as well, interesting things get noticed, boring things not so much.   Since everyone has a diff set of filters, everyone gets a different version of what you said hitting their conscious mind. 

Much of the time, I think this is so very much not a conscious process so it can be said to be an issue with honesty of self or perhaps an issue of learning to become more awake or conscious of all the different processes and understanding them better.  

From one perspective, everyone who hears my words has some kind of filters in place, some may be more extreme than others of course.  And from another perspective, everything I say also has to go through my own filter, a filter which is hard for me to see myself and effects my outgoing message in ways I don't see easily.  The only time I can notice my filters is if they change from how they were before.  But I also think that people's filters change often, say from good mood to bad mood and back, and often they do not even think much about how that changed their processing.

Interesing topic (says my filters). Hmm, thinking about it, it's probably pretty amazing we get any decent kind of communiation done ever!  ;-P

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