Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"With Communication No Pain"

Heo Jun a physician to the royal court during the Choson Dynasty, in his book Dongui Bogam, we find the phrase: "With communication no pain, without communication pain." A  professor of philosophy in his article in the diocesan bulletin explains to the readers the meaning of the words. All the veins in our body are made to communicate with the cells and organs.  When one of the blood vessels is blocked, and is not able to communicate with the body, we have sickness or death of the cells or organs. This extends also to the social body, without healthy communication between human beings  we have problems: in family, school, society, and  the country; the difference is only in size. Communication is a sign of the health of our different groups in society.

The dictionary meaning for the word communicate:  not blocked, opened to another, understanding another. He compares it to water that flows freely.  It  is the connection with others. Not only is it  words shared with another, but the extended meaning is the relation we have with the other.

He shared his thinking on the theological and human levels of communicating. Humans are persons who are separated. In our Scriptural theological understanding, humans were living with God in paradise and because of disobedience lost paradise. Since they were separated from God, they needed a way of relating with God different from what it was in paradise. They were separated from their source  and speaking in theological words needed to be saved. Separated existences try to achieve the original relationship with God. This relationship is not something that we can do on our own. Since the communication has broken down we can't but be uncomfortable. This in theological language is called anxiety of separation, and we try everything to renew our relationship with God the source of all.

Humans are separated existences. We were one with our mothers in the womb. We came out of the womb attached with the umbilical cord. When that is cut, we become separated existences. With this separation, we are overcome with  separation anxiety. Because of the separation, the  mother with the constant interaction with the child, the separation anxiety disappears. The child feels the connection with the mother and when this is confirmed life is renewed. From birth to age three, this integration with the mother has to be  strengthened and  confirmed. This  attachment to the mother has to be established. When during this period, the attachment of the mother to the child is not communicated, there will be the trauma from anxiety because of separation that will affect all of life.

As seen from the above, persons are separated individuals both from a human and a theological point of view.  If we were complete in ourselves, we would not need others with whom to relate or a need to communicate. Because we are separated existences, we have a need to relate and to communicate with others.  We need other separated persons to live the full life;  and we  cannot do this without conflict and discord. We need to familiarize ourselves  with this method of living:the art of relating and communicating with others. To summarize ultimately a full life requires:  understanding,  meeting, relationships, co-existence  and survival.