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Our cultural identity is expressed thru the languages we use. Language is a common connective within a culture and there can be subtle variations within one common language as different groups distinguish or differentiate themselves. Relatedness and interactions within a particular culture and its sub-cultures are facilitated through the use of language.
Language is a system or a mechanism of communication. Language, human language, has four primary modes or methods of expression which are speaking, listening, writing, and reading. Speaking and writing are active modes while listening and reading are passive modes. Generally when learning a new language, that is not native to us, it is generally more difficult to master the active modes of the new language as compared to the passive modes.
Language, human language, consists of speech, written characters, and/or signed physical movements that express ideas, thoughts, feelings, and information to others. The act of using language is a two-fold action. The thoughts and then words form inside of us and by using specific physical mechanisms; the mouth and tongue and/or the hands and fingers; the words are expressed on the outside of us as meaningful sounds or as written characters or as articulate movements. Language is an expression or an articulation of our internal thoughts, and our internal reality, and we primarily use some form of language to convey those internal thoughts and realities to others.
The person, who hears language or reads language or visually interprets physically signed language, has a two-fold experience of language. That experience is namely the experiencing of language outside of themselves; what they hear, read, or see; and secondly the experiencing of language inside of themselves or what they perceive or understand or interpret. The interior experience of language assigns significance and meaning to the transmitted or received language.
The flow of a conversation; spoken, written or signed; between two individuals would be a flow from the inside to the outside of the sender, and then from the outside to the inside of the receiver; and thereafter a fluid back and forth series of exchanges. When speaking we tend to use informal body signings or body posturing to enhance our conversation; while the non-hearing person or hard-of-hearing person will use, more exclusively, sophisticated and extensive physical signings to communicate. Language exchanges, especially spoken or signed, can be rapid because each participant within the exchange can usually anticipate what will be communicated next and so each participant can think/imagine/create, in advance, what they might offer as a response.
There is another way that each correspondent within a conversation might anticipate conversational information in advance and that is through the use of non-verbal and non-physical modes of expressiveness. In other words we are also thinking mentally to each other in tandem with the spoken words and signed movements. This thinking to each other is a form of natural telepathy and it usually goes unnoticed because each correspondent in a conversation does not normally perceive actual mental words. We can perceive mentally, at minimum, some form and some quantity and some quality of intention and/or context which can be attached to the spoken conversation. How we feel about the exchanged information, how we value the exchanged information, and how we relate to the exchanged information, is expressed between us. This experience of invisibly conveyed context and intent is an added layer or an extra attachment to the apparent, obvious, and visible conversational exchanges.
A casual human conversation has verbal, physical, and mental elements of exchanges. We hear the verbal, we see the physical, and we sense or intuit internally the mental context and intent. We hear recognizable sound, tone, and inflection; we see articulate and nuanced movements; and we sense significance, value, context, and intent; however what we sense can greatly vary from individual to individual. Additionally what we usually sense is typically very subtle or nuanced or vague; although it can be, at times, somewhat quite discernible.
The veiled natural telepathic quality of supplemental mental conversation is a normal component of human relating. This quality might be more potent among individuals who have developed strong relational connections with friends, family, and peers but this can also potentially exist between anyone and everyone. When we intuit additional significance or meaning from a conversation that we have had with someone else or when we ‘read between the lines’, the basis for this insight is that we have received, in some fashion, some form of additional information to support our added insight or supposition.
In a conversation between two or more individuals there are explicit and implicit forms of information that are exchanged. The explicit information would be what is actually said, signed, or written. The implicit information would be what is implied, assigned, suggested, intuited, and/or intended.
The four facets of a conversational exchange; from the inside to the outside of the person initiating, from the outside to the inside of the person receiving can be effected or can be enhanced by the psychological climate within each individual. An individual’s internal emotional and mental climate can color and can tint the input or the reception of an informational exchange. For instance, if a person is experiencing an internal depressive state then most informational exchanges might be perceived through this depressive lens; or if a person is experiencing some form of a euphoric state then most informational exchanges might be perceived through this euphoric filter.
Any experience that is outside of an individual, including language exchanges, is filtered as it enters into the inside of someone. Our physical senses encounter a variety of experiences outside ourselves and these experiences are translated or interpreted inside of us by our internal filters. In addition to our natural biological filters and sensory parameters; our cultural and personal beliefs, values, and standards will function as filters as well.
Cultural beliefs are basically the value systems of a particular society, or what is valued and what is not valued within a society. Cultural beliefs do somewhat designate what is right versus wrong, or good versus bad, and these beliefs parameters can be a generalized reflection, although not a complete reflection, of the laws and moral codes for a society. Cultural beliefs or values speak to what is more acceptable or preferred within a culture at a particular period of time. Current cultural values have evolved over historical time and they are a product of our past standards and our current trends or interests.
Personal beliefs are the value systems of an individual person. It is our internal barometer of what a person values and what a person devalues. Personal beliefs or values form the basis for the foundation of our internal sense of what is right versus wrong, or good versus bad. The current beliefs or values of an individual represent their individual historical experiences and their current interests.
Beliefs, values, and standards; personal and societal/cultural; are some of the components of our internal, non-biological, psychological filtering mechanisms. These filtering mechanisms, although unique and at time idiosyncratic, do serve an invaluable function of allowing an individual to make choices or to make decisions in a world that consists of innumerable choices and decisions.
Societal/cultural and personal standards interact with one another and can impact one another. Cultural values can typically be expressed through the medium of the media and they are express through the values and standards of many of our institutions. Our personal values are usually expressed on a smaller and person-to-person scale. On a macro level, presently, the media includes print, visual, sonic, and other electronic mediums. Our institutions include public and private organizations. Our institutions can include business, educational, governmental, political, and religious, and other categories. Institutions express and promote a variety of currently acceptable cultural standards on a broad scale and institutions can provide services and products that an individual, usually, could not provide for themselves.
A most important aspect of any communication or relating; between individuals, or between different types of communication mediums and individuals, or between institutions and individuals; is that the information that is exchanged is reinterpreted by the perceiver’s filtering mechanisms. In other words the same information or content can be interpreted differently by different people or different organizations.
Filtering is an interior mechanism of evaluation that is used by an individual, group, and organization within a society. The filtering process assigns significance or meaning to an event or to any experience. The event or experience can be from the past, present, or future; it can be real or non-real; and its significance is filtered through our value systems. Within a society there can be many distinct groups, each with their own potential interpretation of cultural standards and values. The amalgamation of these groups creates a hybrid of national standards and values. Usually national standards and values consist of a dominant or majority cultural stream, and non-dominant or minority cultural streams.
On an international level, all countries have national standards that are comprised of various group standards and usually with dominant and non-dominant threads. Globally, there are many distinct countries and a variety of distinct social, political, economic, religious, and other interests. Therefore, instead of one global viewpoint, there are several blocks of competing standards and values all with their associative dominant and non-dominant threads.
The same event or experience has the potential of different reinterpretations between two different individuals or two different subgroups or two different nations. Therefore effective communication or relating between groups would ideally have to include an empathic component. Empathy is defined as the capacity for someone to identify with someone else, and to be open to viewpoints that are outside of oneself. Openness to understanding, accepting, and/or identifying with others, and with their unique viewpoints, can facilitate effective and meaningful dialogue and exchange.
Although the terminology of culture and society are used interchangeably, there is actually a difference in the meaning between these two terms. In general, culture refers to the broader framework of principles that guide a particular group of individuals and this broader framework does have dominant and non-dominant components. Culture usually applies to a country or a region; that is, the Mexican culture or the Vietnamese culture or the European culture or the North Africa culture. On the other hand, society usually refers to the people, mechanisms, and activities within a particular culture.
Culture can be considered the tacit or passive framework of principles for a particular group of individuals while society can be considered the visible or active mechanics of how a particular group of individuals live out these principles.
Language used by and between individuals, or a larger scale by the media or institutions within a society, can have a variety of purposes. Firstly, language conveys information. Information can be of an economic, political, artistic, personal or micro, or of a national or macro nature. Information is usually some form of factual data, or some form of objective information, although the data/information could be blended with non-factual components; that is, opinions, suggestions, advice, propaganda, and other non-factual elements.
Secondly, language conveys values. Information is value-laden because it is filtered through macro and micro standards within a culture. For example, in a country or region that is land-bound with no access to the sea, information about water-based activities; such as fishing, boating, and etc.; would have a different significance than for a country with an extensive coastline. Additionally, a news broadcast conveying sports results for soccer teams would likely elicit different reactions from a country with high interest in soccer versus a country with low interest in soccer.
Thirdly, language is symbolic because it is a representation of physical or non-physical, and real or non-real components within our reality; furthermore, and most importantly, it is not the actual component of reality. Consequently in a conversation about a chair, the word chair signifies a real chair but is itself not an actual chair but merely a word representing chair for the purposes of ease or convenience in our verbal, signed, and written exchanges.
Alpha-numeric letters, pictographs, the Braille system, and calligraphy of the world’s various language systems are individualized and stylized symbols that are combined together to create words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs, all of which represent an abstraction of something real and/or non-real; a representation not an actuality. Language, as a symbolic tool, allows individuals to relate to, to examine, to reflect on, to dissect, to express about, and so on, the inner and outer reality that we exist in.
Language ultimately conveys culture or cultural identity. The specific languages of French, Hindi, and Russian, for instance, convey a specific contextual connation about their native countries. Language conveys cultural preferences, habits, customs, taboos, superstitions, humor, and other characteristics; characteristics that do uniquely vary from culture to culture. Language can also indicate historical significances and traditions, and convey societal status.
Languages are indications of the overall personalities and/or temperaments of a country or region. In general, the North American protocols of informal greetings and a moderately paced speaking cadence is part of its national temperament; as is the South American protocols of warm, familial greetings, and rapidly flowing speech cadences; and, as is the protocols of native cultures in the arctic regions utilizing language that is heavily influenced by environmental and climatic context.
A simple conversation between two individuals is a complexity of relatedness. Information, ideas, opinions, and thoughts moving from the inside to the outside of one individual, and from the outside to the inside of another; and information, ideas, opinions, and thoughts that are filtered, interpreted, and reinterpreted; and information, ideas, opinions, and thoughts that are laden with facts, non-facts, and values. All of this can likewise be regarded as symbolic because any language usage is a representation of something else and that something else is what is actual.
A simple conversation between two individuals can also be attached to an individual’s emotional and energetic ambiance or signature during the conversational exchange. A person exchanging information about an event or experience that has joyous connotations, will additionally express joyous emotions and its associative energetic signature. Typically emotional and energetic attachments, to a conversational exchange, can be an intricate and fluid blend; for instance, a person could convey a complex emotional mixture of excitement/fear about an impending new opportunity while energetically expressing a combination of confidence/nervousness; and subsequently these particular expressive fusions could segue-way into another, and then another, combination of emotive and energetic expressiveness.
A simple conversation between two individuals can also reveal information about our individual personalities through our speaking styles. Or speaking style can include a unique and specific cadence, inflection, and tone of delivery. It can include a select usage of preferential words or phrases, it can include an individualized accent or dialect and other modifications. Our speaking style indicates some information on how we prefer, or how our persona prefers to present ourselves to the world.
There can also be a simple conversation within ourselves which can be a multifaceted process as well. The ordinary self or the conscious self continuously thinks, reflects, evaluates, discerns, plans, decides, and so forth, and it usually utilizes an interior voice or voices to speak to itself as it conducts these activities. Internally we speak to ourselves because dialogue or conversational exchange is inherent to our natures. We naturally exchange with others outside of ourselves and the world outside of ourselves. We naturally interact with ourselves internally by using our internal voices to dialogue or to speak within ourselves.
Emotions, feelings, moods, and temperaments, while they do enhance our communications with others, can be considered another form of language that humans utilize for expressiveness. Emotions are a pure, intense, and undiluted form of expression; love, hate, anger, joy, and others. Feelings, which are more numerous, are distillations of core emotions; for example, an intense burst of the emotion of anger could evolve into a longer period of feelings of irritation, sadness, disappointment and/or frustration.
Moods are a longer term diffusion of feelings, such as a reference to a ‘dark mood’ or an ‘upbeat mood’ or an ‘edgy mood’; and temperaments are very subtle distillations that are exhibited as a general ambiance or atmosphere that seems to pervade someone’s personality on a semi-permanent or long term basis; such as the references ‘he is a tedious person’ or ‘she is a depressed person’ or ‘he has a reserved manner’ or ‘she has a bright outlook or ‘the child has a positive outlook.’
Various emotional states, whether short-term and intense or longer-term and diffused, are a form of expressive language that can indicate; on an immediate basis, our personal reaction to an experience or event whether internal or external; and on a broader basis it can indicate to others our general state of being. Emotional states are usually a non-verbal, though sometimes verbal, form of internal and external expressiveness; we feel or experience emotional climates inside of ourselves and can express them outside of ourselves. Each person constantly reacts to a flow of internal/external experiences and events, and therefore emotions continuously flow from one expressive state/status to another expressive state/status. In many normalized instances, day to day, emotional states can be relatively placid or neutral or stable and they could also represent, in some cases, our actual longer-term moods and temperaments; however it is equally possible that someone’s day-to-day emotional status could not be placid, neutral or stable; particularly in a continual high stress career situation or a dangerous/dire life situation. Whatever someone’s day-to-day emotion status is, it can change due to a variety of factors including encounters with spontaneous, non-routine, and/or contrasting experiences or events.
The terms experience and event are used interchangeably to indicate the active principle or some form of action within reality, whether an interior or exterior reality. However the two terms can be distinguished from each other; that is, experience might be considered to be a more personal expression of the active principle while event could be regarded as a more neutral expression. For example: she has a wonderful experience at the movies or he has a frustrating experience with the tax accountant; conversely, the rain storm was a welcome event or the concert will be an inspiring event.
An event or experience that is in contrast to our regular everyday experiences or routines, can elicit a strong burst of reaction of emotions and/or subsequent feelings that will disrupt, in the short term at least, our general or normal day-to-day internal emotional state or status.
Emotional states, or the emotional climate inside of us, are connected to other internal physical, chemical, energetic, sensory, and mental activities. Any experiences from the past, present, and future, whether real or non-real, will usually elicit some form of emotional response as we react to those experiences. Internally that response is a complex episode as the brain and the body do create associative packages composed of physical, chemical, energetic, sensory, and mental responses.
The physical and chemical responses/reactions, that can accompany emotional states, do also incorporate specific physical reactions, subtle or non-subtle, particularly involving facial and hand postures, and including specific internal/external musculature postures; and other complementary responses. The physical response can include the activation of programmed patterns for some internal physical organs as well. The sensory response can include the activation of programmed nervous systems patterns and/or a person’s normal stress level could fluctuate. An individual’s normal energetic ambiance or modality or signature could change or shift. The mental response can include the broadcast of corresponding memories, corresponding current events, and associative future imaginative scenarios.
One of the functions of the emotional environment inside of us is to react to and/or to comment on the quality or the value of the experience or event that we are experiencing both outside ourselves and inside ourselves. The quality of an experience, its significance; and how it relates to us as we were in the past, as we are now, and as we could be; is expressed through our flowing emotional interior climate. Furthermore, that climate provides information for us to reflect upon and evaluate and then to, perhaps make decisions.
Memories supplement and enhance linguistic and non-linguistic exchanges. Memories can have an immediate and working function, or various forms of intermediate-term functions, or serve as longer term memory storage; and these exist for the purpose of historical and current recordkeeping. Memories are also one of several components that define our identity; in other words, the past experiences of an individual are part of the composition of the present individual.
Between working memory for immediate experiences and long term memory storage there is a mid-range memory functionality, which at minimum serves as a library of pertinent dates, lists, and other information. It would include our daily habits and preferences. It would recall our close and recurring relationships or connections with family, friends, co-workers, and others. It would recall the immediate non-human elements in our lives; such as physical items in our homes or what transportation mechanisms or strategies that we often rely on. Mid-range memory functionality would recall common and often used numerical data, such as phone numbers, street addresses, and birthday dates; and other pertinent day-to-day facts, lists, cataloguing, and so on, that is relevant to our everyday lives.
There are at least three generalized categories of memory: 1) immediate or working memory, 2) some form of mid-range and/or libraried memories, and 3) long term memory storage. As we continually encounter and process information and experiences in the world through our sensory mechanisms, that information and those experiences are dispersed and distributed generally between the brain’s frontal cortex region and our mid-brain region. These dispersals and distributions are in a form of electrically charged data or material; and this charged data/content/information can eventually become a more permanent form of long term memory over time. The solidification of memories can occur in various ways, two of the most prominent methods are: 1) if the nature of the initial encounter with the information or experience has some substantial degree of intensity and/or significance or 2) if the experiences or events are subject to long term repetition or to continuous reinforcing exchanges within the brain.
Long term memories function to recall significant events, of an ordinary and/or extraordinary nature, from the past. Long term memories, when activated, are reassembled from various diverse brain centers, such as visual, auditory, emotional, physical, and so on; that is, in regions within the frontal cortex and the mid-brain; these are regions where the long term memories were originally dis-assembled. This subsequent assemblage, or re-assemblage, of long term memories is governed by significance and meaning of the past event or experience, and not necessarily influenced by the actual and precise replaying of the past event. The assemblage is reconstructed to represent a blend of connotation, significance, and actual fact, in regards to the past event; and in some cases the connotation or significance of the past event can outweigh the actual facts. This is additionally unique because it is possible for a past event to change its significance if the person, who we are now presently, brings new perspectives or values to bear as they reflect on the past event. In one sense, since events; past, present, or future events; can be subjectively considered and reconsidered, then it is possible to revalue or reinterpret any past, present, or future event.
Memories allow us to compare past events or experiences with current ongoing ones; and to likewise compare them with potential future events. Present events in our lives that bear some resemblance to past events can activate the re-creation of a similar past event in the form of memory. The consequent memory will come prepackaged with a wide range of associative emotional, energetic, chemical, sensory, and physical attachments. It is also feasible that memories can be potentially revised, along with its aggregated packaging, because of a new perspective on the part of the individual. That is, revising our perspective of a memory of a past event can also possibly revise the associated packaging or attachments that are connected to that memory.
For instance: an individual has a memory of a particular fear from childhood that stems from household pets, but as an adult, this person begins to have a change of perspective because of new interactions with pets; it is potentially possible that the re-experience of the individual’s memories about pets could change. Or an adult person has positive thoughts and memories about certain specific foods from their college years but now has gradually come to believe that those foods are now unhealthy; potentially the nature of those earlier memories, about these specific foot items, could change or alter. In reiteration, in both the former & latter examples, the associative aggregate attachments could change, as well.
An individual arrives to an airport in a foreign city. The person is surrounded by unfamiliar signage, language, currency, customs, and practices. The person’s internal experience will feature memories, with its associative packaging, that will somewhat match the person’s present outside experience. It will likewise include imaginative scenarios, with its associative packaging, that will offer creative options and choice for the person’s present external experience, in the airport. It will include the person’s three-part brain which will be used for assessments in the present moment; this would include input from the older portion of the brain and the mid-brain, for its survivalist perspective and instinct, and include input from the newer portion of the brain, it’s reasoning and creative perspective; all areas participating with their associative packaging.
The private self, the internal life of the individual, is the hidden side of our personhood. Although we frequently communicate to others our thoughts, feelings, reflections, challenges, desires, and aspirations; those communications are approximations of our actual internal, ever-changing, experience. Those communications are approximations because the individual’s internal reality includes other psycho-physical enhancements which cannot be authentically included in our linguistic expressions to others. Our ever-changing internal states are singularly unique. And these states cannot generally be faithfully or completely articulated to others.
Linguistic language is language that we exchange through speech, body signings, and written/pictorial alphabets, and it is one form of communication. Artistic-language, which is beyond our standard linguistic language, is another form of expressiveness. The arts, formal and informal, would use a form of artistic-language. Visual arts, photography, painting, and others, provide images rather than words to convey cultural information, meaning, and values. Architecture, sculpture, landscaping provide a spatial form of information conveyance. Music, vocal performance, creative speech, and other forms, while providing creative acoustical or sound expressiveness, with spoken language in some instances, is also a definite form of cultural communication. Dance, formal and informal, can additionally and differently communicate expressiveness, creative content, and cultural information through a kinesthetic or physical modality.
Many art forms can potentially be a form of creative non-verbal language if it communicates cultural information, meaning, and/or values. Furthermore, most art forms are inherently multi-functional. Verbal artistic language as in creative writing, poetry, drama, and literature; while a form of linguistic communication; it is also a form of complex creative expressionism. A painting, a film, or a graphic novel could display artistic imagery and also promote political, scientific, or social ideas as it communicates information. A photograph or a sculpture might display high visual technique and form while additionally promoting a historical, economic, or religious perspective; and, of course, convey information and ideas.
Many everyday/ordinary forms or activities can transmit both information and some supplementary aesthetic characteristics. Any everyday object could contain both utilitarian and aesthetic qualities. As an example: a family evening meal could be nutritious and creative; a natural design found in a forest could have artistic beauty, as well as mathematical beauty; or a Bauhaus-styled building could be functional while displaying modernistic design aesthetics.
The arts, formal and informal, may moreover transcend a particular culture’s distinctiveness because it may contain universal themes or broad global themes. Many iconic renderings that include imagery of crosses, circles, or related sacred geometric shapes are understood worldwide and thereby supersede national boundaries. The practice of right placement of objects as it relates to human and natural concerns, such as those promoted by the principles of Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra, have transcended their original sources, in Asia and India respectively, to receive a broader international acceptance, understanding, and practice.
Mathematics and mathematical language is expressed through numbers, formulas, computations, measurements, and symbols and it is another form of meta-language expression. In one sense it is unique among human languages because it is universally used and accepted by all humans and throughout many periods of time. The meta-language of Mathematics is unlike many current human languages which tend to be specific to a specific culture; although millions upon millions of humans are also currently bilingual and multilingual.
Human and non-human experience and physical reality can be expressed through quantity, quality, relatedness, and size by the use of numbers, formulas, measurements, computations, and symbols. Mathematical language has ordinary or daily uses in human life and it has extraordinary uses in a multitude of vocational fields.
In regards to the universal usage and universal understanding of mathematical language, particularly in its written format, Mathematics is also understood to be one of our oldest and continuously used languages. Essentially the same or similar mathematical models; such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, number theory, equations, and other concepts; have been used by many humans, in some form, for thousands of years.
Our cultural identity is expressed through the languages that we use. This is clearly true in the ceremonies and rituals that are unique to each culture. While the terms, ceremony and ritual, can be used interchangeably; the term ceremony can usually be classified as an observance or an acknowledgement of some special and/or significant occasion of a personal and/or group nature; while the word ritual can be usually classified as the processional or procedural elements that comprised a ceremony.
Ceremonies can have a secular or a non-secular purpose. Most ceremonies tend to use significant words and speech as part of its rituals. These words and speech tend to powerfully and purposefully communicate or to reiterate personal and group values of a particular culture, while recognizing or acknowledging some special, singular, or significant occasion, life passage, or milestone.
The commencement speech during a graduation ceremony, the pledge of allegiance during a naturalization ceremony, the pronouncement of vows during a marriage ceremony, and the final sacred words during a funeral ceremony; all of these observances can be considered significant expositions of particular cultural values that are centered around a singular and/or momentous occasion within a human community.
Ceremony in a religious or spiritual or magical context can be performed within a large-scaled setting or very public setting. Individuals can also conduct their own private or small-scaled ceremony, in order to express a more personalized approach to their religious, spiritual, magical interests. The rituals, procedures, components, or the processes for ceremonies, especially the majority of ceremonies; will include specialized language, objects, and/or sequences.
Our cultural identity is expressed through the languages that we use. However language, the variety of language formats, must ultimately be regarded as an exclusive cultural and societal product within our physical reality. In the broader context of the collective community of the higher self that resides in a non-physical reality there are communicative exchanges of a meta-linguistic nature. All of the processes of the non-physical mind; such as thoughts, values, memories, intents, dreams, plans, critiques, and additionally with other various psychological states/activities, would be communicated telepathically, within the context of meta-linguistics. And this form of meta-communication is primarily beyond the normal range of our human communications.