Daily Tao / 22 – Communication

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Movement, objects, speech, and words :
We communicate through gross symbols.
We call them “objective,”
But we cannot escape our point of view.

We cannot communicate directly from mind to mind, and so misinterpretation is a perennial problem. Motions, signs, talking, and the written word are all encumbered by miscommunication. A dozen eyewitnesses to the same event cannot agree on a single account. We may each see something different in cards set up by a circus magician. Therefore, we are forever imprisoned by our subjectivity.

Followers of Tao assert that we know no absolute truth in the world, only varying degrees of ambiguity. Some call this poetry; some call this art. The fact remains that all communication is relative. Those who follow Tao are practical. They know that words are imperfect and therefore give them limited importance : The symbol is not the same as the reality.

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